An online assessment tool will help people with long Covid identify their symptoms and share their experiences with healthcare professionals.

The My Long Covid Needs tool, developed by the British Lung Foundation in collaboration with long Covid support groups and other health charities, asks people to input details about their physical symptoms, such as breathlessness, fatigue, and brain fog, and quantify how they impact their daily life and emotional wellbeing.

According to an Office for National Statistics survey published last month, more than one million people in the UK are thought to be experiencing long Covid.

The figure equates to around 2% of the population who say they have symptoms lasting more than four weeks after a Covid infection.

When the British Lung Foundation asked patients about their experiences of living with long Covid, people reported feeling dismissed by professionals and feeling that there was little available support.

One woman said she was fighting to be heard by relevant authorities and that the situation had ‘skyrocketed’ her anxiety and affected her breathing.

Another said that they felt they hadn’t been taken seriously or believed by medical professionals or friends, a situation which had made them feel angry and ‘trapped’ in their own body.

In response, the new tool points patients to advice and links from relevant support services and can also generate a report giving the patient one record to share with healthcare providers, rather than having to repeatedly explain their experiences with long Covid – another frequently reported frustration.

Amanda Watson, NHSE long Covid project lead at Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, said long Covid had forced many of the people living with the condition to put their lives on pause while they tackled multiple disabling symptoms like persistent breathlessness.

‘The My Long Covid Needs tool offers vital advice and support for people as they navigate their way through this new and unpredictable condition. We’d encourage anyone experiencing long Covid to visit the tool and for healthcare professionals to share this resource with their patients,’ she said.

More than 70 people living with long Covid gave feedback and helped to test the tool.

It is likely to take patients about five to ten minutes to complete the questions and they can then print off a copy of the report to share with healthcare professionals and employers.