NHS England: NHS to launch ground breaking online COVID-19 rehab service #covid19rftlks

NHS England | July 2020 | NHS to launch ground breaking online COVID-19 rehab service

Tens of thousands of people who are suffering long-term effects of coronavirus will benefit from a revolutionary on-demand recovery service, the head of the NHS has announced today.

Nurses and physiotherapists will be on hand to reply to patients’ needs either online or over the phone as part of the service.

The new ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service forms part of NHS plans to expand access to COVID-19 rehabilitation treatments for those who have survived the virus but still have problems with breathing, mental health problems or other complications.

Coming on the day of the NHS’s anniversary, chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has hailed the new service as a great example of the way the health service is increasingly harnessing technology and innovation to enhance the face to face care that doctors, nurses, therapists and other staff can provide in a safe and convenient way.

It follows the building of a new Seacole rehabilitation centre to help those most seriously affected by the deadly virus, with similar facilities expected to open across the country.

Patients who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus will have access to a face-to-face consultation with their local rehabilitation team, usually comprising of physiotherapists, nurses and mental health specialists.

Following this initial assessment, those who need it will be offered a personalised package of online-based aftercare lasting up to 12 weeks, available later this Summer.

Accessible, on-demand, from the comfort of their own home, this will include:

  • Access to a local clinical team including nurses and physiotherapists who can respond either online or over the phone to any enquiries from patients;
  • An online peer-support community for survivors – particularly helpful for those who may be recovering at home alone;
  • Exercise tutorials that people can do from home to help them regain muscle strength and lung function in particular, and;
  • Mental health support, which may include a psychologist within the online hub or referral into NHS mental health services along with information on what to expect post-COVID.

Sir Simon Stevens said: “COVID-19 has been the biggest challenge in the NHS’s history, and the fact that we have come through the first peak without services being overwhelmed and being able to give expert care to everyone who needed it, is testament all our frontline and support staff.

“Now, as we celebrate the birthday of the NHS and look ahead to the next phase of our response, while in-person care will continue to be vital, the health service is embracing the best that new technology can offer us to meet the significant level of new and ongoing need.

“Rolling out Your COVID Recovery, alongside expanding and strengthening community health and care services, is another example of how the NHS must bring the old and the new together to create better and more convenient services for patients.”

NHS staff responded rapidly to the COVID-19 outbreak to care for more than 100,000 patients in hospital, and many more in the community.

Thanks to their efforts everyone who could benefit from care was able to get it, and the overwhelming majority survived.

However, evidence shows that many of those survivors are likely to have significant on-going health problems, including breathing difficulties, enduring tiredness, reduced muscle function, impaired ability to perform vital everyday tasks and mental health problems such as PTSD, anxiety and depression.

The online portal will help ensure that people get the support they need to recover from the effects of the virus, including those associated with spending a long time on ventilation, while reducing the need to physically attend appointments for many.

The first phase of the service will launch later this month, providing the latest advice on recovering from the virus, which will be available to all and continually improved and added to.

The second phase, in which people who need it will be able to access personalised support packages, is in development by experts based in Leicester and will be made available later in the summer.

In order to access this part of the site, patients will first attend a face-to-face assessment, which may include a walking test, to help personalise care and ensure people get the type of support and rehabilitation specific to their need, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

For those who need ongoing care, they will be given a log-in to the new online site, which will be accessible from any web-enabled phone, tablet, television or computer.

Where patients don’t already have access to a suitable device to use the online platform, printed materials will be made depending upon demand to ensure the service is accessible to all.

Rehabilitation professionals will be able to access their patient’s data to enable remote care and monitoring, ensuring that anyone who might need further face-to-face checks or treatment can get it.

Professor Sally Singh with a team from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS has been working with national clinical leaders to build the service and is now working with the NHS nationally to roll it out across the country.

Professor Singh from the University of Leicester said: “We know the impact of COVID on people can be far reaching and complex, ‘Your COVID Recovery’ is specifically designed to support people in their recovery post-coronavirus, this will be one of the first sites in the world rolled out nationally seeking to address potential post-COVID symptoms and support people on the road to recovery.

“We have brought together a wide range of experts representing a number of professional societies who have made valuable contributions to the site, to allow us to have a comprehensive package of information and advice. Importantly we have worked with people with first-hand experience of COVID to help shape the site and make sure the content was fit for purpose.”

Alongside bringing back non-urgent services in a safe way and maintaining a high state of readiness for any future increase in COVID cases, local health leaders are currently working with councils and voluntary groups to plan how they will meet the additional ongoing demand for rehabilitation services post-COVID.

While in many cases these services will be delivered by or within existing NHS facilities, where necessary plans may include using temporary facilities like the first NHS Seacole Centre, a dedicated rehabilitation and step-down facility which opened in Surrey at the end of May (Source: NHS England).

NHS to launch ground breaking online COVID-19 rehab service

Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings #covid19rftlks

NHS England & NHS Improvement | 11 June 2020 | Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and community care settings

NHS England & NHS Improvement have produced this document which sets out principles to support the remote monitoring, using pulse oximetry, of
patients with confirmed or possible COVID-19. It should be read alongside the general
practice and community health services standard operating procedures

Pulse oximetry to detect early deterioration of patients with COVID-19 in primary and
community care settings

More nurses should be coronavirus legacy says NHS chief

NHS England | May 2020 |More nurses should be coronavirus legacy says NHS chief

Speaking on International Nurses’ Day last week, NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens,  thanked nurses for all they have done during the greatest global health emergency in NHS history.

