Our latest, most exciting development in our efforts to combat Coronavirus is the launch on 11th November 2020 of the Covid Oximetry at Home initiative. Patients are admitted into a ‘virtual ward’ for regular monitoring and early detection of silent hypoxia which can lead to otherwise undetected deterioration in condition.
As an Alliance, we were tasked by our Clinical Commissioning Group to set up the Virtual Ward to help patients across the South East, diagnosed with Covid-19 and who meet the admission criteria of over 65 or under 65 and vulnerable due to pre-existing conditions.
There is a very real need for Virtual Wards to support patients to remain at home whilst immediately identifying a deterioration in oxygen saturation levels (silent hypoxia). This is an indication of an overall decline in the patient’s health, though the patient may be unaware.
This can be identified quickly and provides an early warning of patient deterioration. These actions will ensure the patient receives correct and timely treatment and are not subject to an unnecessary stay in hospital.
Patients are referred either by their GP practice, a clinician in the 111 service, local hospitals or via our clinicians in services such as IPCAS and our out of hours service collaboration with Partnering Health Ltd.
Once referred, patients are provided with a pack including a pulse oximeter, the oximeter is used by the patient to provide several readings throughout the day which are then analysed by our trained clinicians.
Everyone at SHPCA is aware of how important this service is to our patients and the community and we are very happy to be involved.