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BPS plays key role in Your Covid Recovery programme to support people recovering from severe Covid-19

05 November 2020

The BPS has brought together psychologists from across the profession to develop the psychological elements of the NHS England Covid-19 recovery programme.

NHS England has today announced the phased-roll out of the next stage of the Your Covid Recovery programme, a key element of a five-part package of measures to boost NHS support for long Covid patients.

The digital, interactive and tailored recovery programme has been developed by experts, including the BPS, to provide rehabilitation support for post-Covid patients to manage their recovery at home.

It will enable patients to set goals for their psychological and physical wellbeing and allow them to be monitored by, and communicate with, their local rehabilitation teams to ensure that they are on track with their care. 

In July the first phase of the programme, the public-facing Your Covid Recovery website, was launched, which has already been visited more than 200,000 times.

The phased rollout of the second phase announced by NHS England today will provide more in-depth help for patients in need of greater support from their local health services. 

As a member of the core multidisciplinary group created by NHS England to design and build the Your Covid Recovery programme, the BPS has played a central role in its development from the outset, alongside other professional bodies.

The mental health elements of the programme, led by BPS vice-president Professor David Murphy, builds on the work of the society’s Covid-19 working group, which in early April developed guidance on meeting the needs of people recovering from severe Covid-19.

The multidisciplinary clinical team behind Your Covid Recovery includes volunteers from a broad range of health professions, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians, a general practitioner, a neurologist and psychologists. 

Crucially, the programme has been developed in collaboration with patients, relatives and patient organisations, including LongCovidSOS and the LongCovid Support group, as well as charities including ICU Steps and the Sepsis Trust. 

Professor David Murphy said:

“Covid-19 is a multi-system disease which can have serious, persistent, and disabling physical and psychological consequences for those affected, and their families.

The nature of the condition, and the challenges in accessing healthcare during the pandemic, has meant that people recovering from the virus have thus far often found it difficult to get appropriate care, and received fragmented input from different health professionals in different services. 

I think that by coming together, and working collaboratively as a truly multidisciplinary group to develop the Your Covid Recovery programme, the team has made a really major contribution to patients and their families being able to receive accessible and integrated rehabilitation to support their physical and psychological recovery.”

Over a dozen psychologists from across the Society contributed to the development of the programme content, including clinical psychologists, health psychologists and clinical neuropsychologists from a range of specialties, including critical care, pulmonary rehabilitation, post-traumatic stress, neurological rehabilitation, pain management and chronic fatigue management.

Professor David Murphy continued: 

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the psychologists who have generously contributed their knowledge and expertise to the development of this important rehabilitation programme.

There is huge strength in professionals with different specialisms joining up to achieve a common goal.

The level of collaboration within the psychology profession to support this project, and the society’s response to the Covid-19 crisis overall, has been truly inspiring.”

From 31 October 2020, the Your Covid Recovery rehabilitation platform will be available for NHS services in England to register as a service and access the training required to refer patients into the programme.

This is the start of phased rollout for patient referrals.

A training pack on the referral process is available, with the option of a two hour virtual training session.

Services can register and request access the training via [email protected]

Visit the NHS England and NHS Improvement website for guidance on accessing and referring into the programme.

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