A new quick guide will help home care workers and personal assistants to provide safe care and support to people who have left hospital after having COVID-19. It comes at an important time as the country prepares to go into lockdown for a second time.
Some of the difficulties that people might experience after a discharge from hospital include longer-term damage to the heart and lungs, difficulty swallowing, muscle weakness, fatigue, skin damage, confusion, and wider mental health problems; or feelings of reduced wellbeing. Many factors can affect people’s ability to resume day-to-day activities.
The resource, developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) for the Department of Health and Social Care, explains what to expect as people return to their lives at home under new circumstances. SCIE say that the involvement of families, friends and personal networks should be central to providing appropriate care and support. The quick guide looks at three areas:
- Physical impact, for instance, heart and diabetes care
- Psychological and social impact, including mental capacity
- Getting the basics right with infection control.
The quick guide starts with discharge from hospital: People will have a detailed assessment to create a personalised care and support plan. The guide then focuses on the physical impact of people’s condition, for instance, the impact on the lungs and the monitoring of oxygen levels. Also, people might have difficulty swallowing or communicating. The guide also looks at issues such as tracheostomy wound care, looking after skin and fatigue; along with the psychological and social impact of what they’ve been through.
NHS England has also developed a resource dedicated to supporting people’s recovery after COVID-19.