Sir Simon also called on universities to increase the number of places and give people interested in nursing more opportunities to sign up.

The NHS Health Careers website has seen a 220% rise in people expressing an interest in becoming a nurse.

As the NHS seeks to resume services paused during the coronavirus surge while continuing to care for thousands with the virus that interest should be translated in to greater nursing numbers.

Full story from NHS England

Govt alerts trusts over ‘critical’ shortage of dialysis kit for covid patients #covid19rftlks

HSJ |April 2020 | Govt alerts trusts over ‘critical’ shortage of dialysis kit for covid patients

  • Government has now warned of “severe disruption” to supplies used to treat acute kidney injury in intensive care
  • Trusts having to use alternative equipment, bringing logistical challenges and increased risk to patients
  • Shortage comes despite warning to government on 7 April about supplies

The availability of dialysis equipment used to treat more than a quarter of ventilated covid-19 patients has reached “critical” levels, HSJ has learned.

The government has now warned of “severe disruption” to supplies used to treat acute kidney injury in intensive care.

Although hospitals are able to deploy alternative equipment not typically used in intensive care, this is logistically challenging and can carry increased risks for patients.

The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre has said 29 per cent of ventilated coronavirus patients require dialysis, as they are also suffering from acute kidney failure. Dialysis machines are used to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly.

Due to the sharp increase in demand, “continuous” dialysis machines and the fluids needed to run them are running low, along with other consumables such as the tubing needed to connect a patient to the machine.

Suppliers Baxter Health Care Limited, Fresenius Medical Care (UK) Ltd and B Braun Medical Ltd, which make up 70 per cent of the NHS market, all reported dwindling supplies of the kits and fluids, according to a supply distribution alert from the Department of Health and Social Care.

The Kidney Care UK charity told HSJ it warned the Department of Health and Social Care about the shortages on 7 April.

A week later, on 15 April, official guidance issued by NHS England, said “the need to provide renal replacement therapy to an increasing number of critically ill patients is likely to exceed machine capacity”, before setting out a range of alternative options for treatment  (Source: HSJ).

Related: NHS England Clinical guide for renal replacement therapy options in critical care during the coronavirus pandemic

NHS urges public to stay safe ahead of Ramadan #covid19rftlks

NHS England | April 2020 |NHS urges public to stay safe ahead of Ramadan

NHS England really published this news release. As Muslims begin to prepare for the month of Ramadan, the NHS has issued a reminder to those who observe the Islamic holy month to avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus.

Ramadan will be marked all over the world from Thursday 23 April with month-long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This is followed by Eid the festival of fast breaking where traditionally family and friends get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month.

Additional guidance and key advice have also been issued to NHS managers and staff working in hospitals and healthcare settings to cover adjustments over working hours and fasting arrangements for Muslim colleagues who are not eating or drinking during daylight hours until evening sunset.

The NHS has a diverse workforce with an estimated 3.3% of the 1.4 million NHS workers being from a Muslim background. Fasting plays an important central feature in many major religions although there are a number of exemptions where adult Muslims do not fast during Ramadan. (Source: NHS England).

Full news release available from NHS England

NHS strikes deal on first in a new generation of cancer busting drugs

NHS England | April 2020 | NHS strikes deal on first in a new generation of cancer busting drugs

The NHS has struck a deal which will see hundreds of people a year benefit from a ‘game-changing’ new cancer treatment.

Larotrectinib, will initially be used for children, young people and some adults, and targets tumours according to their genetic make-up, rather than where they originated from in the body.

The revolutionary treatment is the first in a new generation of ‘tumour agnostic’ drugs to be made available on the NHS following the deal endorsed by NICE, the organisation that ensures clinical and cost effectiveness.

Larotrectinib, also known as Vitrakvi, can be used against a wide range of cancers and could offer hope to patients with rare forms of the disease that may previously have been untreatable.

Further details available from NHS England 

Leading the acceleration of evidence into practice: a guide for executive nurses

NHS England | March 2020 | Leading the acceleration of evidence into practice: a guide for executive nurses

NHS England has published Leading the acceleration of evidence into practice: a guide for executive nurses, which is a practical guide to provide executive nurses with insight into fostering a culture that encourages staff to be innovative and use research and evidence to inform and support the sustainability and transformation of care (Source: NHS England).

Leading the acceleration of evidence into practice: a guide for executive nurses

NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

NHS England | February 2020 | NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

The findings of the NHS staff survey indicate that a little over  80 per cent of NHS staff are satisfied that they are providing the best care to patients. 

The annual survey of more than 560,000 NHS workers found that 13 per cent of staff reported being bullied, harassed or abused by their own manager in the past 12 months and almost a fifth, 19 per cent, said they had experienced abuse from colleagues.


Black and minority ethnic staff are also 14 per cent more likely to experience violence from members of the public or patients while discrimination on the grounds of ethnic background increased by four percentage points since 2018.

See NHS England NHS publishes latest NHS staff survey results

In the news:

The Independent Abusive NHS patients to be banned from receiving non-emergency care

HSJ Staff survey: Staff experiencing more violence than last year

NHS England: Implementing routine outcome monitoring in specialist perinatal mental health services

NHS England | December  2019 | Implementing routine outcome monitoring in specialist perinatal mental health services

NHS England has released a new publication, which focuses on good practice examples, tools, tips and information to help perinatal mental health (PMH) services embed appropriate perinatal mental health outcomes measures at a local level, using outcome measures that are already part of the Mental Health Services Dataset (Source: NHS England).

Image source: england.nhs.uk


Implementing routine outcome monitoring in specialist perinatal mental health services