A NEW mental health service is set to launch this Autumn for residents struggling with the long-term effects of Covid-19.

It comes after the Psychological Medicine Service in Oldham revealed that since Autumn last year it has helped more than 50 people in the borough suffering psychological difficulties due to coronavirus.

Recent research from The Lancet shows that an estimated 34 per cent of people diagnosed with Covid-19, go on to have a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis within the following six months.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, which manages the Royal Oldham Hospital, has received £593,000 from Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership to fund the service that is set to be based in Oldham.

Dr Sarah Burlinson, consultant liaison psychiatrist at Pennine Care warned of the long term consequences “traumatising” Covid-19 experiences can have.

She said: “For a significant number of people the impact of Covid-19 can be long lasting; especially if they have developed new physical health problems as a result.

“Some people may have been ventilated and remained in hospital for long periods; some will have experienced delirium during their acute illness; whilst others speak about the loss of family members who have caught Covid-19 at the same time as them and have not survived.

“These experiences are upsetting and potentially traumatising; in some cases the experience may trigger other mental health difficulties including anxiety and mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and cognitive difficulties.”

She added: “People - those who have been in hospital and those who have had less severe infections - describe a range of other symptoms which include fatigue, brain fog and a range of physical symptoms, which are not currently fully understood at the moment.

“Recovery from Covid-19, especially given all the uncertainty, can be difficult, and providing a biopsychosocial approach to assessment, recovery and rehabilitation with our health and social care colleagues will be key.”

Anna Dalton, long term conditions strategic and operational lead at Pennine Care, added: “This new dedicated service means we can help people across all our five boroughs in Greater Manchester receive the mental health help and support they need.”