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Long Covid support projects to receive £3m

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf will confirm the funding on Thursday (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf will confirm the funding on Thursday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

A support fund of £3 million is set to go towards projects driving improvements in care and support for people with long Covid.

The funding will be confirmed by Health Secretary Humza Yousaf on Thursday.

Mr Yousaf, alongside public health minister Maree Todd, will lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament on long Covid, where £3 million will be allocated to health boards in order to bolster the support they are providing to people suffering from the effects of coronavirus in the long term.

Mr Yousaf said: “As we all come to terms with the pandemic, we know that for those living with long Covid, the impact can be far more long-lasting.

“We believe people with long Covid should be able to access care and support as close to their home as practicable.

“Given the range of symptoms which can be involved, we know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ response, so we have engaged with NHS boards, clinical experts and those with who have been, and are currently, affected by long Covid to identify the support needed.

“Our investment through the Long Covid Support Fund will enable boards to bolster existing services, plug any gaps in provision and improve the way they work together collaboratively for the benefit of people with long Covid.

“And we’ll continue to support those living with long Covid while more scientific study into proven, safe, evidence-based treatments continues.”

Scottish Conservative health spokesman Dr Sandesh Gulhane said: “Long Covid is a ticking timebomb for our NHS, with more than 150,000 Scots estimated to be suffering from this most debilitating of condition, so it demands urgent and decisive action from the SNP Government.

“But it’s clear from today’s motion that, inexplicably, they will still not commit to a network of long Covid clinics being set up across the country, even though they have been shown to work elsewhere.

“From Edinburgh to Elgin, Glasgow to Galashiels, an integrated network of clinics would be the single best way of tackling long Covid and easing the pressure on GP practices. That’s why we have been urging the Scottish Government to set them up for the last year.

“But instead, the SNP seem intent on leaving it to individual health boards to deal with long Covid. The absence of a national strategy means no consistency for patients and the risk of a postcode lottery for treatment.”

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