COVID-19 support – Live Well Centre

A unique project by:

COVID-19 support

Recovering from COVID-19

Contracting COVID-19 is a distressing experience that affects people differently, meaning you may have different care and wellbeing needs to others.

Although most people who have a mild case of COVID-19 recover quickly, around one in ten patients will report prolonged symptoms that can last for several weeks or even months. These symptoms can include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Loss of sense of taste and smell
  • Rashes
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Low mood / anxiety

Post-COVID Syndrome

If your symptoms continue for more than 12 weeks and are not explained by an alternative diagnosis, you might be required to have further assessments or tests. You may also require a follow-up appointment in specialist clinics, particularly if you have required a hospital stay as a result of contracting COVID-19.  Post-COVID-19 syndrome usually presents with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which can fluctuate and change over time and can affect any system in the body. 

What can I do to manage my recovery?

There are various things you can do to aid your recovery from COVID-19. Nurse Specialist Claire Adams, the Respiratory Clinical Lead for Tees Valley CCG, explains these in the video below:

 

Lots of self-help guidance is available online, including the NHS Your COVID Recovery website, which contains information on managing the effects of COVID-19, your wellbeing, and your road to recovery.

The NHS Eat Well website also provides useful tips on eating a balanced diet, which will help you recover. Avoiding junk food, caffeine and alcohol will also help.

Quitting smoking will also have a positive impact on your recovery, and is one of the single most important things you can do to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Support with quitting smoking is available on the NHS Better Health website, and to find details of local services that can help you quit visit NHS Smokefree.

Tees Valley CCG with local partners have developed a selection of patient information leaflets to help you manage and pace your recovery:

Getting back to work after a COVID-19 infection

After the stresses – both physical and psychological – of suffering a COVID-19 infection and/or Long-COVID, it can be tough to get back to work. You may still be struggling with day-to-day activities but need to work for financial or social reasons. With COVID-19, it is best to stay off work until you are well enough, but with the right support, it may be possible to return on a phased or partial basis as part of your recovery if you feel fit enough for some duties.

Occupational Health Professionals and the Trade Union Congress have produced a helpful guide for workers (and employers) on how to manage absence and get back to work after COVID-19 infection and Long-COVID. Read their returning to work guide here.

When to seek further support

If you are concerned that your symptoms are deteriorating, and have viewed the self-help guidance available online, you should seek medical advice. There are several ways you can do this:

  • Contact your GP: Due to the ongoing pandemic, GPs will offer a telephone consultation first, but if during the call, they feel that you need to attend a face-to-face appointment, they will arrange this.
  • NHS 111 Service: Call 111 to speak to an adviser, or fill out the NHS 111 webform.

If you (together with your GP) feel that your symptoms are persisting, there are secondary care teams across the Tees Valley who are able to help – your GP will be able to refer you to these.

If you begin to develop symptoms such as worsening shortness of breath, new chest pain, confusion or weakness of a limb or your face, you must seek urgent medical attention by calling 999.

Support available in the Tees Valley

  • Tees Active Post-COVID programme: This service is available in Stockton-on-Tees and aims to support people with less severe post-COVID symptoms who would benefit from increasing their physical activity levels. The pathway into this service is through a referral from a GP or hospital post-COVID clinic. You can find out more about the programme by visiting the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council website.
  • Project Restart long COVID rehabilitation and prevention programme: This programme can be accessed by people in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland and offers a 12-week wellbeing programme delivered by Middlesbrough Council and South Tees Public Health. To access the service, you can complete a medical questionnaire or be referred by a social prescriber or health professional. Full information is available on the Live Well Centre website.
  • North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust Long-COVID clinics: Patients who are living with long-term effects of COVID-19 in Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees can be helped by special clinics that offer comprehensive assessment and support for symptoms. GPs and other health professionals can refer into the service using an established pathway. Visit the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust website to find out more.
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Long-COVID service: Patients in Darlington who continue to have symptoms of COVID-19 for longer than 12 weeks can be referred to this service by their GP. It consists of a multidisciplinary team with specialist doctors/consultants, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychological therapists and Wellbeing for Life staff. More information is available on the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust website.
  • South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Long-COVID clinics: Patients in Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland can ask to be referred by their GP or secondary care health professional into a Long-COVID clinic, which aims to help people who are experiencing long-term coronavirus symptoms. the clinic brings together doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and psychologists and appointments take place at Redcar Primary Care Hospital. Visit the South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust website to find out more.

