A CLAIM that NHS Forth Valley “do not support Long Covid” has been refuted by the health board.

MSP Alexander Stewart last week highlighted to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon how a constituent's daughter has been struggling to access treatment for long-lasting effects of Covid-19.

In an exchange during FMQs at Holyrood, the opposition representative said the 16-year-old, who is vaccinated, was advised by her GP who had written to NHS Forth Valley that she cannot be treated as “they do not support Long Covid”.

However, the health board has told the Advertiser that a range of services are available to people recovering from the virus with work under way to offer more support.

Mr Stewart, who explained the constituent has been absent from school as they have been struggling to access any treatment since September, said: “This is a shocking situation and my constituent’s daughter cannot be the only child in the area who feels abandoned by the health system, so therefore I asked the first minister what action can be put in place to ensure that this situation is rectified as a matter of urgency.”

Responding in the debating chamber, FM Nicola Sturgeon said: “Obviously, I have not seen the terms of the correspondence referred to from Forth Valley but all health boards have a duty to support patients with Long Covid.

“We have made significant investment to develop services for people with Long Covid, including children, and obviously, their needs will often be very particular.

“It is, of course, for clinicians to determine the correct treatment and services available.”

Mr Stewart has since written to the health secretary.

A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley told the Advertiser: “We have a range of services, including our ReACH rehabilitation teams, which are able to provide advice, treatment and support to local people recovering from Covid-19.

“People can also access support from their GP practices who are able to refer to specialist health services, where appropriate.

“In addition, we are exploring how we can best develop services and support to meet the needs of local people experiencing long term effects of Covid-19, in line with recent national guidance.”

Most people recover from Covid-19 relatively quickly, but some experience ongoing symptoms which can last for weeks or even longer, which has been referred to as Long Covid.

It is a new condition with medical professionals' understanding developing all the time.

For information, visit nhsinform.scot/long-covid.