Rehabilitation support for Long COVID sufferers

Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, has teamed up with Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, to provide an online COVID-19 rehabilitation programme for those working in UK policing, and their families.

The programme is designed to support people who are finding it difficult to recover from the long-term effects of COVID-19. Offering a unique blend of physical and emotional support, the self-managed programme can be tailored to individual rehabilitation needs and provides the tools to help people recover and return to good health and wellbeing. Over 12 weeks, individuals will have access to three digital journals, which will guide people through the programme and provide information, techniques and activities on areas to aid recovery, access to on-demand workouts, weekly emotional support calls and access to a community of participants where they can share their experiences.

Andy Rhodes, Service Director for Oscar Kilo, the National Police Wellbeing Service, said, “I’m delighted that we are working alongside Nuffield Health to bring this rehabilitation programme to UK policing. There’s still much to learn about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on our physical and psychological health and we recognise the need and importance of providing high quality support for our people, and their family members, who may be suffering from Long COVID.

“We all have a role to play in supporting sufferers of Long COVID and we hope this programme will help increase knowledge and awareness, as well as directly help individuals who are finding it difficult to recover.”

Evidence from previous epidemics, like SARS and MERS, demonstrate it can take years for some patients to recover. The effects of COVID-19 leaves some patients with lasting physical damage and scarring to their lungs, resulting in difficulty with breathing and mobility. It also can exacerbate underlying health issues, like heart disease, diabetes and mental health conditions. NICE guidance indicates out of hospital rehabilitation strategies, following discharge after a critical illness, have been shown to help to improve patient recovery and long-term side effects by up to 50%.1 The Nuffield Health programme has been designed by a wide range of clinical teams, including respiratory experts, physiotherapists, emotional wellbeing and clinical exercise specialists.

Brendan Street, Head of Charity, at Nuffield Health, adds, “We know that some people who have contracted COVID-19 need specialist support for their rehabilitation. We are also acutely aware of the impact of COVID-19 on frontline workers like the police. As the UK’s largest healthcare charity, our purpose is to build a healthier nation and we’re proud to partner with Oscar Kilo to offer their people this free programme to help their recovery.”