The NHS offers treatments to people with coronavirus (COVID-19) who are at the highest risk of becoming seriously ill. The treatments can help some people manage their COVID-19 symptoms and reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill. The medicines do not replace the COVID vaccine so it’s really important to still get vaccinated. To find out more about COVID treatments and whether you may be eligible, click here.

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to ensure you receive your vaccination as soon as the NHS contacts you, even if you have already had the virus, because we don’t yet know how long natural immunity lasts, and there have been cases where people have had COVID-19 more than once.

When you are contacted by the NHS to book your vaccine appointment, you may find that you are asked to attend your appointment at a Mass Vaccination Centre. Please be assured that if you do not wish to travel to a Mass Vaccination Centre, you can opt to wait for an invitation from your GP.

There are lots of rumours about COVID-19 vaccinations which might deter you from attending your appointments, but please be assured that vaccinations are safe, and any side effects that you might experience will be minor compared to the effects of the virus itself. For a list of common misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccines, please read this helpful article on our website.

Please be aware that having the vaccine does not mean you will no longer transmit the virus to others. For more information on when you will be eligible to receive the vaccine, and other frequently asked questions, visit our FAQ section.


Covid Champion

What is Covid Champion?

COVID-19, and the measures taken in response to the pandemic, continue to impact all of us in Middlesbrough.

Our COVID-19 Champions Network is being established to empower and support Middlesbrough residents to stay up to date with the latest advice about COVID-19through trusted sources, to dispel myths and avoid confusion. Covid Champions help their family, friends and the wider community make sense of the latest advice and information about COVID-19, to help ensure we all stay safe and alert to the risks of the virus.

As a champion, you will receive regular updates on COVID-19 from the Council – we will use text message, WhatsApp, email and some live webinars depending on how you prefer to keep in touch with us.  You can then share information across your networks, in whatever format you like, and you can contact us for clarity on any queries or concerns in your community.

Becoming a Covid champion is about helping to get the right information into your community to keep yourself, your family and community safe.  Our Covid Champions are a valuable asset to us all.

How do I become a Covid Champion?

Anyone over the age of 18 can become a Covid Champion and the process to join is easy:

  • You sign up to be a champion by emailing us on covidchampions@middlesbrough.gov.uk, and asking for a signing up form or you can download one here. You can also sign up through our Council website.
  • We will add you to our Network and give you the latest information about COVID-19 in your preferred way of receiving information
  • Champions then share this information with anyone in their community, their home, their work, their family however they want.
  • Champions encourage the use of all safety measures, ie “Hands, Face, Space” and the use of Test & Trace systems
  • Champions will be able to ask us questions on behalf of their communities to dispel myths and get the facts
  • Champions let us know what is and isn’t working so we can do it better.

Information will be available in a variety of languages.

What Training will I need to be a Covid Champion ?

It is important that you are aware of the latest advice around COVID-19 and any local restrictions in Middlesbrough, so we will keep you up to date in real time as we get information through.  We will also require you to complete some basic on-line learning so that you fully understand the Test & Trace system and how to Make Every Contact Count (MECC).  It is important that you complete these two training courses, but they will each only take an hour or so of your time to complete online and you can raise any questions with us if you have any.

It is important that you fully understand all information given to you to enable you to pass on the correct messages to your communities and we will be available to help you with that.

If you have any queries regarding the role please contact us.

Katrina Jackson

Advanced Public Health Practitioner

covidchampions@middlesbrough.gov.uk


Restart Programme

The Project Restart long COVID rehabilitation and prevention programme is a unique, 12-week wellbeing programme from Middlesbrough Council and South Tees Public Health.

