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GPs asked to step up support for Covid patients at home

pusle oximetry

GPs should work with ICSs to step up pulse oximetry services as a ‘Covid-19 response priority’ alongside the vaccination programme, NHS England has said.

An NHS England letter, sent yesterday, asked all ICSs to aim for a ‘full step-up’ of Covid ‘Oximetry @home’ services to achieve ‘comprehensive coverage’ by the end of 2021.

It added that ‘all patients who meet the onboarding criteria within the standard operating procedure (SOP) should be offered oximetry self-monitoring to improve safety for those at risk and to help avoid unnecessary admissions’.

‘Supporting this will involve ICSs working with primary care teams as a Covid-19 response priority, alongside the Covid-19 vaccination programme,’ it said.

NHS England also set ICSs a target of ‘a minimum of 15% of all Covid inpatients’ to be treated via virtual wards by 31 December, as ‘an initial yardstick’, in a bid to reduce pressure on hospitals.

It added that many systems were already exceeding the target and went onto caution that ‘only patients who would otherwise be in a hospital bed’ should be ‘onboarded onto the more intensive virtual ward model’.

Others should be ‘considered for onboarding onto oximetry patient self-monitoring’.

Virtual wards should be ‘hospital surpervised’ while oximetry at home services are ‘primary care supervised’, the document added.

GP practices have been using pulse oximetry to remotely monitor Covid patients’ oxygen levels since the summer of 2020.

In September this year, eligibility for the programme was extended to all Covid patients who are not fully vaccinated.

Click to complete relevant respiratory CPD modules on Pulse Learning.


Patrufini Duffy 23 December, 2021 2:19 pm

There are no more steps to step up. It’s a 2022 ready bungalow, don’t you know.

Michael Mullineux 23 December, 2021 2:49 pm

past tense: onboarded; past participle: onboarded
go through procedures to effectively integrate (a new employee) into an organization or familiarize (a new customer or client) with one’s products or services

Please, I beg you, stop

C P 24 December, 2021 5:44 am

But make sure that everyone still gets more face to face appts, millions get vaccinated, run a covid at home service all while staff get ill and CQC threaten sanctions over access.
And that’s why the government has to pay people to become a NHS GP partner these days

Chris GP 24 December, 2021 12:26 pm

Pass me the broom and the vaseline as well would you……

Darren Tymens 24 December, 2021 2:42 pm

So, where is the DES to fund this extra work?

Dr N 24 December, 2021 6:13 pm

I thought Darren T had written;

So, where is the DES to f@ck this extra work. Sound more appropriate to me.

Richard Singleton 25 December, 2021 3:41 pm

The tank is out of gas, the engine is dead and the driver is asleep, exhausted at the wheel and yet the government and, by extension NHSE, want another lap. There aren’t enough expletives in the dictionary to respond to this and any future ‘requests’.

Kevlar Cardie 28 December, 2021 2:19 pm

Remind me: what’s that novel, new oral anti-viral called ?
Noboffavir ?