Chelsea and Westminster launch Acute Covid app for NHS staff

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An app which supports NHS staff redeployed to care for Covid patients has been launched by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Acute Covid, was developed as part of the CW Innovation programme, which has been fast-tracking a suite of new technologies and innovations in light of the pandemic to support better patient care and transform services.

The innovation programme is an initiative between Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and its charity CW+.

This latest parternership is with Imagineear Health which co-developed the app and has been designed by staff for staff. The app aims to increase staff confidence in treating Covid patients, as well as provide a one-stop information resource.

It delivers a comprehensive guide for medical professionals at all stages of Covid patient care: triage at A&E, hospital admission, in-hospital treatment and advanced care management. Crucially, the app includes vital training on non-invasive ventilation for staff not used to routinely carrying out techniques like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Being able to effectively use methods like this can reduce bed days and mean more invasive ventilation methods aren’t needed.

Julia Laflin, head of healthcare at Imagineear Health, said: “We worked with the respiratory specialists at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to turn their excellent training material and video content into a structure with clear interface design that could provide education on defining the categories of Covid, the admissions and treatment protocols as well as quick reference aid and troubleshooting guidance.”

Supported by a grant from Pfizer, the app also acknowledges the toll of caring for Covid patients, signposting NHS staff to their own mental and physical wellbeing support to ensure they’re looking after themselves and their colleagues.

The Acute Covid app was originally created as a learning tool to be used by staff at the trust’s two hospital sites, however it has now been made widely available to anyone tasked with Covid care.

Dr Ryan Dhunnookchand, respiratory registrar and medical education fellow at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The goal was to develop a smartphone application that increased staff confidence in caring for Covid-19 patients, including setting up CPAP circuits, and provided an aid to troubleshooting problems that might arise, particularly when skilled staff may not be readily available to assist and thereby to improve patient safety.”