Series of films on fatigue, available to the public
Experts across healthcare and academia in Newcastle have produced a number of short patient education films aimed at supporting people with symptoms of fatigue as they recover from COVID-19.
The experts, including Consultants, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists from Newcastle Hospitals, Newcastle University and Northumbria University, come together at the multidisciplinary Clinics for Research and Service in Themed Assessment (CRESTA) on Newcastle’s Campus for Ageing and Vitality; a campus co-managed by Newcastle University and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
CRESTA is a unique facility for patients living with multiple conditions. The value of CRESTA is that patients pay one visit to the clinic to be seen by a range of specialist healthcare providers on the same day. Depending on their healthcare needs, a team of professionals will coordinate their time to allow the patient to be seen by each specialist needed, in one day. The purpose is to act as a ‘one stop shop’ for patients, and to avoid the need to visit numerous specialists, in a variety of locations, potentially on different days.
The CRESTA team have significant expertise in supporting people living with fatigue, a common symptom of a number of diseases. To harness that expertise and use it to support those living with fatigue following COVID-19, a series of patient education videos have been created in partnership with the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. The videos help people to understand what fatigue is and translate the lessons learnt from other conditions into COVID-19 recovery, particularly for those with long COVID. They also explain how people can manage their energy through their day, provide strategies for managing fatigue symptoms and talk about ways to reintroduce physical exercise when dealing with fatigue.
A unique clinical research environment
CRESTA has been a key part of the NIHR Newcastle BRC’s research infrastructure for over a decade. It is staffed by clinical academics and research nursing staff, whose role is not only to support patients through a targeted care journey, but also to identify potential research opportunities for patients with conditions linked to the NIHR Newcastle BRC’s themes, including conditions which cite fatigue as a life altering side effect. The Newcastle BRC is currently funding research in several areas linked to fatigue, including Professor Fai Ng’s project on the development of assessment tools for measuring fatigue, as well as Professor David Jones’ funded study on the exploration of treatment options for cholestatic liver conditions, of which fatigue is a common, debilitating symptom.
Tools for better health
The purpose of the NIHR Newcastle BRC is to fund research that will have a real benefit to patients, and therefore the involvement of patients and the public in this research is of high priority. It is this involvement that will inform us on the key areas to target with our research in order ensure maximum effort in the right place, which, for people living with long-term conditions, is focussed on symptom alleviation and improved quality of life. Such videos are examples of ways in which clinicians and researchers can really respond to issues that people are living with day-to-day, particularly as a result of the huge changes we’re all experiencing as a result of the pandemic.