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Childhood, interrupted: 12-year-old Toby’s life with Long Covid

In the latest Office for National Statistics survey, published in April, 111,816 children (aged three to 17) in England and Scotland were estimated to be suffering from Long Covid during the four-week period ending 7 March. More than 20,000 of these children have found their ability to undertake day-to-day activities has been “limited a lot”. For Toby, it has meant pain, crushing fatigue and sadness – as well as months off school.

Dr Binita Kane is a Manchester-based consultant respiratory physician with a special interest in Long Covid. Her experience comes from being a doctor treating patients with Long Covid and also being the mother of a girl with Long Covid.

She says that the 2 million people struggling with Long Covid in England and Scotland have created a massive challenge for the health service. The model for post-Covid services was set up in 2020, and in terms of scale and pace the UK was ahead of the game then. But things have moved on and the NHS hasn’t kept up. “The NHS is a juggernaut,” Kane says. “It cannot change things in a rapid way unless you put the weight of everything behind it, like we did in acute Covid.”

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Source: The Guardian, 12 June 2024


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