According to NHS England its thought that 60,000 people in the UK are suffering with Long Covid, still experiencing the symptoms and side effects of the virus long after first contracting it.
Organisations like the Royal College of General Practitioners believe this figure is likely to be an underestimate and it has been reported at an All-Party Parliamentary group that there could be as many as 300,000 people living with Long Covid in the UK.
Individuals suffering from poor health for a long time after having Covid-19 can experience a wide range of problems including breathlessness, heart problems, joint and muscle pain and neurological issues such as lack of concentration, fever, exhaustion and mental health issues. The physical and emotional symptoms of Long Covid can be debilitating and can prevent those having the condition from working for months.
Long Covid is recognised as a medical condition but the formal process of defining it is ongoing. With such a wide range of symptoms its impact has to be assessed for each individual to find the extent to which it will affect their lives and their ability to work. A blanket approach really isn’t possible which means talking with each employee to identify how it affects them and deciding on the support that they will need.
For some employees it might result in a prolonged absence from work, for others it might mean making temporary adjustments to working practices such as reduced hours or being temporarily allocated different responsibilities.
Whatever the situation Vocational Rehabilitation has an important role to play in facilitating an employee’s successful, well-managed return to work.
Because of the variety and complexity of the symptoms of Long Covid it’s unlikely that recovery will be take a straight-line trajectory, especially as many patients have fluctuating symptoms which could result in a sudden relapse.
Each case is different and should be evaluated individually. Consequently, adopting a bespoke approach is likely to be the best way to facilitate a successful return to work for both employees and employers. This fits in with Ergocom’s approach, the range of services that we offer and our expertise in dealing with complex Return To Work cases.
We help employers keep in touch with, and manage, employees successful Return To Work. In these difficult times it’s important that employees know there is support out there for them. We are well placed to assist employers in supporting their staff.
Our Functional Rehabilitation Programme, which is designed to help employees and employers manage long term and fluctuating health conditions in the workplace, is particulary suited to supporting people with the common symptoms of long covid back to work.
Long Covid SOS (Long Covid SOS - campaign group)
Long Covid Support (Long Covid Support – support group)
Long Covid: 'How to define it and how to manage it.’ (British Medical Journal)
Ergocom are committed to Vocational Rehabilitation and are corporate members of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association.
Ergocom provided in depth consultation covering a phased return to work plan, equipment for both home and workplace that would help with recovery and advice surrounding how colleagues could help in the workplace. The phased return to work plan was successful in that the return to work has now been sustained over a number of years.
Ergocom provided me with a friendly, approachable and very professional consultant who encouraged me where I felt I was regularly failing. Sue is just fantastic. I was speaking to someone who actually understood and who helped and supported me in a caring and constructive manner, which is what I so desperately needed. I have struggled badly, but this is the first decently sustained return to work after I had four failed attempts over a 16 month period.
It has been good to look back from when I was recovering from the operation, to getting back to work and to where I am now. Christa’s support meant that I did not have to stress about work, and that I was not going to be forced into work before I was ready. The ‘hand-holding’ when I did start work was important - I needed someone one to say, “no, not yet’ and “OK, now you are ready to give it a go".
It’s been really good having you working on the account and I have really valued your input (and wisdom ) on the wide variety of cases we have.
Support from Ergocom has been a great asset in my rehabilitation and return to work. Being able to speak to a third party with an understanding of the difficulties of returning from a major illness and surgery has been an invaluable source of comfort and support through the “ups and downs”.
I wanted to say a huge thank you for all of your help and support, I couldn’t have made it back to where I am now without your help. My doctor also said that he has been very impressed with how my employer has handled my return, and I believe that a lot of that credit must go to you. I was dreading returning to work, but you have made it so much easier than I thought it would be.
The help and advice I have received has been invaluable. The guidance and support provided to me has given me the tools I needed to work with my employer to ensure an amicable agreement during my return to work.