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COVID Oximetry @home (virtual wards)

COVID Oximetry @home is an enhanced package of care using pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of individuals with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

What is Covid Oximetry @home?

COVID oximetry @home (virtual ward model) is an enhanced package of monitoring (of symptoms and oxygen saturations) for patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 who are at risk of future deterioration. This includes both patients living in their own homes and residents of care homes. The AHSN Network is supporting the uptake of this package through the Patient Safety Collaboratives in each region.

COVID Oximetry @home is designed to support patients in primary and community health settings and can also be used for patients who are at an early stage of the disease and sent home from A&E or discharged following short hospital admissions.

How does COVID Oximetry @home work?

Dr Matt Inada-Kim is a consultant at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the National Clinical Lead for Deterioration/Sepsis. In this webinar he outlines how virtual wards with pulse oximetry can spot early deterioration in patients with COVID-19.

How can we support?

We have been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement to support health and care systems across our region to support delivery of COVID Oximetry @home. We are aware that a lot of excellent work in this area is already underway and there are a number of ways we can work collaboratively with you to support implementation: 

  • Facilitate discussions at regional and system level to support pathway mapping and co-ordinate regional delivery plans 
  • Connect with other key stakeholders, including linking with the NHSx digital workstreams around remote monitoring  
  • Deliver webinars to onboard local systems with the programme 
  • Provide bespoke Quality Improvement coaching
  • Signpost teams to relevant resources and support local adaptation (e.g. SOPs, safety netting, training materials) 
  • Provide guidance on acquiring pulse oximeters and managing logistics
  • Capture insights and link with the National COVID Oximetry @home Network to enable rapid learning and sharing of best practice and guidance


FutureNHS National Deterioration Forum

To support teams in sharing and using learning from COVID Oximetry @home implementation, a national learning system is operating via the FutureNHS National Deterioration Forum where additional resources are shared and questions raised via a discussion forum. Sign up here.

COVID Oximetry @home toolkit

This toolkit is an evolving set of resources available through FutureNHS. The toolkit was initially created by the pilot sites and early adopters, to share learning and support others wanting to implement COVID Oximetry @home.

New resources will be added as they are developed/shared, including national guidance, so please keeping checking back in. 

Key journal articles/research to support COVID Oximetry @home

BMJ Validation of home oxygen saturations as a marker of clinical deterioration in patients with suspected COVID-19 

RCGP paper: Virtual Wards, Silent Hypoxia and improving COVID outcomes

Rapid evaluation of remote home monitoring models during COVID-19 pandemic in England (12 October 2020)


London Respiratory Network’s remote monitoring webinar – 21 October 2020

  • Recording available here.
  • Slides available here.