Pulse oximeters provided to those most vulnerable from COVID-19

NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are working with partners across Wakefield and the district, such as GP practices and community teams, to offer a COVID Oximetry @home service, which is run by Local Care Direct (LCD), to those most at risk from becoming very unwell from coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our service is provided for patients with COVID-19 infection who are vulnerable, for example over the age of 50, have underlying health problems such as diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease, people with learning disabilities or those who are shielding. The person or their carers, family members or another appropriate contact can borrow small medical devices called pulse oximeters to report if their oxygen levels begin to fall. LCD provides support 24 hours a day and will advise on what to do. This means that the patient can be helped quickly as soon as they start to become more unwell and be referred to hospital for further treatment if needed or be helped to stay safe at home.

Dr Clive Harries, GP Board Member and Clinical Lead for Planned Care, said: “The local COVID Oximetry @home service is providing our most vulnerable patients with the confidence to recover safely in their own homes when they have caught COVID-19. By measuring their own oxygen saturations and having the regular support of clinicians, they know when to seek more help if that proves necessary”.

Dr Stan Martin, Clinical Lead at Local Care Direct, said: “People with COVID-19 can have very low oxygen levels but do not feel particularly breathless. This can be dangerous as a person may not recognise how ill they are. We are providing this service for those in the Wakefield area because the pulse oximeter enables us to identify when people are starting to develop low oxygen levels and we can provide prompt clinical support. Detecting this early deterioration will be better and safer for the patient as we can act much sooner to provide appropriate treatment or referral.

LCD will contact some people who have a positive test directly. If you receive a call, please accept the offer of being loaned an oximeter and their offer of support.

The service is commisioned until the end of August and is available to those with a recent positive COVID-19 test result and at increased risk. To find out more details on how you can borrow a pulse oximeter, please contact your registered GP practice.