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New specialist service for children with long Covid

Addenbrooke's Hospital is heading up a new regional service for children suffering with long Covid.

It is part of a £100m expansion of care for those suffering from the condition, with 15 new paediatric hubs being set up across England. 

Dr Kate Armon, a paediatric rheumatologist at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) said:

"Thankfully long Covid is rare in this age group, however for some it can have a devastating impact on their lives."

Dr Kate Armon
Dr Kate Armon, paediatric rheumatologist at CUH

Our team will be able to provide assessment as well as directing those who need it towards further specialist care.

The hubs will bring together expert clinical teams, including paediatricians, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists.

The teams will offer specialist advice to family doctors, community nurses and others seeing Covid patients aged up to 18, so that they can get the help they need closer to home.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, said:

“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.”

One of the major health challenges emerging from the pandemic is Long Covid

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive

What is long Covid?

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

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

While the majority of children and young people are not severely affected by Covid, ONS data has shown that 7.4% of children aged 2-11 and 8.2% of those aged 12-16 report continued symptoms. 

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.