Long Covid Sufferers Want Answers

Long Covid Sufferers have written an open letter to Health Minister Lawrie Hooper to ask why healthcare provision for post-viral illnesses is still not satisfactory.

They hopefully won’t have long to wait for a response as there are two separate questions relating to Long Covid on tomorrow’s Tynwald question paper.

Members of this ever-growing subset of society claim that Long Covid has been overlooked and this part of our island’s pandemic response requires urgent attention. They claim Long Covid is ‘Our island’s Covid Response Blindspot’.

Alice Quayle, representative of support group ‘Covid Recovery Isle of Man’ explained: ‘Manx Care have promised a combined ME / CFS and Long Covid service that would cater to the overlapping requirements of both illnesses. Feedback from our Island’s Long Covid sufferers indicates that the quality of advice provided by GPs is hit and miss and the support service is inadequate and unavailable to some. Manx Care’s failure to properly support their GPs is inexcusable.’

Cat Haxby, of ‘Manx Long Covid Children’, says the ‘lack of support for children is completely heart-
breaking’.

Other concerns raised in the letter include: no meaningful improvements to the clinical pathways, insufficient training for GPs regarding Long Covid, lack of involvement from medics with Long Covid experience in the UK, absence of a public awareness campaign and insufficient funding.

Craig Morris, Vice-President of ME Support Isle of Man suggests that issues with Long Covid
healthcare were ‘sadly predictable’. Craig explained: ‘Those familiar with post viral fatigue felt it
was inevitable that the coronavirus pandemic would trigger a new wave of patients with long lasting,
debilitating fatigue. The issues experienced by long covid sufferers are the same that have harmed
countless local ME sufferers for decades and unfortunately our Island’s health service was ill-
equipped to handle these sorts of conditions. Previous Health Ministers and the DHSC had been
repeatedly warned about the shortcomings in this area of healthcare, but for years these warnings
have not been heeded by the DHSC, causing people with ME and now long Covid to suffer
needlessly.’

The full letter, on behalf of the Long Covid Support Groups has been released for the public to view
and the issues are explained in more detail here.

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