Covid-19 oximetry at home: Resources for practices

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The following pathway and resources have been created to support GP practices to manage patients on the Covid-19 oximetry at home pathway. This article is kept up to date with the latest information.

Starting a patient on the pathway

For an overview of the Covid-19 oximetry at home pathway please refer to the process map below.

Each practice will also need to keep a record of the patients who are currently on the Covid-19 oximetry at home pathway to ensure they are followed up in line with the national specification. The data collection sheet below will support you to do this by auto-populating the follow-up dates for each patient on the pathway.

Pathway for homeless population

An NCL-wide pathway has been launched to ensure that our homeless population can access Covid-19 oximetry if needed has been launched.

Further information on the pathway and support is available.

Pulse oximetry for people with darker skin

The MHRA published guidance on 26 March noting that it is possible that patients with lighter skin may have small differences in the result reported when compared to those with darker skin (along with other well-known factors), however, they are not aware of any incidents where skin colour has had an adverse effect on the use of pulse oximeters when providing effective clinical care. 

Please note: This article was updated on 8 December 2021 to add an updated version of the document Pulse oximetry for people with darker skin (18 October 2021). See below to download.

Decision support tool for pregnancy with confirmed or suspected Covid

This decision support tool has been produced by London region and London Ambulance and should be used when reviewing Covid risk factors and oxygen saturation in pregnancy for patients who present confirmed or suspect Covid-10. Please refer to this tool when initiating and monitoring pregnant patients on the Covid oximetry @home pathway.

Decision support tool

Decision support tool: Adults with confirmed / suspected Covid-19 (ambulance)

Proactive searches and EMIS clinical template

Searches now available to practices with an EMIS clinical template being rolled out to practices across North Central London in early March.

Resources for poeple with a learning disability

Relevant Learning Disability Resources for Covid Oximetry @home (Collated on 11/01/21, by Jo Murray Oxford AHSN on behalf of Alison Tavare, Clinical Lead West of England AHSN)

What is pulse oximetry? (easy read patient leaflet).

Please also make sure that all patients on the pathway have access to safety netting advice:

Safety netting advice explaining when a patient should seek help, (updated 9/12/21)

Covid-19 oximetry at home patient diary

Following up patients who are on the pathway

There are several ways to carry out the follow-up of patients on the pathway. Patients can be emailed, texted using AccuRx, or could be called by a non-clinical member of staff using the resources below.

Patients only need to be assessed by a clinician if the follow-up identifies a concern, or that the patient’s o2 saturation has dropped.

Support line: Oximetry at home patients

A new advice line has now been set up for oximetry at home patients in cases where clinicians require further advice from a senior clinician with experience of Covid-19.

  • Contact the support line on: 020 7870 1245
  • Opening times: 8am-8pm, seven days a week
  • Outside of these opening hours the usual routes of escalation for all patients apply.

Full details on the advice line are available. 

Frequently asked questions

Responses to common questions around oximetry at home, the patient pathway, monitoring, actions for practices and more.

Oximetry project updates

Available here are regular national and NCL updates as oximetry work develops and a programme is developed around broader remote monitoring.

Updates highlight progress made in the last week, examples of good practice etc. as well as signposting any new guidance/upcoming webinars.

Additional resources

Translated materials

Also available at the following films have been produced by partners in Slough and demonstrate how to use a pulse oximeter in the following languages:

Please note: This article was updated on 23 December 2021 to refresh the support line phone number.

Pulse oximetry for people with darker skin (18 October 2021)

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Expiry date: Dec 31st, 2099