The Wokingham Paper

Hospital launches new method of treating suspected Covid-19 from home

Royal Berkshire Hospital
Royal Berkshire Hospital

ROYAL Berkshire Hospital is freeing up beds by supporting patients with suspected Covid-19 from home with specialist machines.

The hospital announced today they are allowing some patients with suspected Covid-19 symptoms to return home with a pulse oximeter which will monitor their oxygen levels.

After successful trials in Northern Italy, it is thought that RBH is one of the first places in the country to use this triage pathway.

The overall aim is to free-up demands on hospital staff, and beds and ease pressure on frontline clinicians.

Patients who arrive at the Emergency Department with breathing difficulties are given routine tests on their heart, blood pressure, oxygen levels and respiratory rates as usual.

Doctors then decide whether the patient needs to be admitted to hospital or can return home with the oxygen monitoring machine.

The hospital will maintain daily contact with the patients for five days, with clinicians on the end of the phone to check the patient’s condition. 

If, at any time, they become concerned about a patient’s oxygen readings, they can be called back into the hospital for observation or treatment.

Dr Joseph Nunan, ultrasound fellow in the Acute Medical Unit, said: “This Covid triage pathway, was shared with us by doctors from Brescia, Italy, working in what was then the second Covid hotspot in Europe.

“The collaboration, which has led to the Royal Berkshire Hospital adopting this Italian triage pathway, has shown the NHS and the RBH at their very best. We’re keen to share our experience with other hospitals, so we have built a website:”.

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