South East London Long Covid Programme

The South East London Long COVID Programme is a two-year programme funded by NHS Charities Together and Guy’s & St Thomas’ Charity and is hosted by Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. It aims to accelerate the recovery of people with Long COVID across the six boroughs of South East London. The programme has been trying to find optimal ways to help long Covid patients and to address inequities in awareness and access to services in some of the area’s diverse communities.

Working closely with an advisory group of patients drawn from across the boroughs, we have co-created a series of short films to raise awareness of ongoing symptoms after a viral illness and to promote evidence based self-management strategies to support recovery. The films have been made in English, Portuguese and Spanish (the three most prevalent spoken languages in Lambeth and Southwark). A free to access e-learning course based on the films is available to anyone working in a health and care setting and the films themselves are available on the Guy’s and St Thomas’ YouTube channel in all three languages.

The next stage, led by patient feedback, is to develop a peer support programme to reduce the isolation many long Covid patients experience. This aims to change the narrative around management of the condition to enable patients to view themselves as experts in their own condition and to share this expertise with others to build a sustainable, long term network of support in the community.