According to a recent ONS survey, an estimated 1.3 million people are currently suffering from Long COVID symptoms, with many being forced out of work as a result and others failing to get the support they need.
Referral is often slow and hampered by capacity and poor diagnosis issues. But one thing is certain, if we don’t address these problems now and offer the right support, rehabilitation, flexibility and work-place adaptations, even more sufferers will find themselves out of the job market.
This year’s Health and Wellbeing at Work conference will be profiling examples of best practice in enabling employees with Long COVID to return to full functionality and work.
Evaluating the UK’s Largest Long COVID Clinic for NHS Staff
Dr Ali Hashtroudi has been running Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust’s clinic for NHS staff for just over a year now so is well placed to share his experience and lessons learned. His evaluation shows that staff have been presenting with primary symptoms, fatigue being the most prevalent followed by MSK pain, as well as secondary symptoms including in the main breathlessness, followed by cognitive impairment, neurological and ENT. He considers risk factors including gender, increasing age, severity of initial COVID, comorbidity, obesity and ethnicity. He will also discuss treatment strategies and long-term prognosis for staff.
Evaluation of a Long COVID Clinic for NHS Staff – Tuesday 15 March
Understanding the Legal Perspective
The emergence of Long COVID and its impact on employment law and policies presents many challenges for employers. Partner at Browne Jacobson LLP Helen Badger advises on how best to reduce risk in managing Long COVID related sickness absence.
Working with OH colleagues, HR should formulate a strategy for dealing with all aspects of Long COVID, including early retirement, as well as re-evaluating the support, flexibility and adaptations in place for employees to ensure an effective return to work.
Long COVID, Work and Early Retirement – Tuesday 15 March
Best Practice in Returning to Work
Over the past two years, The Association for Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE) have created new guidelines to support clinicians, employers and employees in the management of Long COVID. Paul Shawcross and Rob Kelly use case studies to demonstrate how rehabilitation from Long COVID can best support return to work and how return to work plans can support recovery. They discuss the optimum physical, cognitive and emotional energy required for rehabilitation as well as the need for a compassionate, person-led and shared decision-making approach. There is a definite need for regular communication, adjustments and flexibility within plans, particularly for the varied symptoms associated with Long COVID.
Returning to Work with Long COVID – Best Practice and Case Studies – Tuesday 15 March
Profiling a Long COVID Rehab Service
Occupational Health Physiotherapist at Nordic Rehab, Lasse Flosand profiles an innovative Long COVID rehabilitation service within a manufacturing environment. He explains how employees are case managed and how clinical reasoning is used to ensure a speedy return to work. He also takes a look at effective work adjustments, report writing and time frames.
Supporting Employees with Long COVID – Tuesday 15 March
Managing Sleep and Long COVID
linical Director at Sleep Unlimited Dr David Lee discusses the impact that Long COVID can have on both sleep and activities of daily living. Using simple, evidence-based NICE recommended interventions, he explains how employees can better manage their symptoms on the road to recovery.
Managing the Symptoms of Long COVID – Why Sleep is Crucial – Tuesday 15 March