We can’t escape the fact that the pandemic has been extremely challenging for us all.
It has impacted our daily lives on so many different levels and although it’s been a time of uncertainty, it’s also been a time for significant change in the way patients and service users receive care and support.
Through innovative ways of delivering care and adapting to new ways of working, health and care services have continued to support people and their families during lockdowns and restrictions.
During autumn of last year, we teamed up with partners from Wirral Council and Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to launch the fantastic Telehealth and Pulse Oximetry @ Home Service which provides virtual support to patients at home with long term conditions, such as Heart Failure and COPD.
Through the use of innovative technology, patients are empowered to self-manage their condition effectively.
By understanding symptoms and knowing their numbers, along with support from our clinical team, people can recognise when they are deteriorating and can access the medical help they need.
Over a short space of time the service has gone from strength to strength, and the team is now providing dedicated support to people at home who have tested positive for COVID-19.
We know that patients with serious coronavirus symptoms often do not go to hospital early enough to get the medical support they need, but by knowing and monitoring their oxygen saturation levels people can keep a close eye on how their symptoms are progressing and access the right treatment at the right time.
So, how do you monitor your own oxygen levels? A small simple device called a pulse oximetry monitor clips onto the finger and monitors oxygen levels in the blood and after a minute or so results are displayed – ideal oxygen levels are between 95% and 99%.
If people with COVID-19 have access to one of these devices, they can record their oxygen levels at various times throughout the day to reduce the risk of serious deterioration.
With the help from our service, people across Wirral who test positive for the virus, now have access to these simple, yet effective devices at home.
As well as recording oxygen saturation levels at key times throughout the day our team also encourages people to record changes in their breathing and how they are feeling.
By recording this information, they can tell if they are getting better or getting more unwell and our clinical team can quickly respond.
COVID-19 can make you feel dreadful, breathless and tired, along with other horrendous symptoms, but a large number of people can manage their symptoms at home, without needing to go to hospital.
If your oxygen saturation levels are 95% and you have no signs of pneumonia/sepsis our specialist team will reassure and support you to remain at home safely, but if your levels drop, they will act quickly and get you the treatment you need.
Our dedicated team has supported over 500 people to remain at home safely, with 44 being admitted to hospital to receive urgent specialist care.
Joan, a recent patient with the service said: “I have felt really supported by the oximetry at home team while I had COVID-19. It was so reassuring to know my oxygen levels where ok even though I felt awful. Happily, I am fully recovered now.”
If you have COVID-19 please speak to your GP about a referral into our Telehealth and Pulse Oximetry Service for a pulse oximetry monitor.