We recently brought our 1,000th patient onto our pulse oximetry pathway, which monitors patients who have COVID from the comfort of home to ensure that any change in condition is picked up quickly and the right care received.
COVID Oximetry @home involves patients using a small monitor clipped to their finger, called a pulse oximeter, to measure their oxygen saturation levels three times a day.
Giving patients oximeters to use at home helps us to identify patients who may be deteriorating more quickly, and ensure that should a person need treatment, that they receive it quickly.
“Really good experience to do this at home rather than unnecessary hospital trips as going to hospital is very scary and can make you feel worse”
“So reassuring at a time when you are worrying about what you are going through – it just makes you feel better knowing that there is someone you can turn to.”
“Can’t speak highly enough of the team involved – I told everyone at work how good it had been.”
Silent hypoxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain, can be a common occurrence with COVID. Frequently measuring a person’s oxygen levels means that action can be taken as soon as possible.
Since developing the service quickly in January to respond to the increased numbers of patients with COVID in the community, we have now cared for over 1,000 people at home who have symptoms of COVID but who were not initially unwell enough to require hospital treatment.
We’ve sent a number of people to hospital with very low oxygen saturations who had no physical symptoms of deterioration, some of whom have been subsequently admitted to intensive care for further management.
Joanne Dorsman, Neighbourhood Transformation Programme Manager said:
“We can’t underestimate how important this service has been during the third, fourth waves of COVID in Bolton when we’ve been battling with some of the highest community infection rates in the country at times.
“We’ve constantly developed our service to meet the needs of what is going on in Bolton; changing the criteria of who will be eligible to adapt to shifts in age range of those becoming affected and to support certain groups such as pregnant women.
“We’re really proud to be able to deliver this lifesaving service and support those across Bolton who need help during the pandemic.”
Patients remain under the service for two weeks, and being on the pathway allows our team in the community to support them with any additional requirements through close partnership working with the Humanitarian Hub, CCG, NWAS and voluntary services across Bolton.
The service accepts self-referrals. If you are over 50 and have tested positive for COVID in Bolton, please contact the team on 01204 331155.