Screening patients who have been discharged from hospital after contracting Covid-19 for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should become mandatory, mental health experts have said.
Psychiatrists and psychologists have urged the NHS to ensure those leaving hospital are assessed regularly and those displaying symptoms of PTSD should undergo treatment to prevent recurring problems, such as nightmares, The Guardian has reported.
Dr Michael Bloomfield, an NHS psychiatrist, researcher at University College London (UCL) and one of the experts calling for the assessments, said: “For many people hospitalised with Covid-19 it’s been a potentially traumatic experience.
“Being in intensive care is frightening. There was a particular risk to their own life, because they were very ill. And early in the pandemic we didn’t have treatments available for covid.”
He added that although being in hospital meant patients were receiving vital care, staff wearing full PPE, being unable to see relatives and “knowing how dangerous the situation was would have been extremely frightening for anybody”.
He said “a huge toll of trauma from that would be expected”.