It’s specially designed for people who are still suffering the after-effects of coronavirus (COVID-19), even if it’s a long time since they had the virus. This is often known as ‘long COVID‘.

These after-effects can include:

  • chronic fatigue (extreme tiredness)
  • breathlessness
  • aching muscles
  • brain fog (for example, difficulty thinking, staying focussed, or remembering things)

The programme is also for people who might be at higher risk of getting coronavirus, and who might not recover as well. This includes people with:

  • a BMI over 40
  • diabetes
  • coronary heart disease
  • limited mobility

How will I be supported?

On day one, you’ll be met by our specialist team. They’ll help you with any concerns you have following lockdown.

If you need extra help, they can also find the right service to support you. This might include help with:

  • employment or money
  • addiction
  • quitting smoking
  • exercise and/or wellbeing
  • LGBTQIA issues
  • sexual health

At the first face-to-face session:

  1. We’ll do a full assessment of your health, so we know where you’re starting from. We’ll let you know how to access the online materials, as well as giving coaching tips on the practical session.
  2. We’ll give you a tailored exercise programme. This can either be accessed online, or we can give you a hard copy of the session.

Your assigned mentor will call you for regular support and to review your progress every week. They’ll talk to you about the best way to increase your daily activity levels, and also discuss any concerns or problems you have.

Remember, physical activity does not have to mean going to the gym – there’s lots you can do at home, in the garden, or on the beach!

Do I have to come in to the Live Well Centre to take part?

Ideally sessions number 1, 6, and 12, as well as potentially session number 8, should be completed face-to-face. We have late-night sessions if you’re at work or have other commitments during the day.

If you’re worried or you cannot attend the face-to-face sessions, you can complete the programme remotely (online), as long as you have a way of getting online. We can also teach you how to find the online content.

Is this just another exercise programme?

No. The exercises have been chosen with ‘long COVID’ recovery in mind. The programme includes chest-opening exercises which focus on breathing, and a range of movement to improve respiration (breathing). It also includes regular checks on your progress. Our staff are experienced at running these kind of programmes, as well as SMART goal setting.

Will I have to pay?

No, the sessions during the 12-week period are free of charge. You’ll also be able to take part in a range of other sessions, like tai chi, pilates, and chair-based and aerobic-based exercise sessions.

Who can participate?

The programme is for people recovering from coronavirus who may have ongoing ‘long COVID’ symptoms like chronic fatigue (extreme tiredness) and breathlessness. It’s also for people who are at higher risk of getting coronavirus, and who have conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and a BMI of over 40.

Currently, people who are classed as ‘clinically vulnerable‘ may not be able to take part in this programme. Those who are not classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’ can take part.

Can I refer somebody else to the programme?

Yes. If you’re a social prescriber or a health professional, please choose this option on the application form.

How do I get started?

First, you’ll need to fill in the coronavirus-specific questionnaire and medical questionnaire (DOCX). You’ll need to get it back to us, either by:

  • emailing the form to livewellcentre@middlesbrough.gov.uk
  • dropping the form off at the Live Well Centre (inside Dundas Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 1HR)
  • sending the form by post to: Live Well Centre, Dundas House, Dundas Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough, TS1 1HR

If you’re struggling with filling in the form, you can call us on 01642 727580 and ask to speak to someone from the Restart Team, who will help you to fill in the form over the phone.

We’ll use the information in your form to decide whether you can take part in the programme. Once we’ve got your form, a member of the Restart Team will contact you within 5 working days to discuss what happens next.

Extra resources

Fitsteps

Tai Chi

SOSA dance fitness

Val and Imran’s functional exercises

Our partnerships

Sensory Support

Versus Arthritis

Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind

NDPP ‘Am I at risk of Type 2 Diabetes?’ assessment tool and resources

Data protection

All your information will be kept strictly confidential and we will not share it with anyone without asking your permission first. For more information about how Middlesbrough Council collects, uses, and stores your information, visit the data protection page on the Middlesbrough Council website.

Middlesbrough skyline graphic