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Community nursing faces ‘rehabilitation disaster’ as Covid leaves thousands in need

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Tens of thousands of coronavirus survivors needing long-term care are heaping pressure on Britain’s stretched community services, threatening a crisis that experts warn could dwarf that seen in hospitals over the past 12 months.

As many as 100,000 intensive care patients, including up to 15,000 Covid-19 survivors, will need long-term community nursing care after being discharged from hospitals during the past 12 months, The Independent has been told.

This will be on top of an as yet unknown number of Covid patients from the 350,000 treated on general wards since the pandemic began, as well as tens of thousands of people who were sick without going to hospital but have been left with debilitating symptoms of long Covid.

Labour’s shadow health minister Liz Kendall warned: “There will be huge pressures on community services as people who need long-term support are discharged back into their own homes.

“Ministers have got to put in place a proper workforce strategy for the NHS and community care otherwise we will see people struggling to recover and the burden of care could also fall on their families."

“This is one of the long-term consequences of Covid that we haven’t begun to even think through yet.”

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Source: The Independent, 14 February 2021

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