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Post-COVID Assessment and Support Service (PCASS)

Although most people will recover following a COVID infection with time, some will continue to have symptoms lasting over 4 weeks, regardless of how unwell they were or whether they were hospitalised.

“Long COVID” is an informal term that is commonly used to describe signs and symptoms that continue or develop after an acute infection of COVID. Depending on how long you have ongoing symptoms for, it can be called one of 2 things:

  • Ongoing symptomatic COVID - This is where your symptoms continue for more than 4 weeks. If your symptoms last for longer than 12 weeks, it will then be called;
  • Post-COVID Syndrome - This is where your ongoing symptoms continue for longer than 12 weeks and cannot be explained by any other condition.

There is still uncertainty about the long-term effects of COVID infection, however we do know that Long COVID appears to be muti-system disease sometimes appearing after a relatively mild acute illness and the treatment requires a holistic, patient centred approach. Long COVID can present with clusters of symptoms, often overlapping, which can fluctuate and change over time and can affect any system in the body. It can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life.

The Post-COVID Assessment and Support Service (PCASS) team consists of Allied Health Professionals, Nurses, Clinical Psychologists, Medical Advisor, Care Coordinators and Therapy Assistants.  We aim to provide a holistic virtual assessment, first-line advice, education on self-management strategies, and access to appropriate resources.

We promote a personalised care approach, putting you at the centre of your care through shared decision-making at every stage of the pathway.

Inclusion criteria

  • Patients with ongoing difficulties following confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection
  • You must be medically stable with no acute symptoms and have received medical screening to rule out any other underlying causes of your symptoms
  • You must be able and willing to engage in the service
  • You must be registered to a GP surgery within Sussex
  • You may have been hospitalised with COVID-19 or you may have managed your acute illness in the community – either way you can get support from PCASS.

How to access the service

  • If you are concerned about any of your symptoms, contact your GP – they should offer you an initial consultation and provide access to any further assessments or care that they determine you need.
  • If your GP thinks that you might have Long COVID, they will take a medical history and ask you some questions. They may also examine you and arrange for tests to be undertaken.
  • After your assessment, your GP will talk to you about what they think is happening and discuss the support they think you need to help you get better. If appropriate, your GP will refer you to the Post COVID Assessment and Support Service.

My Long COVID Needs assessment tool

To help you understand your current Long COVID symptoms, your needs, what to do next and what help you can get, use the My Long COVID Needs assessment tool. It’s anonymous and takes approximately five to ten minutes to complete.

My Long COVID Needs is designed to help you when explaining your Long COVID symptoms to your GP. You might want to print out your answers after you've finished your assessment and take them with you to your GP appointment. Your GP will be able to read your results and advise you on what to do next. It could be helpful to share your results with other healthcare professionals treating you, or your employer too, so they can see what needs you have.

  • Service Location:
    • West Sussex
    • Brighton
    • Hove
    • High Weald, Lewes and Havens (HWLH)
  • How To Access:

    Health Professionals Referral Information:

    Patients will need a referral from their GP or other healthcare professional.

    Health professionals are encouraged to email our service with referrals and queries regarding patients who are reporting ongoing difficulties following confirmed, or probable, COVID-19 infection.

    Please refer your patient to the Post-COVID Assessment and Support Service by completing a copy of this form and emailing it to sc-tr.scftpostcovidassessment@nhs.net.

    If additional investigations are required, please provide the email address of patient's registered GP.

  • Contact Details:

    Email: sc-tr.scftpostcovidassessment@nhs.net

    Telephone: 07717 484399

    We're on Twitter - please follow us: SCFT Post-COVID Assessment and Support Service (@scft_pcass)

  • Opening Hours:

    Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

  • How to find us:

    We are currently a remote service offering virtual appointments via telephone and video calls. Our face-to-face appointments are limited but we try to accommodate patients' needs where we can. If you need an in-person assessment, please mention this when booking your assessment. 

    Contact us at the details above for more information.

  • More Information:

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Who are the PCASS team?

    We are a therapy led team, consisting of Allied Health Professionals, Nurses, Psychologists, Care Co-ordinators, and Therapy Assistants who aim to provide a holistic virtual assessment, first line advice, education on self-management strategies, and access to appropriate resources.

    How long will I have to wait for an assessment?

    We endeavour to see all patients within 6 weeks of referral; however, some patients may wait longer if vital clinical information or test results are missing on the referral form.

    What will happen at my initial assessment?

    All initial assessments are completed by registered healthcare professionals. They will provide a holistic assessment, to better understand your symptoms, issues, and ongoing needs. They will give you first-line advice and guidance on self-management strategies, and access to appropriate resources.  We promote a personalised care approach, putting patients at the centre of their care through shared decision-making at every stage of the pathway, so the Assessor will be guided by what is important to you.

    Where will my assessment take place?

    We are a remote service, so your initial assessment will take place over the phone or via video. However, we can arrange a face-to-face appointment if there is a clinical or accessibility need.

    How long is the initial assessment?

    The appointment will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes.  To enable you to talk freely, please make sure you are in a confidential space.  You may find it helpful to write a list of your main problems and concerns ahead of your appointment to use as a prompt during your assessment.

    What happens after my assessment?

    • Any identified resources to support you will be sent to you either by post or email with a copy of your Assessment Summary.
    • We may refer you to other teams to help enable your rehabilitation.
    • Based on your needs and personal priorities, you may be offered further support from the team (e.g., fatigue management, breathing retraining, psychological support or return to work input)
    • You will be offered two follow-up review appointments, 3 months and 6 months following your initial assessment.
    • You can contact the care coordinators on sc-tr.scftpostcovidassessment@nhs.net with any questions and queries.

    Useful resources:

    Visit www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk for national advice, resources, and support.

    Mental Health

    Managing Fatigue

    Managing Breathlessness

    Managing Cognition and Memory Difficulties

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