Leeds Community Healthcare Trust has developed a long Covid service, which includes an app.

The trust was quick to respond to the need to research and develop methods for tackling long Covid. Working in partnership with the University of Leeds and with £3.4million funding from the National Institute for Health Research, it initially set up a temporary long Covid service, early on in the pandemic. The service was supported by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds GP Confederation and, from the start, it used research to inform its practice.

The project included working alongside Elaros, to develop the world’s first tool for measuring, monitoring and managing long Covid.

Patients can download the C19YRS app to their mobile device to help self-manage their symptoms and also to provide data to their health professionals. 

Rachel Tarrant, specialist respiratory physiotherapist and clinical pathway co-ordinator for the service said: “Long covid has the potential to deepen health inequalities and is having a disproportionate impact on people with existing health conditions and from lower income backgrounds. The tool has helped us understand and prioritise what kind of help people need.”

The app has since been rolled out to other patients at over 25 other NHS trusts.

As well as running the service the Leeds team is keen to share what they’ve learned with other healthcare settings. They are currently working with the voluntary sector in a bid to set up peer support hubs close to residential areas.

Their work is also feeding into national and international learning via NHS England and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The service’s long covid rehabilitation booklet is now being used around the world after it was adopted by the WHO.