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COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service

You may be aware NHS England and NHS Improvement has recommended that clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) set up a ‘COVID Oximetry @home’ model which is helping practices to support people at home who have a confirmed, or suspected diagnosis of coronavirus, and are most at risk of becoming seriously unwell.

We are pleased to announce the COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service is now live in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

Pulse Oximetry can help with earlier detection of silent hypoxia, where people have low oxygen levels in the absence of significant shortness of breath. This is intended to help reduce mortality, ensure timely hospital treatment, and potentially free up critical care beds.   

Who is it for?

The service is for people who have been diagnosed with coronavirus, are symptomatic, and either extremely vulnerable to coronavirus or aged 65 or older, will be provided with a pulse oximeter and supporting information so that they can record their oxygen levels at home for up to 14 days, with assistance from carers and/or family where appropriate. 

After clinical assessment and with patient consent, patients will either choose to self-monitor or will be referred to the COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service.

What does the service do?

Self-Monitoring:  In appropriate cases patients will be advised to follow the guidance on how to use the pulse oximeter and record their readings three times per day. This can be found in the patient diary, and their results should be recorded in the table on page 5. There are clear instructions on what to do if their readings drop below 95%, or they start feeling more unwell.

COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service: The service will call the patient on Day 2, 5, 7, 10, 12 and 14 (Day 1 is the first day of the onset of your symptoms). On the call the service will ask them for their latest readings and check on any other symptoms. At all other times, please advise them to follow the guidance to record their readings three times per day. There are clear instructions on what to do if their readings drop below 95%, or they start feeling more unwell.

The aim of this service is to support practices with caring for their over 65 and vulnerable COVID patients who may be well enough to remain at home but could be at risk of deterioration. The monitoring service will enable the early identification of the deteriorating patient and appropriate escalation of their care as needed. Saturation monitors and other resources have been provided to practices to enable them to refer patients to this service.

The Federation teams will be providing the service to contact patients on Day 2, 5, 7, 10 and 12 of symptom onset to monitor symptoms and trend of O₂ saturation, and take appropriate action if required in response to worsening symptoms and signs. This could be to initiate a clinical review, or arrange hospital admission. A follow up call will be made on Day 14 to review the patient prior to discharge from the service and remind them to return their oximeter. If the patient remains symptomatic at this point, they will be advised to contact their GP for further assessment. 

How do I refer? 

Practices can refer patients to the COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service by using the direct booking appointments on SystmOne, or by completing the referral proforma that is available to SystmOne practices on the Clinical Support Tool. 

As part of the referral, patients will be issued with a pulse oximeter, a patient diary and COVID isolating at home safety netting leaflet, either by the practice, or arrange for delivery by the Federation team.

Useful information

Copies of the documents we have shared with practices as part of the service launch can be found below:

  1. Standard Operating Procedure 
  2. Triage pathway 
  3. Escalation process 
  4. Patient Diary 
  5. COVID Isolating at Home Safety Netting Leaflet
  6. Decontamination guidance
  7. Referral form 

A page for patients containing links to a YouTube video and translations explaining how to use the pulse oximeter can be found in the public area of the site.

Contact 

For any queries from Health Professionals relating to the COVID Oximetry @home monitoring service, please do not hesitate to contact Sally Berry via capccg.primarycare@nhs.net

07/01/2021