On May 1st an NHS England and NHS Improvement letter was released titled ‘COVID-19 response: Primary care and community health support care home residents’.
In the letter the statement below raised concerns across the respiratory community, regionally and nationally, as it was felt the actions described could lead to an increased risk to patients of oxygen being given inappropriately:
1a V support the introduction and use of remote monitoring of COVID-19 patients using pulse oximeters and other equipment … and prescription and supply of oxygen to care homes for treatment, where clinically indicated.
To ensure local teams were not confused, the decision was made to provide clear guidance around this statement, which can be found here. Our local policy was reviewed and a decision made to maintain our current guidance, with some additional criteria for issuing oxygen for those care home residents approaching end of life and for who admission to hospital for a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19 is NOT in the patient’s best interests.