Residents' experiences of living with Long Covid

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen carried out this project between Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022 to gather the experiences of residents suffering from Long Covid. The aim of the project was to understand the range of symptoms people were experiencing, the impact on both their physical and mental health and their experiences of accessing support for Long Covid.  101 people responded to a survey.

The main symptoms experienced by residents, with a significant impact on their daily lives, are fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog, mobility issues and anxiety. Whilst 56% of respondents’ symptoms improved within 9 months, 19% took 10-12 months to recover and 24% of respondents were experiencing Long Covid symptoms for over a year.

 Long Covid impacts residents’ lives far beyond the physical symptoms. Most of the respondents reported that their mental health had deteriorated because of both the condition and its impact on their lives and relationships. This shows mostly through anxiety and depression, as well as irritability and low mood. From feedback given from residents, their lives are significantly impacted by Long Covid in many ways: their employment, caring duties, social lives and domestic duties become neglected following high levels of fatigue. For many, it is has become impossible to carry on with lives as normal.

The report contains 8 recommendations.

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General details

Report title 
Residents' experiences of living with Long Covid
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 31 May, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 October, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 31 March, 2022
Key themes 
Access
Communication between staff and patients
Diagnosis
Holistic support
Quality of care
Referrals

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Cardiology
Ear, nose and throat
Neurology
Nutrition and dietetics
Physiotherapy
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Other
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
101
Age group 
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Gender 
Female
Male
Prefer not to say
Ethnicity 
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Other ethnic group
White
Specific ethnicity if known 
Bangladeshi
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
Gypsy or Irish Traveller
Pakistani
White and Black African
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.