Funding boost to open long COVID services up to people with other long term conditions.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan has today announced increased funding to widen access to Wales’ long-Covid services, including for people experiencing other long-term conditions.
Annual funding will increase to £8.3 million for Adferiad (Recovery) services. The community based rehabilitation services will continue to and support people with long COVID but they will also be expanded to people with other long term conditions whose rehabilitation and recovery are similar- for example, people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia and other post-viral associated conditions.
The funding will also continue to support the self-management COVID recovery app and the All-Wales guideline for the management of long COVID.
Adferiad (Recovery) Services provide diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and care for people experiencing long-term effects of COVID-19. They have been designed to respond to the particular needs of each individual whilst providing care as close to home as possible. People are supported by multi-professional teams including psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nurses. If more specialist care is needed, people can be referred for further help and support.
Since the launch of the Adferiad programme in 2021, more than £10 million has been invested to support the development of these community based integrated multi-professional rehabilitation services and recovery services in all health board areas. It has also helped to develop workforce skills and expertise.
The latest review of the programme provides further assurance that Adferiad services continue to meet the needs of people who are accessing them. Most people reported an improved quality of life, and a positive experience of the services they received.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said:
“Investing in Adferiad services to support people suffering from the long-term effects of Covid-19 infection has been and remains a priority. We have a valuable community asset as a result of developing these services, which we must continue to nurture and and capitalise on this.
“We know many people with other, long term conditions have reported feeling ‘misunderstood’ and ‘invisible’. I hope by widening access to Adferiad (Recovery) serviceswe can better support people with conditions such as ME/CFS and fibromyalgia to get a diagnosis, manage their symptoms and access rehabilitation services, which are vital in helping improve physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“I am committed to expanding capacity in our community and primary care services. This recurrent investment, which complements other funding to expand primary and community care capacity provided to the NHS, local authorities and Regional Partnership Boards supports our ambition to improve access to health professionals and further develop community care services.”
Claire Madsen, Executive Director of Therapies and Health Science at Powys Teaching Health Board said:
“We are delighted to receive the recurrent funding, as it will allow us to recruit substantively to posts, give staff job security and now go on to establish multidisciplinary, holistic services for a wide range of people with challenging conditions, which include ME and CFS, as well as long covid.
Many people with these conditions feel that their health needs have been unmet over the years, and this will allow us to reassure them that there will be services developed, in the communities, closer to their homes that will be able to support them to manage their individual conditions.”
Notes to editors
The Welsh Government is committed to reviewing the Adferiad programme every six months.
As we have learned more about long-Covid, it has become apparent that some of the most common symptoms are the same or similar to other conditions, such as ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, and other post viral conditions.
Adferiad services will continue to be accessible via a GP or primary care professionals and, in some areas, via self-referral.