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Airing Pain 133: Sharing Pain – How Group Consultations Can Help Long COVID and other Conditions

How the symptoms of long COVID are being managed using group consultations and the many things long COVID has in common with other long-term conditions.

Now that COVID has become a part of our day-to-day lives, so too has long COVID. There is now so much money now being directed towards researching treatments for long COVID. How might this impact the way we treat all manner of chronic conditions?

In this episode of Airing Pain, Paul Evans interviews the team at the Berkshire Pain Clinic, who run a specific long COVID service, on treating people with the condition. Notably, there are many similarities between the symptoms of long COVID and the symptoms of other long-term conditions, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. Issues like managing pain, fatigue, sleep and pacing are common in those with long COVID. These symptoms are also common in people with other chronic conditions. This raises the possibility that the money being spent now on long COVID may have a far wider reaching benefit in the long term.

The team at the Berkshire Pain Clinic have already found success in using group consultations to manage long COVID. Listen, or read the transcript, to find out how these consultations are run and why they are proving so beneficial.

Issues covered in this programme include:

group consultations, long COVID, self-management of long-term conditions, fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, shortness of breath, pacing, sleep problems, building support networks, managing mood problems and goal setting.

Time Stamps:

02:02 – Dr Deepak Ravindran explains how existing knowledge can help us to manage long COVID.
08:22 – Dr Rupa Joshi explains how group consultations can provide support to those with long-term conditions.
11:09 – how did group consultations start at the Berkshire Pain Clinic?
13:50 – Dr Rupa Joshi discusses how both patients and healthcare professionals can learn from group consultations.
14:17 – how do group consultations for long COVID differ from those for other health conditions?
15:33 – Dr Deepak Ravindran on how our understanding of COVID and long COVID have changed.
18:52 – Caroline Mole shares her experience of long COVID, pain and fatigue and how it has impacted her life.
20:25 – Dr Deepak Ravindran shares how his experience of COVID gave him perspective on the experiences of his chronic pain patients.
21:54 – how funding for long COVID can help those living with other long-term conditions.
24:25Airing Pain producer Paul Evans shares his experience of fibromyalgia and how it has a lot in common with long COVID.
26:04 – could the treatments we discover for long COVID be used for people with other conditions?
27:13 – Caroline Mole explains what it was like to have a long COVID flare up and her struggles with fatigue.
29:08 – Greg Scott on talking therapies and managing the mental health aspects of long COVID and other conditions.
32:06 – Health and Wellbeing Coach Fatema Hafizji on empowering people with long-term conditions to achieve their goals.
35:54 – Personal Trainer Kerry Doe explains how she supports people to return to exercise following COVID.
40:38 – Saira Mirza on the role of the physiotherapist in managing long COVID and other conditions and the importance of breathing techniques.


  • Dr Deepak Ravindran, Clinical Lead for Pain Medicine and Clinical Lead for the Berkshire Long COVID Integrated Service at Royal Berkshire Hospital
  • Dr Rupa Joshi, Managing Partner at Woodley Centre Surgery
  • Caroline Mole, who lives with long COVID and is a participant in the long COVID group consultation programme.
  • Greg Scott, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist for ‘Talking Therapies‘ a psychological service of the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Fatema Hafizji, Health and Wellbeing Coach for the Wokingham North Primary Care Network
  • Kerry Doe, a personal trainer who works with long COVID patients.
  • Saira Mirza, Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner for long COVID and pain management

Special Thanks:

This edition of Airing Pain has been funded by grants from the James Weir Foundation, the Hospital Saturday Fund and the Erskine Cunningham Hill Trust.

More Information:

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