Long Covid clinics for children offered by NHS England

15 June 2021, 06:07

NHS England has announced that it is to launch 15 paediatric hubs around the UK to help families and GPs.
NHS England has announced that it is to launch 15 paediatric hubs around the UK to help families and GPs. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

NHS England is launching Long Covid services for children and young people.

While children are less likely to suffer the severe effects of Covid-19, some have suffered long-term after effects.

Now the health service in England has announced that it is to launch 15 paediatric hubs around the UK to help families and GPs.

The hubs will draw together experts on common symptoms such as respiratory problems and fatigue who can directly treat youngsters, advise family doctors or others caring for them or refer them into other specialist services and clinics, the NHS in England said.

Read more: Freedom Day delayed - PM faces fury over not closing borders to Delta variant

Read more: 'Kick in the teeth' - business owners react to roadmap delay

More than one million people have reported suffering from Long Covid, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Some estimates suggest that 340,000 people may need support for the condition including 68,000 who will need rehab or other specialist treatment.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, "brain fog" and extreme fatigue with almost a third of sufferers saying it has a significant impact on their daily life.

PM confirms 'Freedom Day' delay

ONS data suggests that 7.4% of children aged two to 11 and 8.2% of those aged 12-16 report continued symptoms.

The new Long Covid hubs for children are to be announced by NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens.

Speaking at the NHS Confederation conference on Tuesday, he is expected to say: "The NHS has worked hard to care for 400,000 Covid patients requiring hospital treatment and keep essential services going through successive waves and we now need to step up action to deal with the legacy.

Read more: Roadmap delay - What are the rules now?

"One of the major health challenges emerging from the pandemic is Long Covid with hundreds of thousands of people predicted to suffer debilitating health issues such as breathing problems and fatigue.

"That is why the NHS is now going to invest £100 million in specialist services, including care for children and young people so that parents know advice is on hand through the new hubs to provide patients and their families with the help, support and care that they need.

"This is just the latest example of how NHS staff have pulled out all the stops to provide care for those who need it throughout this terrible pandemic."

Callers clash over reaction to lockdown extension

There is already a network of specialist Long Covid clinics which have been given £34 million of funding.

Some £70 million of the new investment will extend these clinics and set up the paediatric hubs.

Claire Hastie of Long Covid Support, whose Facebook group has more than 40,000 members, said: "We very much welcome this additional investment in Long Covid services, including paediatric hubs.

"Our survey of our [adult] members' experiences in seeking referral to Long Covid assessment services (which are available only in England) shows that currently only half are successfully referred, and most of them face lengthy waits for investigations.

"Broadening investment beyond assessment to focus on treatment and rehab is much needed, particularly as vast numbers of people have been ill for over a year, had little to no help and have been unable to go to work or school.

"Although limited in number, the paediatric hubs are recognition of the impact that Long Covid can have on children.

"My 12-year-old twin sons continue to experience relapses every three to four weeks 15 months since falling ill, and I have several friends whose children have been suffering immensely for months."

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action

Sarah Oliver was killed in the collision

Woman killed by driver who sped through red light while on her phone, as she is jailed for nine years

Spain Building Fire

10th body found in charred remnants of Valencia apartment building

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

Hamilton Palace is said to be abandoned

Crumbling Sussex mansion abandoned by millionaire developer 'is UK's biggest slum' and is 'magnet for drug abuse'

Grant Shapps has vowed that Britain will back Ukraine 'to the end'

'We will be there to the end': Shapps vows UK will back Ukraine until war is over, as Britain gives £245m military aid

Exclusive
LBC spoke to a mother and daughter from the war-torn city of Mariupol

Ukrainian refugees accuse Home Office of becoming ‘tired of Ukraine’ after altering resettlement schemes

Rishi Sunak has been urged to strip Liz Truss of the Conservative whip

Labour urges Rishi Sunak to strip former PM Liz Truss of Conservative whip after claim of 'deep state sabotage'

Ursula von der Leyen

EC chief von der Leyen arrives in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Mel B

'I went from Spice Girls tour to sharing a bed with my kids': Mel B had just £700 in the bank after leaving abusive ex

King Charles

King Charles chuckles at joking get-well card, one of 7,000 he was sent after cancer diagnosis