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Number of Scots living with Long Covid reaches record high

dr amy small long covid

The latest statistics released today show that more people than ever before are living with the effects of Long Covid in Scotland.

New estimates from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of people living with Long Covid for more than 12 months has reached a record high of 59,000 - that's an increase of 9,000 since last month.

Worryingly, more than 20% of Scots who are living with Long Covid say their daily lives have been 'affected a lot' by the condition.

Urgent action needed

We are calling for the Scottish Government to take urgent action as we continue to see the number of people living with the long-term effects of Covid reach new heights.

Since setting up our Long Covid Support Service last year, which was jointly funded by the Scottish Government, we have seen rising numbers of people suffering with the condition.

We fear that we will continue to see new records broken each month unless urgent action is taken to better integrate third sector services with the NHS and reach more people in need of support.

We are still not reaching everyone who needs our help due to the barriers that are created by the lack of referral and data-sharing systems.

Wraparound service

"The Scottish Government needs to approach Long Covid with more urgency. How many more records need to be broken before we see urgent action?" says Allan Cowie, Director of Service Delivery at Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.

"We know that good work is being done in different parts of the country to support people with the condition. But we're not seeing the speed and urgency to join things up and make sure everyone is getting the help they desperately need now. We can’t keep delaying – more needs to be done," he adds.

"We need to make sure there is a wraparound service in place where people can easily be referred through to third sector services like ours from the NHS. By having this in place we can make sure patients aren’t falling through the cracks."

Life turned upside down

Dr Amy Small, a GP who has been living with Long Covid since April 2020, agrees that more action needs to be taken.

"Behind these record high numbers, there are real people like me whose lives have been completely turned upside down by Long Covid," she explains.

"Every week at work, I’m seeing new cases of Long Covid. This isn’t going away; thousands of people are in desperate need of help.

"People in Scotland are still having to push to get the care and support they need and that’s not right. We need to make sure that the support that’s being provided by charities like Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is integrated and joined-up with NHS, making it easier for GPs to refer patients on to the right care."

If you are living with Long Covid and looking for advice and information, please contact Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Long Covid Advice Line on 0808 801 0899 or email adviceline@chss.org.uk

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