Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen carried out this project between Autumn 2021 and Spring 2022 to gather the experiences of residents suffering from Long Covid. The aim of the project was to understand the range of symptoms people were experiencing, the impact on both their physical and mental health and their experiences of accessing support for Long Covid.
The main symptoms experienced by residents, with a significant impact on their daily lives,
are fatigue, breathlessness, brain fog, mobility issues and anxiety. Whilst 56% of respondents’ symptoms improved within 9 months, 19% took 10-12 months to recover and 24% of respondents were experiencing Long Covid symptoms for over a year.
Long Covid impacts residents’ lives far beyond the physical symptoms. Most of the respondents reported that their mental health had deteriorated because of both the condition and its impact on their lives and relationships. This shows mostly through anxiety and depression, as well as irritability and low mood.
From feedback given from residents, their lives are significantly impacted by Long Covid in
many ways: their employment, caring duties, social lives and domestic duties become
neglected following high levels of fatigue. For many, it is has become impossible to carry on
with lives as normal.
Our recommendations for changes which could be made by local services to better support residents living with Long Covid on page 6 of the report.