05 Jul 2021
Long Covid will be the hallmark of the pandemic and is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of patients for years to come. But because the disease is so new, we have very limited information about how to treat it. Some patients are currently discharged from hospital with no formal recovery plan, which can result in a longer recovery process and prolonged side effects.
So when I heard about the free 12-week specialist recovery programme from Nuffield Health, I wanted to learn more. In addition to physical rehabilitation, the programme includes topics such as coping with fatigue, managing breathlessness, anxiety, low mood, improving sleep and eating for recovery.
I chat with Dr Ben Kelly who leads the Clinical Research, Outcomes and Data Science functions within Nuffield Health. Alongside his Nuffield Health responsibilities, Ben has acted as Head of Interdisciplinary Medicine & Technology at the Medical Research Council, with his clinical expertise in cardiology. Paula Moore also joins us and is a business graduate and certified health and life coach, spending most of her career in senior retail management who personally recovered from chronic stress and fatigue 6 years ago.
We mention the term VO₂ max during the podcast a few times without defining it. Put simply, VO₂ max is the maximum rate of oxygen your body is able to use during exercise. The greater your VO₂ max, the more oxygen your body can consume, and the more effectively your body can use that oxygen to generate the maximum amount of ATP energy. Studies have shown that increasing your VO₂ max can help maintain your health and physical fitness well into your later years. This may have a role in recovery from Long Covid and mitigating symptoms such as fatigue and breathlessness.
You can find out everything you need to know about the free 12-week recovery programme for people affected by the long-term symptoms of COVID-19 from the notes below and on the Nuffield Health website that we’ve linked.
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Thanks so much again to Ben and Paula for coming onto the show and sharing their rehabilitation programme with us - Long COVID will definitely be with us for the long term and it's great to hear that they are providing these resources to support those who have been affected.
Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity, has launched a free 12-week recovery programme for people affected by the long-term symptoms of COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Rehabilitation Programme is being offered across 40 locations across the UK so far, with early indications showing the blend of physical therapy and emotional health support has led to positive benefits for reducing breathlessness and anxiety, increasing functional capacity and improving physical fitness.
Findings from @nuffield.health’s #HealthierNation Index found that around 3.65 million people across the country have struggled to exercise in the last 12 months due to ‘long COVID’.
You can read more about the programme on Nuffield Health’s website by clicking this link here.
Dr Ben Kelly:
Dr Ben Kelly leads the Clinical Research, Outcomes and Data Science functions within Nuffield Health, the UK’s largest healthcare charity. His work primarily focuses on whole systems approaches to the tailoring of interventions for the treatment of long-term conditions. Working closely with the NHS, Ben is specialist in designing and implementing new care models that are driven by both healthcare and fitness professionals; particularly focussing on primary and secondary prevention. Alongside his Nuffield Health responsibilities, Ben has acted as Head of Interdisciplinary Medicine & Technology at the Medical Research Council, with his clinical expertise sitting within the cardiac field.
Paula is a business graduate and certified health and life coach, spending most of her career in senior retail management. Paula joined Nuffield Health in 2018 in what has been her most rewarding role to date – driving social impact through the Charity’s flagship programmes. Paula acts as the connection between the central office and our specialists delivering interventions on the ground, contributing to people’s recoveries, quality of life and wider social benefit. Having personally recovered from chronic stress and fatigue, every day is a privilege for Paula knowing the work she does is positively changing lives.