Health and social care teams face a significant challenge when trying to detect early signs of deterioration in patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Patients with reduced oxygen saturation levels are at risk of poorer outcomes, therefore it is vital to be able to recognise early decreases in blood oxygen levels before patients become symptomatic.
NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from the AHSNs, have launched COVID Oximetry @home – a programme that will work with local services to spread the use of pulse oximeters to safely monitor and support patients at home. This approach provides an opportunity to detect a decline in the patient’s condition that might require hospital review and admission. Early experiences of implementing this approach have been linked to reduced mortality, hospital length of stay, and the number of patients requiring intensive care admission and ventilation.
John Illingworth, Head of Patient Safety at UCLPartners said: “We know that remote pulse oximetry is already used in many areas to help detect deterioration of people with COVID-19 and has been shown to make a positive difference to patient outcomes. We’re excited to be able to offer support for more services to roll out pulse oximetry, helping to detect patients that are deteriorating quickly so that they can be treated effectively”
To find out more, including the support available, CCG colleagues are invited to attend a national webinar on Wednesday 18 November, 3-4pm.
More information about the support available from UCLPartners can be found here
All CCGs can continue to request oximeters for local use by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Allocation will take account of local infection rates and previous requests.