Long COVID & Local “Recovery Networks”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a worldwide challenge, with whole communities, organizations and countries impacted – the effects are ongoing.

Although most people who get ill with COVID-19 recover fully from their symptoms, we know that a number of people experience ongoing distressing physical symptoms. One in 20 people can be ill for at least 8 weeks and one in 45 for 12 weeks or more. This has been labelled as long-COVID or post-COVID syndrome. People of all ages and from all backgrounds can be affected by this.


Image source: https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/long-covid

Some people with long COVID have described feeling alone having to manage a great deal of uncertainty about their diagnosis and the expected recovery time.

Disabling and unpleasant physical symptoms can be frightening especially when questions about symptoms cannot be answered fully.

In some cases symptoms may have been dismissed as anxiety. This is understandably frustrating as many people with long COVID know that the physical symptoms are the main cause of their anxiety, not the other way round.

The complex circumstances surrounding long COVID can add to the difficulty of managing this illness for, both professionals and patients alike.

Are long COVID symptoms are affecting your quality of life?

The most common symptoms seen by professionals are different degrees of fatigue (from general lethargy, to fatigue during exercise, sleepiness, to post exertion malaise); breathlessness (described by many as “air hunger”); ‘brain fog’ (inability to concentrate); anxiety and depression.

Symptoms can also involve other areas in the body, such as diarrhoea, skin rashes, headaches, joint pain and many more.

We know that the persistent physical symptoms are not necessarily related to the severity of the acute infection. We also know that symptoms are varied and can change over time. 

Faced with uncertainty and limited guidance from healthcare professionals, it is not surprising that people with long COVID may be impacted emotionally. In response to ongoing physical symptoms people may experience stress, anxiety, low mood or sleep disturbance. If you notice yourself having any of these difficulties then you may find it helpful to book an appointment with us to discuss what type of help is available to you via our service.


How can iCope help?

Our iCope service offers psychological therapies for people who are suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. Our integrated IAPT-LTC therapists are also trained to provide psychological interventions to people with long-term physical health conditions or problematic persistent physical symptoms.

We understand that body, mind and the social environment are not separate. They interact to create tensions and vicious cycles that can end up affecting all three areas. As part of our NHS response to long-COVID in Camden and Islington, iCope are working as a part of an integrated network or multidisciplinary team.

This means that we are working closely with many local physical health teams and clinicians  to provide an integrated” multi-disciplinary response to support people with GP surgeries registered in the boroughs of Camden and Islington who are struggling with the effects of long-COVID. It may be helpful for you to view us as all working together, as part of your long-COVID local recovery network, with you at the centre of this network.


Together, with you, we hope to help you to better understand, manage and recover from your long-COVID symptoms.