More Scots with long Covid than there are residents of Aberdeen

There are now more Scots living with long Covid than there are residents in Aberdeen, new statistics show.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal 204,000 people in Scotland are now living with the condition, several thousand above the 2020 population of Aberdeen of about 198,500.

As of October, 75,000 people have been living with long Covid for more than 12 months.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Nearly three-quarters of all Scots with long Covid say it affects aspects of their lives, including the ability to work and enjoy a good quality of life.

There are now more than 200,000 long Covid sufferers in Scotland

Chest, Heart & Stroke Scotland (CHSS) is calling on the Scottish Government to do more to help those affected.

This includes rolling out a digital referral system across the country to integrate NHS and CHSS support services, providing better training for healthcare professionals, and improving health board capacity.

Allan Cowie, interim chief executive at CHSS, said: “Despite most people believing Covid is over, the number of people living with long Covid has more than doubled in the last year, which is a major public health concern for Scotland.

“The Scottish Government has promised to help people with long Covid but many are still struggling to get a diagnosis, to get back to work and enjoy everyday activities like going for a walk or spending time with their families.

People who are seeing very little improvement in their health 12 months after getting Covid are scared and need help. There needs to be more urgency on this. Things just aren’t joined up at all.

“We need to see more innovation and joined up thinking like the work NHS Lothian are doing to better connect people with the support they need, and this approach needs to be replicated across the country. We need to see more capacity and training to make sure people get quick access to tests and any beneficial treatments.

“People have been living with long Covid for years now and little progress has been made to build services around their needs. People deserve action.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “All NHS Scotland boards are providing assessment and support for people with long Covid, across the full range of NHS services – backed by our substantial 2022-23 £18 billion investment in health.

“We’re investing an initial £3 million from our long Covid Support Fund to provide NHS boards and partners with additional resource to deliver the best local models of care for assessment, diagnostic tests, and support for the treatment or management of symptoms.

“This includes the introduction of care co-ordinator roles to provide a single point of contact and the introduction of a multi-disciplinary assessment service. We’re also funding Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland (CHSS) to deliver a long Covid support service.

“NHS Lothian’s pilot project with CHSS is just one example of the flexible way in which boards are adapting to meet people’s needs. We look forward to seeing the full evaluation of this and further consideration of digital solutions.

“Referral pathways and data-sharing agreements are a matter for NHS Boards and the organisations they’re collaborating with, and are not something that can be mandated by the Scottish Government.”



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.