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COVID-19 and Long COVID

Covid food

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a colossal impact on the health of the public in Northern Ireland and consequently on the public services including the health and social care sector.

To date the NI Executive response has focused on tackling the immediate problems posed by the pandemic and Department of Health has focused on the hospital treatment of those affected and the vaccination of the public.

Surveys suggest that the number of people in Northern Ireland experiencing Long COVID symptoms is between 20,000 and 40,000. NICHS established the first community support service in Northern Ireland for people recovering from COVID-19 in July 2020 as a pilot. However, we believe a focus is now required from the Health Service on the assessment and support of these people.

We are campaigning for:

  • A comprehensive assessment and support service to be put in place.
  • for physical, cognitive, psychological and psychiatric assessments and consistent services for people with post-COVID syndrome (‘Long COVID’) to be put in place.
  • clear pathways to ensure referral into appropriate services eg. rehabilitation, psychological support, specialist investigation or treatment, or to social care support services or the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

Read our COVID-19 Policy Paper.