The NHS has launched a new on-demand service for tens of thousands of people suffering from the long-term effects of coronavirus.

The new ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service will see nurses and physiotherapists on hand to reply to patients’ needs, either online or over the phone, under plans to expand access to rehabilitation therapies for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health or other complications.

Following this initial assessment, those who need it will be offered a personalised package of online-based aftercare lasting up to 12 weeks, which will be available from later this Summer.

The move follows the building of a new Seacole rehabilitation centre to help those most seriously affected by the deadly virus, with similar facilities expected to open across the country.

“COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge in the NHS’s history, and the fact that we have come through the first peak without services being overwhelmed and being able to give expert care to everyone who needed it, is testament all our frontline and support staff,” said NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens.

“Rolling out Your COVID Recovery, alongside expanding and strengthening community health and care services, is another example of how the NHS must bring the old and the new together to create better and more convenient services for patients.”

The first phase of the service will launch later this month, providing the latest advice on recovering from the virus, which will be available to all and continually improved and added to.

The second phase, in which people who need it will be able to access personalised support packages, is in development by experts based in Leicester and will be made available later in the summer.

Professor Sally Singh with a team from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS has been working with national clinical leaders to build the service and is now working with the NHS nationally to roll it out across the country.

“We know the impact of COVID on people can be far reaching and complex, ‘Your COVID Recovery’ is specifically designed to support people in their recovery post-coronavirus, this will be one of the first sites in the world rolled out nationally seeking to address potential post-COVID symptoms and support people on the road to recovery,” she said.