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Trust Starts Offering 'Virtual' COVID-19 Ward for Patients at Home

Trust Starts Offering 'Virtual' COVID-19 Ward for Patients at Home

Date of release: 5 January 2021

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has started offering an innovative admission avoidance and early supported discharge service to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The acute medical and community teams have worked together to launch the Oximetry @ Home Service where patients are taught to take their oxygen readings with a pulse oximeter at home.

The pulse oximeter is a small lightweight device used to monitor the amount of oxygen carried in the body.

This non-invasive tool attaches painlessly to the patient’s finger, sending two wavelengths of light through the finger to measure the pulse rate and how much oxygen is in their system.

Once the oximeter finishes its assessment its screen will display the percentage of oxygen in the blood coming from the heart as well as the patient’s current pulse rate.

Patients are then discharged to their place of residence and the community nursing team telephones them three times a day to take readings and check on their wellbeing.

Any concerns are escalated to a specialist for advice and a community or hospital assessment can be arranged as necessary.

The Oximetry@Home Service is a virtual ward operated by the Trust and will accept referrals for:
  • Patients in their usual place of residence who have been seen by a GP or tested positive in the community
  • Patients who are aged 65 and above and who are symptomatic with a diagnosis of COVID-19 – either a positive test result or other clinical evidence of COVID-19
  • Patients who are under 65 and who are clinically extremely vulnerable or have received a letter informing them they are included in the high-risk group (excluding children) 
  • Patients with a learning disability who are on the GP Learning Disability Register and are well enough to be monitored at home.
Patients excluded from the ward are:
  • Those not registered with a Wolverhampton GP
  • Those under 18 years of age
  • Those who have a Do Not Resuscitate order (DNAR) and preferred place of care already in place and whereby escalation of care to hospital would be inappropriate
  • Those whose usual resting oxygen saturation is 95 per cent or less on air
  • Pregnant women and postnatal women.

For further information, please contact Jodie Winfield, Senior Matron, via New Cross Hospital on 01902 307999.

***ENDS***

Notes to Editor

  • For further information, please call Tim Nash on 01902 447297 or email tim.nash2@nhs.net
Press release issued by the Communications team. For more information contact the team on 01902 442600
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