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Challenges in delivering rheumatology care during COVID-19 pandemic

Authors
  • Nune, A.1
  • Iyengar, K.1
  • Ahmed, A.1
  • Sapkota, H.2
  • 1 Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust, Southport, UK
  • 2 The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Rheumatology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Jul 25, 2020
Pages
1–5
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10067-020-05312-z
PMID: 32712743
PMCID: PMC7382561
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

COVID-19 has significantly affected healthcare systems around the world. To prepare for this unprecedented emergency, elective patient care was put on hold across the National Health Service (NHS). Rheumatology service had to be reorganised with a cancellation of elective clinics and clinical reconfiguration to continue to deliver care to patients, support frontline, and prevent viral transmission. The rheumatology community’s responsibility of providing a continuity of care for patients had to be balanced with measures to reduce the risk of viral transmission and also protection of both the patients and staff. We describe our experience of delivering rheumatology service as recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE NG167) guidelines at a district general hospital during the current pandemic. Key Points • Prepare to deliver a rapid mass communication; ensure email and mobile phones registered in patients’ records; enable access to text and video messaging. • To ensure wider access to innovative digital technology in clinical practice; implement telephone and video consultations where appropriate. • To consider setting up community OP clinics, for example, mobile and satellite clinics.

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