More than 10,000 people in Doncaster estimated to have long Covid

More than 10,000 people in Doncaster are suffering with long Covid, estimates suggest.

Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:25 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:25 pm

The Long Covid SOS charity called on the Government to stop putting its "head in the sand" and take action to reduce the growing number of long Covid sufferers.

The annual GP Patient Survey polled patients in thousands of practices across England between January and April on various aspects of their health – including 38 in the NHS Doncaster CCG area.

Patients were asked if they were still experiencing symptoms more than 12 weeks after they first had Covid-19, that could not be explained by something else.

Of the 3,766 respondents in Doncaster, 208 said they had symptoms of long Covid

Of the 3,766 respondents in Doncaster, 208 (5.5 per cent) said they had symptoms of long Covid.

Applying this rate to the latest population estimate for the CCG area as a whole means 13,871 people aged 16 and over in the area could be suffering from lingering health problems.

Across England, 4.4 per cent of GP patients said they had long Covid symptoms – which can include fatigue, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations – around two million people.

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Long Covid SOS said this rate is higher than estimates by the Office for National Statistics. The GP survey showed that the vast majority (84.9 per cent) of patients who responded to the survey in Doncaster said they did not have long Covid symptoms, but 8.7 per cent said they were unsure and 0.9 per cent preferred not to answer.

The Royal College of GPs said post-Covid syndrome is still a relatively new condition, but the prolonged health effects that some experience can have a terrible impact on their lives.

Professor Martin Marshall, chairman of the RCGP, said more resources are needed, including good access to appropriate rehabilitation services in the local community, and more staff working in general practice.

He is calling on the Government to address the "intense workforce shortages" and help deliver care to the increasing number of patients with long Covid.

The Department of Health and Social Care said more than £50 million has gone to help scientists understand the virus's long-term debilitating effects, while the NHS has committed £224 million to support people with ongoing symptoms.

A spokesman added: “The best way to protect yourself from Covid is by getting the vaccine, and our world-leading programme has delivered over 150 million jabs.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Dominic Brown, editor.