The local NHS in Essex is working with local community health leaders to identify and assess the effects of ‘long Covid’ by offering a mobile clinic specialising in spirometry (breath testing) and health checks.
Drop-in sessions will be available in the afternoons to talk to people about how to recognise long covid and offer health promotion, blood pressure checks and spirometry if it is suspected the person may have a lung condition.
Appointments will be offered at Kings Park, Canvey on Monday 28 March, from 12.30pm – 4pm
Spirometry is a diagnostic test for lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other respiratory diseases. Patients breathe into the device, which measures their lung capacity.
The mobile clinic will allow NHS clinicians and health workers to offer a ‘one-stop-shop-service’ to assist residents in the county that may have mobility issues, language barriers or live in more rural areas of the town.
The clinic comes just months after the pilot launch of the Essex Vax Van, which helped the NHS administer vaccines to minority groups and rural communities. It incentivised hundreds of people to take up first-time vaccinations. With feedback from patients praising the “easy” and “convenient” service.
“Building on the success of the Essex Vax Van, we are launching a similar outreach model to help reach under-served groups to make sure they get the right care for breathlessness linked to long Covid.
Many people are reporting ongoing breathing difficulties. With a decline in spirometry testing during the pandemic, the diagnosis of conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is estimated to have fallen by half in the past year, tens of thousands of people across the country could be living with the serious condition without knowing.
In the same way that Covid-19 posed a greater threat to certain communities, we need to get out and find those most at risk and make sure people have the knowledge, care and treatment they need to avoid serious life limiting illness.”Dr Sharon Hadley, Clinical Lead at Mid and South Essex Health and Care Partnership
Find out more about the Bespoke Mobile Clinic Transit Van can help access long covid patients here.