People suffering with long Covid came together at a first-of-its-kind community ‘therapy showcase’ involving exercise sessions to ease symptoms, a sensory retreat, and lots of networking.
The event, organised by Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s Long Covid Therapy Service, was held at Walsall Palliative Care Centre. The outdoor space was used to create a calm and welcoming environment for those who have used the service since its creation more than 18 months ago.
The team consists of Annette Ellison, Physiotherapist, Emma Cahill, Occupational Therapist and Caron Wallace, Therapy Assistant Practitioner. They all pulled together to ensure patients were given the opportunity to join Tai Chi and yoga sessions throughout the day, get involved in brain fog games, and visit a sensory retreat corner where they were able to paint and chat.
“We are really pleased that our first long Covid event was such a success. It allowed some of our patients to meet each other face-to-face, and we were able to put on group exercise sessions which are very effective for this condition,” said Emma.
Patient Barbara King met the team at home after contracting COVID-19 in 2021, and since then has “never felt back to normal.” Alongside her sense of taste and smell not fully returning, Barbara experiences fatigue, brain fog, and pain – and she has taken up Thai Chi to ease this.
She said: “It has been life-changing meeting the long Covid team, and the event has shown me I’m not the only person feeling the way I do. People often look at you and think there’s nothing wrong with you, which can be difficult.”
Sat Moore, who is also still using the service, said: “I actually wasn’t going to come to the event as I didn’t feel very well, but it’s been nice to be outside and not think about anything else. I really enjoyed the pebble painting.
She added: “Emma and the team saved my life. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
This service is available to those with a Walsall GP or staff working for the Trust. If you feel you would or know someone who would benefit from the service please visit Long Covid Service – Trust (xwalsall.nhs.uk) for more information or call 01922 604920 option 1 to complete a referral.