Publish date: 22 November 2022

More than 290 children and teenagers suffering with long COVID-19 are receiving help from a pioneering post-COVID service, the first of its kind in the UK jointly led by UCLH, Evelina London Children’s Hospital and Imperial NHS Foundation Trust, with clinical services at UCLH and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. 

One patient using the service had been suffering for months. Her mother explained that she caught COVID-19 as she started the school year. She was extremely tired and unable to get out of bed, which was unusual as she was an active teenager who enjoys sport. After a few weeks when her symptoms didn’t get any better, they started to worry that she might have long COVID.  She used to love taking part in sports but she was suddenly unable to even walk to the bottom of the garden without help. 

Thanks to the pan-London Post-COVID service, she has been able to return to school full time after receiving tailored multidisciplinary input to help build her strength back up; support with breathing exercises; personalised advice on sleep and diet; and psychological support on how to cope with the effects of her illness, and during recovery. 

The service, that launched in 2021, holds a weekly virtual multidisciplinary team (MDT) meeting to review patients who are referred into the service by a NHS service.  Dr Terry Segal, UCLH paediatric and adolescent consultant and chair of the MDT, said: “Patients are presented by their paediatrician or GP. We review their assessment and input and consider what additional tests or treatment should be recommended to best benefit patients. We offer ongoing support to local healthcare teams delivering treatment. Children and young people with the most severe symptoms are seen at the multidisciplinary clinic at either UCLH or Evelina for specialist holistic assessment and support.” 

The team also provide schools with ongoing support around adapting lessons and activities for children and young people with ongoing symptoms. Additionally, they offer training and advice to local healthcare providers around raising awareness of the different symptoms of long COVID and treatment options. 

The work of the team was featured on a Channel 4 News piece on the evening news last night

For more information about referrals into the post-COVID-19 assessment service, please visit: