Patient Safety Collaboratives (PSCs) identify and spread safer care initiatives in their local health and care systems. As part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some information and resources to support people working in primary care.

Go back to patient safety during COVID-19.

Pulse oximetry and remote monitoring guidance

COVID virtual ward models use pulse oximeters to safely monitor and support patients at home, providing an opportunity to detect a decline in the patient’s condition that might require hospital review and admission. Patient Safety Collaboratives are supporting the implementation of COVID virtual wards and the use of pulse oximeters in their local health and care systems.

Spotting serious illness and sepsis

Some people are more at risk than others of becoming unwell very quickly and developing a serious illness such as sepsis. This is known as ‘deterioration’ and it is important that anyone who cares for individuals who are at risk of deterioration knows how to spot the signs, especially during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Find out about the tools available to recognise physical deterioration and take the appropriate actions.

The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) is used by GPs, all ambulance services and most acute hospital trusts. NEWS is associated with a reduction in mortality in those patients admitted with a possible diagnosis of sepsis without increasing the overall number of admissions, according to a paper recently published by the British Journal of General Practice (BJGP).

You can read more about how NEWS can be applied in primary care.

RCGP / AHSN Network webinars

The Royal College of General Practitioners and the AHSN Network have been collaborating on a series of joint webinars. The first two are available to watch again and you can download the presentations here:

Safe tracheostomy care

A toolkit for healthcare staff has been published by the National Tracheostomy Safety Project (NTSP) in collaboration with the AHSN Network and the National Patient Safety Improvement Programmes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to support healthcare staff who are looking after patients with tracheostomies.

Primarily the toolkit is for hospital staff. However, much of the material is also applicable to primary and community care settings.

COVID-19 resources

There is more information on the Royal College of General Practitioners COVID-19 Resource Hub.

Follow this link for more information on patient safety during COVID-19.

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