Support After COVID-19: A series of podcasts focusing on the challenges of Long Covid and employment.


Organised by Professor Cathy Bulley and Dr Eleanor Curnow, Queen Margaret University. Featuring Dr Linda Renton, Dr Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Ms Kirsty Stanley.

This is a podcast focusing on the experiences of people with Long Covid. I am Cathy Bulley and I am a Professor at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. We know from our research that it can be very difficult to feel understood and to find help for Long Covid. Some people who have expertise working as health professionals are also experiencing life with Long Covid – we have asked if they will share some of their problem-solving and advice with you.


We are aware that people living with Long Covid often have difficulties processing too much information at once, so we have created a series of short recordings – each lasts about six to twelve minutes. We also aim to make a transcript of each available. Some recordings make reference to specific resources and we will make the links to these available on our website.

The podcasts focus on the following topics:

Podcast series on Long Covid and Work

Introduction by Professor Cathy Bulley

This recording explains the background to these podcasts which were developed in response to research insights from the ‘Support After Covid Study,’ which we carried out between May 2021 and June 2022.

Click to listen to this podcast.

Living with Long Covid – Linda Renton

Interview 1 with Dr Linda Renton – Living with Long Covid.

Linda is living with Long Covid and is a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Queen Margaret University. In this recording, Linda explains some of her experiences of Long Covid.

Living with Long Covid – Linda Renton

Work and Long Covid – Linda Renton

Interview 2 with Dr Linda Renton – Experiences of things that have made a difference.

This interview focuses on things that Linda has found valuable in her journey with Long Covid.

Living with Long Covid – Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 1 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Living with Long Covid.

Jenny and Kirsty are both living with Long Covid and are Occupational Therapists with specific expertise in relation to vocational rehabilitation and employment. They have valuable personal and professional insights to share in relation to when to return to work, your rights, how to manage the process while looking after your own wellbeing, and what you can do if you need to make changes to your employment.

Long Covid and rushing back to work – Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 2 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Returning to work too early.

This interview focuses on the early stages of being unwell and unable to work. There are risks of returning to work too soon – Jenny and Kirsty share their own experiences and advice on this.

Long Covid and the Fit Note - Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 3 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: How to make best use of a Fit Note.

This interview explains the ‘Fit Note’ (rather than the ‘Sick Note’). Using this well is valuable when discussing whether or not you are ready to return to work with your Doctor and your employer.

Long Covid – work, disclosure and confidentiality - Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 4 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Disclosure and confidentiality: how much and to whom?

In this podcast, we discuss some of the impacts of Long Covid that may feel private and may make you feel particularly vulnerable. Kirsty and Jenny provide some advice about how you can make decisions about who you tell about these things, when, and how.

Long Covid and returning to work - Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 5 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Support for return to work.

In this interview, Jenny and Kirsty explain some of the process involved in returning to work. They share top tips and avenues of support that can help you navigate this journey.

Long Covid and pacing at work - Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 6 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Reasonable adjustments and pacing.

In this discussion, Kirsty and Jenny talk about ways in which you can make adjustments to the way you work, for example – how long you work for at a time and what type of environment you work in. Kirsty explains some of the challenges of being self-employed, and makes suggestions for how you can arrange your work to suit your needs.

Long Covid and work transitions - Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley

Interview 7 with Jenny Ceolta-Smith and Kirsty Stanley: Transitions, change and growth.

Finally, Jenny and Kirsty spend some time discussing the possibility that change is needed to enable return to work – for example, redeployment, or moving into another line of work. They talk about ‘leaving work well’ and making sure that you know the processes to ensure that you are protected in this journey. From their own experience, Jenny and Kirsty talk about finding hope and positive growth in these challenging experiences.