Long COVID Support
ABI Rehabilitation has been supporting kiritaki (clients) and whānau in their recovery from traumatic brain injury and stroke for over 25 years. Many of the symptoms of Long COVID are similar to those recovering and living with brain injury, especially concussion.
At the beginning of 2023, ABI was successful in obtaining some government funding to trial a Long COVID programme. This funding is currently limited to an initially small group, however ABI hopes to secure more permanent funding to deliver the service to a much wider group of people with Long COVID over a longer period of time.
ABI has partnered with the National Health Service in the UK to offer “Your COVID Recovery”, an on-line digital programme for those recovering from Long COVID. The content of the programme was created by healthcare professionals and specialists in the UK who have expertise in managing many of the key symptoms associated with Long COVID. Site navigation and content was developed in collaboration with individuals who have lived experience of Long COVID and is regularly updated as research and evidence changes
Who is the ABI programme for?
This programme is currently free of charge to people who meet the following criteria:
- Have a GP or specialist diagnosis of Long COVID, and GP support to engage in the programme
- Have a secondary physical health condition or disability in addition to Long COVID (e.g. asthma, diabetes, cardiac condition, amputee, hearing impaired…)
- Live in the Northland, Auckland or Wellington regions
- Have access to a reliable internet connection and device on which to access an on-line platform.
Early feedback from those participating in the programme indicates the programme may be of greater benefit to those who have been recently diagnosed with Long COVID and are looking for direction at the start of their recovery journey. However, people who have been experiencing symptoms for over 12 months have also engaged in the programme and found benefits to the guidance and resources that it provides.
ABI is happy to work with employers, health insurers and private paying individuals to develop a programme for those who do not currently meet the eligibility criteria for the funded service.
What does the programme involve?
There is an initial assessment with an ABI clinician, which will take approximately one hour. The clinician will then set you up on the platform and provide you with some guidance on how to navigate the site. You can then access the on-line programme from your own device at home. The programme guides you through four stages and you will be asked to complete various activities along the way. You will be directed to various useful resources depending on the symptoms you are reporting and the severity of these. Our ABI clinicians will contact you every 2-4 weeks either by phone or email to check how you are progressing, answer any queries, and provide support. The programme is usually completed within 12 weeks but access to the platform is available for 12 months after registration. As the programme is self-directed there is no rush to complete, you can take the time you need.
On completion of the programme you will be asked to return for a re-assessment with the ABI clinician and provide feedback on your experience of the programme.
How do I get referred?
If you already have documentation from your GP or a specialist providing a diagnosis of Long COVID then complete the online referral form below and attach this documentation where indicated. If you do not have any such documentation then request that your GP complete this referral for you. If you are unsure whether you or your patient meets the eligibility criteria please reach out and make contact with us at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Long COVID’ in the subject line.