Covid patients helped to recover with extra therapy and app - Barts Charity

Covid-19 app to aid recovery

Our funding will enable patients to access extra help when they need it.

  • Date: July 21, 2021

Helping people to recover from Covid-19

We’re giving a £337,000 package of funding to help people who have been ill with Covid-19 to recover from the virus.

Patients across Barts Health NHS Trust who have been in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) will soon be able to access additional therapy from psychologists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.

These extra therapies will be available from September 2021 in the post-ICU clinics at St Bartholomew’s, The Royal London, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals, helping the clinics to cope with the huge backlog of patients created by the pandemic.

The funding will also provide therapists to work alongside core medical staff in Covid-19 respiratory follow-up clinics, providing physiotherapy, psychology and a lung function physiologist.

Covid-19 symptoms app

Meeting additional need

Anthony Bastin, Consultant in Critical Care and the lead for critical care follow-up at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, said:

“Many hundreds of patients have required intensive care at Barts Health NHS Trust during the Covid-19 pandemic, and a significant number have needed prolonged rehabilitation and support following ICU and hospital discharge.

“This generous grant from Barts Charity will help our critical care follow-up services meet the increased demand for supporting patients and their families in their physical and psychological recovery, by funding additional specialist expertise from occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychologists.

This will not only support patients following Covid critical illness, but also those survivors of non-Covid critical illness, at a time when existing hospital and community services are under enormous strain”.

This will not only support patients following Covid critical illness, but also those survivors of non-Covid critical illness.
Anthony Bastin, Consultant in Critical Care at St Bartholomew's Hospital

Benefitting more patients

A proportion of the grant will also go towards helping patients with long Covid to manage their symptoms remotely. Through the ‘Living With Covid’ app, clinicians are currently supporting more than 230 patients. This funding will help to develop the app further so that more patients can benefit. The app is to be translated into Bengali, Urdu, and Polish.
Consultant Chest Physician Dr Will Ricketts says:
“We have had great feedback so far from our patients who love the Living With Covid Recovery App, but we remain concerned about the impact of the digital divide especially in our local populations.

“This generous grant from Barts Charity will allow us to adapt the app for non-English speakers, as well as enabling patients without direct access to a smartphone or tablet to add a friend or relative to be their proxy, meaning that even more of our patients will be able to benefit.”

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