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Nuffield introduces rehab scheme for Covid sufferers – exercise placed at heart of programme

By Tom Walker    12 Nov 2020
Patients will take part in a six-week, virtual programme of at-home exercises, followed by another six weeks of activities at a Nuffield Health fitness and wellbeing centre / Shutterstock.com/Photographee.eu

Nuffield Health is launching a specialist, 12-week rehabilitation programme in Manchester to support Covid-19 patients in their recovery.

The programme blends together physical therapy – including exercise – and mental health support and will be run in partnership with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, before being developed into a national programme.

People who have received medical treatment for Covid-19 are currently discharged from hospital with no formal recovery plan, which – according to Nuffield – can result in a longer recovery process, and prolonged side effects.

Patients on the rehabilitation programme will be referred onto the programme by the NHS Trust, before being triaged, online, by a specially trained Nuffield Health physiotherapist.

Over the 12-week programme, patients will work with a rehabilitation specialist for personalised advice and on a recovery plan, consisting of a six-week, virtual programme of at home exercises, before moving to a Nuffield Health fitness and wellbeing centre.

Patients will also receive access to on-demand workouts, weekly support calls and be part of a cohort of participants where they can share their experiences.

Evidence from previous epidemics, like SARS and MERS, demonstrate it can take years for some patients to recover.

The effects of Covid-19 leaves some patients with lasting physical damage and scarring to their lungs, resulting in difficulty with breathing and mobility.

It also can exacerbate underlying health issues, like heart disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.

“We know that some patients who have contracted Covid-19 are going to need specialist support for their rehabilitation," said Dr Davina Deniszczyc, charity and medical director at Nuffield Health.

“We are in a unique position among the fitness sector to utilise our broad range of expertise, across clinical, fitness and mental health to develop a programme to support the nation as it recovers from COVID-19.

"We will be capturing data throughout the programme, specifically at weeks 0, 6 and 12, to enable outcomes to be measured and evaluate the success of the programme.

"We will use these learnings to build and develop a national programme, sharing the data with the NHS and other healthcare providers.”

Nuffield Health  COVID-19  physical therapy  exercise 
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