Published: February 2023.
The Long COVID Model of Care outlines a standardised approach to caring for people with long COVID to ensure patients receive the right care at the right time.
This model describes the different stages of care and the different settings where care can be delivered by general practitioners, Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs), primary health networks (PHNs), local health districts (LHDs) and specialty health networks (SHNs), depending on a person’s needs.
Patient education, health coaching and self-management are at the core of each stage of this model.
The model has been developed in consultation with the Long COVID Clinical Expert Reference Taskforce (LC-CERT). It can be adapted by PHNs, LHDs and SHNs to ensure it meets local needs.
Download the Long COVID model of care (PDF 1.3 MB)
At a glance
There are four stages through which people with symptoms of long COVID may receive care.
The GP/AMS remains an integral part of the healthcare team at all stages of treatment.
- Mild symptoms
- Low risk
- High indepedence
- High quality of life
Primary care by general practitioners/Aboriginal Medical Services with the use of post-COVID-10 Conditions Health Pathway
- Moderate symptoms
- Low-medium risk
- Moderate indepedence
- Moderate quality of life
Integrated Care management by local health district/specialty health network
- High symptoms
- Medium-high risk
- Moderate-low indepedence
- Moderate-low quality of life
Multidisciplinary specialised care by LHD/SHN teams, clinics and services.
- Severe symptoms
- High risk
- Low indepedence
- Low quality of life
The majority of people with COVID-19 will recover completely within a few weeks of getting the infection, but a small number of people will continue to experience symptoms for weeks or months. This is defined as ‘long COVID’.
People with long COVID can experience a variety of symptoms that impact their quality of life, wellbeing and capacity to return to work.
Currently across NSW, there is large variability in the type and location of care available for people with symptoms of long COVID. Access to services also varies, which can lead to under- or over-referral to the right level of care, and poor patient experience and outcomes.
This model of care has been developed to address these issues and improve patient outcomes.