What is Long Covid? 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-19.

In the UK, it is estimated that one in five people will exhibit Covid-19 symptoms for five weeks or longer after infection with coronavirus. One in ten people will exhibit symptoms for 12 weeks or longer and may therefore experience long term effects of coronavirus (Long Covid or Post Covid Syndrome).

Many people feel better in a few days or weeks and most will make a full recovery within 12 weeks. But for some people, symptoms can last longer.

There are lots of symptoms you can have after a Covid-19 infection. Common Long Covid symptoms include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • heart palpitations
  • dizziness
  • pins and needles
  • joint pain
  • depression and anxiety
  • tinnitus, earaches
  • feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
  • a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
  • rashes

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms above? Or if you are not sure about your symptoms, have a chat with one of our Keeping Well practitioners. We can also give you guidance on where to go for more help.

We have created a video to help managers better support staff suffering with Long Covid. Through the perspectives of those with lived experience, as well as experts in the field, it is hoped that managers will have a better understanding of what it is like to live with the condition, as well as what can help in the workplace. The short video shares insights from NHS staff and what it is like to live with Long Covid.

We are running two different groups on offer to support NHS and care staff in North West London.

  • Peer support group for North West London staff
  • Mindfulness group for staff with Long Covid

Staff can also access Long Covid CBT support to learn of psychological techniques to manage the emotional impact of Long Covid via the Talking Therapies services. We can arrange for a referral to be made to these services upon you referring to our service.

Join a free Long Covid support group here.

The recovery time is different for everyone. The length of your recovery is not necessarily related to the severity of your initial illness or whether you were in hospital. If new or ongoing symptoms do occur and they are causing you concern, you should always seek medical advice and support.

Breathing techniques

Physiotherapy for Breathing Pattern Disorders has produced two useful information leaflets on how to breathe through your nose and good breathing whilst recovering from Long Covid. 

Daily activities

Modify daily activities to help find the balance between rest and action and subsequently help reduce symptoms. Examples include: breaking tasks up into smaller tasks throughout the day, planning rest breaks and using specially adapted equipment. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists have tips and information which can be found here.

Heart rate monitoring

Wearing a heart rate monitor to help pace more accurately. Advice suggests using resting heart rate as a benchmark and aim to keep within 15 beats per minute of your resting heart rate.

Speak to your GP

Try and write down key points to help you explain your experience. 'Long Covid Support' provides a letter template to give to your GP to help get your symptoms across and get the help you need.

Speak to Occupational Health

Liaising with Occupational Health can help make your workplace aware of your condition and put in place any arrangements needed. You can also visit the NHS Employers website for further information.


Visit 'Your Covid Recovery' is an NHS website which provides free self-management for people recovering from Covid-19.

Leaflet: Post Covid-19 Recovery

Read and download this leaflet by Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust which contains information on how to manage ongoing physical symptoms, and where to find support to manage feelings of anxiety, low mood, or unpleasent memories since having Covid-19.

There is also an Easy Read version and the translated versions, which are in BengaliHindiSwahili and Somali, available to download.

Leaflet: Breathing techniques

Physiotherapy for Breathing Pattern Disorders has produced two useful information leaflets on how to breathe through your nose and good breathing whilst recovering from Long Covid. 

Information on Post Covid Syndrome by NHS North West London

This webpage provides information on Post Covid Syndrome (Long Covid), including how to access local services, frequently asked questions and case studies.

RCOT: How to manage post-viral fatigue after Covid-19

This webpage by Royal College of Therapists offers practical advice for people who have recovered at home.

Long Covid Support Charity

The Long Covid Support Charity was formed by a group of people struggling to recover from Covid-19. Their work spans three areas including peer support, advocacy and research involvement. The website contains lots of useful information and resources about Long Covid.

Below you can find guidance for employees to get back to work with ongoing symptoms following Covid-19 infection and Long Covid.

Read guidance by the Vocational Rehabilitation Association for workers on how to manage getting back to work after Covid-19 infection and Long Covid.
Key points include:

  • Staying in touch with your workplacevro1_sr0sbq.png
  • Talk to your manager about your difficulties early, don't wait until you have recovered
  • Return to work when you can
  • Take it step-by-step when you do return
  • Plan a 'flexible' return to work if possible
  • Reach out for additional help and support
  • The guidance also includes information on your rights as an employee

Supporting Occupational Health and Wellbeing Professionals (SOM) have released a detailed return to som-return-to-work-guidepng_sx5psr.pngwork guide for employees. Read and download the leaflet here.

Key points include:

  • Workers and employers working together
  • Returning to work
  • Examples of adjustments to work duties
  • How can occupational health services help you?
  • The overall employers responsibilities



Support for Doctors returning to work after time out of work

This resource funded by Health Education England provides a range of supports for Doctors who have taken an extended period of time out of work. This includes enhanced supervision, coaching and a number of other resources.

Below you can find guidance on how managers can support workers to get back to work with ongoing symptoms following Covid-19 infection and Long Covid.

The Royal College of Physicians (Faculty of Occupational Medicine) have developed guidance for fompng_1ca0s0n.pngemployers and managers on facilitating return to work for employees with Long Covid. You can read the full document here

The document includes information on:

  • General Occupational Health principles
  • Symptoms of Long Covid
  • Practical steps for managers and employers
  • Adjustments to work

Supporting Occupational Health and Wellbeing Professionals (SOM) have released guidance for Managers on supporting employees with Long Covid.som-covid-managerspng_1l2r87l.png Read and download the guidance leaflet here.

The leaflet provides information on:

  • What is the post-COVID experience?
  • Why are managers important in supporting return to work?
  • The importance of working together to find a solution
  • Examples of job modifications
Looking for more advice, tools and resources related to Covid-19?

Talk to us

We are here to help support you. Get in touch with us below by: