The West of England Academic Health Science Network has worked in partnership with other NHS organisations, Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH), the Wessex Local Medical Committee and the TEL programme simulation and immersive technology team, to develop two free e-learning resources to support detection of early deterioration of patients with COVID-19.

The new COVID Oximetry @home and COVID Virtual Wards e-learning modules – launched in May 2021 –  aim to support the detection of early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings.

The e-learning provides an overview of pulse oximetry for patients and carers and explains how to monitor oxygen levels at home or in a care home setting.

People at high risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19 are being provided with a pulse oximeter to monitor the oxygen levels in their blood at home for up to 14 days. This includes people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and people living in care homes.

A pulse oximeter is a small medical device that is put on the tip of the finger. By regularly monitoring oxygen levels it can be easier to spot if COVID-19 symptoms are getting worse and whether people need treatment or support. People with COVID-19 may become very unwell if their oxygen levels fall too far.

The West of England AHSN is supporting the continued roll-out of ‘COVID Oximetry @home’  and ‘COVID virtual wards’ in our region. Our local support offer makes use of our existing expertise, infrastructure and resources.

Click here to find more information about COVID Oximetry @home and COVID virtual wards, including links to relevant resources and webinars.

Dr Alison Tavaré. Clinical Lead NHS@Home South West and West of England AHSN Primary Care Clinical Lead said:

“Many people with COVID-19 were living in residential homes and we realised that carers were being asked to monitor patients with little opportunity to have had any training; therefore this e-learning was co-developed by carers and clinicians. The aim is to provide a quick overview of COVID-19, how to use a pulse oximeter and most importantly give clear information on what to look out for and who to call if a carer is worried”.

This e-learning provides an overview of pulse oximetry for carers, including how to take the measurements and how to tell others if they are worried. It is designed to be used alongside the NHS pulse oximetry guidance.

More information, including access details, is available on the programme page.

By mid-May 2021, over 2000 patients had been supported through COVID Oximetry @ home and virtual ward models in the West of England. Read more about this collaborative programme, including the patient’s journey, here. 

Posted on May 18, 2021

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