50 covid patients on virtual care service at home

Joe Duncan, respiratory physician. Photo: Contributed

If you have covid but don’t need to go to hospital, there is a virtual care service available for covid patients at home.

More than 100 patients in Northern NSW have been cared for under the Northern NSW Virtual COVID Care Service.

Northern NSW Local Health District’s Lynne Weir said the service means that patients can stay in the comfort of their own homes and still have regular contact with our nursing and medical teams.

This service builds on the Hospital in the Home program which had been previously providing home-based clinical monitoring for patients with covid.

“It provides escalation processes to recognise early deterioration, and clear communications between our clinicians, public health teams and local emergency services personnel should someone require a transfer to hospital at any point.

“We also have 24-hour telephone support to give patients the peace of mind of having a direct line to our care team when they need it.”

Once a person is diagnosed with covid, the virtual care team completes an assessment and puts a care plan in place.

Respiratory physician Joe Duncan said patients can remain under the care of the service as long as necessary or be admitted to hospital at any point if they require hospital care.

There are about 50 cases being cared for by the NNSWLHD COVID Care team, which include patients who are within their infectious period, or who still require monitoring and treatment for ongoing symptoms.

Other patients who have been cared for by the service since it began in early September have since been discharged.

Patients receive a support pack that includes a pulse oximeter and thermometer.

Many patients will experience no symptoms or suffer any effects from the virus, and some patients also choose not to be admitted to hospital.

On discharge from the Northern NSW Virtual COVID Care Service, patients are referred to their GP for any ongoing care.

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