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Supporting patients in the community with COVID-19

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) and local areas to support the set-up of ‘COVID oximetry@home’ services (also known as ‘COVID virtual wards’). This is one of the priority goals for the additional £150 million General Practice COVID Capacity Expansion Fund, and is already being used in many areas to help detect earlier deterioration of people with COVID-19, both in the community and in care homes.

Early experiences of implementing COVID oximetry@home pathways during the first wave of the pandemic have been linked with reduced mortality, shorter hospital length of stay and reductions in the number of patients requiring intensive care admission and ventilation.

In partnership with South West AHSN we hosted an interactive webinar last week providing the latest information on COVID oximetry@home pathways. The event provided examples of innovative ways to assess and manage patients in the community with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, plus learning from pilots during the first wave of the pandemic.

COVID Oximetry@Home: Webinar time stamps

Webinar Intro and welcome– Natasha Swinscoe – 00:00 – 4:26
Webinar speaker and agenda overview – Anita Randon – 4:27 – 6:10
National evidence and policy on COVID & Oximetry – “How / Where / When / What” Matt Inada-Kim – 6:10 – 29:08
Evaluation of National Pilots – Karen Kirkham’s slides delivered by Matt Inada-Kim – 29:09 – 34:28
Gloucestershire Primary Care Pilot – Malcolm Gerald & Kelly Matthews – 35:01 – 55:15
AHSNs offer – Anne Pullyblank – 56:01 – 58:31
Q&A – Chaired by Alison Tavaré – 58:34 – 1:16:34

Pulse Oximetry ordering – Matt Inada-Kim – 59:07 – 1:00:21

    • Fire service / oximetry distribution – Matt Inada-Kim – 1:00:21 – 1:02:04
    • Desaturation / silent hypoxia – Mark Juniper – 1:02:27 – 1:04:50
    • Referral information – Kelly Matthews – 1:05:17 – 1:07:28
    • Digital – Stuart Monk – 1:07:30 – 1:09:39
    • Students – Matt Inada-Kim – 1:10:36-1:11-39
    • Referral criteria thresholds and other key considerations – Matt Inada-Kim – 1:12:17 – 1:13:26
    • Mental Health/Learning Disabilities/Social Care – Matt Inada-Kim – 1:13:48 – 1:15:44

Webinar wrap up and how to contact the AHSNs – Anita Randon – 1:16:34 – Close

We were delighted to welcome Matt Inada-Kim, Clinical Director for Patient Safety & Digital at Wessex AHSN and National Clinical Lead for Deterioration & Sepsis, as our key note speaker to talk about national learning and experience from oximetry@home pilots.

Matt shared passionate and powerful stories, backed up by compelling evidence, on the use of pulse oximetry and virtual wards, which empower patients to self-monitor, spot and act on early deterioration. Matt is one of the authors of this pre-print publication examining home saturation in COVID confirmed cases as a trigger for initial hospital assessment.

Sharing learning from a local pilot by Gloucestershire CCG were Dr Malcom Gerald, GP and Primary Care Lead for COVID Virtual Ward implementation, and Kelly Matthews​, the CCG’s Deputy Director of Transformation and Service Redesign. ​

Download the full presentation slide deck here. 

Support from the West of England AHSN

Our Medical Director Anne Pullyblank provided an overview of the various ways AHSNs can support colleagues in primary, community and secondary care. Through our Patient Safety Collaborative, we are providing a range of support to our local health and care systems to implement these pathways. This includes the use of pulse oximeters to safely monitor and support patients at home for any deterioration in their condition that might require hospital review or admission.

Find details of our support around COVID Oximetry at Home Pathways and other useful resources here.

Making the connections – NHSX scaling up remote monitoring

The West of England AHSN is supporting an NHSX-funded programme to scale up the use of remote monitoring technologies across the South West region during the COVID-19 winter. This work is in collaboration with Wessex and South West AHSNs, the seven Sustainable Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in the South West, and the regional NHS England and NHS Improvement team.

The programme is focusing on improving remote monitoring of residents in care homes, providing better support for people with learning disabilities, and using clinical communication tools to aid quicker, more effective decision-making for the most vulnerable patients. Find out more here.

Our digital colleagues can help signpost people to national leads who can help with further information on NHSX’s support offer to STP/ICS level around their COVID digital Oximetry at Home ambitions.

Dr Shanil Mantri, GP and Clinical Digital Advisor to the West of England AHSN has also produced this really helpful blog post on his experiences in selecting digital solutions for remote monitoring requirements.

Find out more

You’ll find more information about COVID oximetry@home and the support available from the West of England AHSN on our website here, or email Nathalie Delaney at nathalie.delaney@weahsn.net.

All CCGs can continue to request oximeters for local use by emailing england.home@nhs.net. Allocation will take account of local infection rates and previous requests.

Posted on November 10, 2020

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