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Responding to COVID-19 – working with primary care

COVID-19 has placed extraordinary demands upon primary care. We have been working across our health and social care systems to ensure clinicians, GPs and community pharmacists have access to resources and toolkits to support their work during and post-COVID-19.

Care provider training on use of RESTORE2

Recognising when a person’s health is deteriorating is important, particularly at this critical time. We are working, as part of the NHS response, to enhance the confidence of care staff working in the community in detecting and responding to deterioration (through use of RESTORE2) and communicating concerns to healthcare professionals. We have worked closely with primary care and care providers to ensure our free online training enables care staff to feel confident in seeking the right support at the right time from primary care. Read more about our virtual training available to care homes. 

COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual wards

We are supporting the continued roll-out of ‘COVID Oximetry@home’ and COVID virtual ward services in our region. Our local support offer makes use of our existing expertise, infrastructure and resources. We are working closely with NHS partners and leaders in primary care to produce a series of webinars, briefing papers and implementation support pack. Read more about COVID Oximetry @home here. 

By mid-February 2021 over 1600 people with COVID have been enrolled in COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual ward services across the West of England. Read more about how we worked rapidly and collaboratively to roll out these services across our region, alongside reviewing a case study exploring the patient’s journey. 

Medicines Safety

As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHS Business Services Authority advised and supported primary care in England to increase the use of Electronic Repeat Dispensing (known as eRD), a system using the power of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) to allow patients taking ‘stable’ medicines to receive a repeat prescription for up to a year. In 2020, we held a series of eRD webinars and shared resources to support primary care’s use of eRD. Read more about Electronic Repeat Dispensing here. 

In 2020, our Transfer of Care Around Medicines  project (known as TCAM)was also re-oriented in response to COVID-19, to focus on discharge to care homes and new residents moving into care homes. Read more about how TCAM supported the COVID response here. 

Resources for primary care

In response to COVID-19, we have worked closely with the Royal College of GPs and local partners to support development of resources. These resources included a series of GP-focused webinars held in 2020, and research on the use of NEWS2 in COVID-19 patients.

West of England Pilot: UCL Partners Long Term Conditions Framework

We are supporting the piloting of a package of tools and resources designed by UCL Partners to enable primary care teams to continue to effectively manage patients with long term conditions during and post-COVID-19.

Frameworks focus on the management of Atrial Fibrillation; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; type 2 diabetes; asthma and COPD. At present we are working with primary care on pilot projects related to Type 2 diabetes and asthma.  We anticipate this being phase one of a wider project where more sites are supported to adopt the frameworks later in 2021. The second phase of the pilot will be underpinned by the local phase one evaluations and lessons learned, in addition to feedback gathered from across the national AHSN Network.

Read more about the package of tools and resources designed by UCL partners here. 

For information about this project in the West of England, please contact Kate Phillips.

Keeping people safe during and after COVID-19

Take a look at our training events and resources for care home and NHS colleagues during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

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Medicines Optimisation during COVID-19

Read more about how our Medicines Optimisation programme has changed during COVID-19.

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Learning Disabilities during COVID-19

If you work in a care home or organisation for people with Learning Disabilities and would like some further information on how we can support you or available resources and training please view our page here.

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Primary care during COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, community clinicians and care provider staff will have to work differently as face to face assessment is reduced. We have worked closely with the Royal College of GPs to support development of resources on the use of NEWS2 in Primary Care.

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