Last reviewed 15 July 2020

An online rehabilitation service for Covid-19 survivors has been launched, to help the many thousands of people who are experiencing long-term effects of the virus.

NHS England said the service, "Your COVID Recovery", can be signposted by GPs and, in the first instance, people will be given access to a face-to-face consultation with their local rehabilitation team typically comprising physiotherapists, nurses and mental health specialists.

After an initial assessment, those who need it will be offered a personalised package of online-based after-care, lasting up to 12 weeks.

After-care will be made available later this summer. This could involve access to a survivors’ community; exercise tutorials with a focus on improving lung function and muscle strength; and mental health support.

The mental health support may be delivered by a psychologist within an online hub, or via referral into NHS mental health services, together with information on what to expect after contracting coronavirus.

The service is based on a major study into the long-term physical and mental health impact of Covid-19, in order to evaluate which rehabilitation services will need to be put in place. The study, which is backed by £8.4 million Government funding and includes 10,000 patients who have survived Covid-19 and been discharged from hospital, is looking at the impacts of the illness on mental health, and the influence of gender and ethnicity on recovery in order to develop strategies for the long-term care of patients.

The work, which is supported by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), was led by the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

More information about the rehabilitation service is available from NHS England at https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/07/nhs-to-launch-ground-breaking-online-covid-19-rehab-service/