Five health organisations have released joint guidance report to support teams caring for people with Covid-19, so to protect staff caring for those with Covid-19 and patients potentially with the infection.

Doing this by providing advice on best practice involving PPE, social distancing and recording information when conducting ward rounds, bedside and case reviews, and sharing information with those close to the patient.

The multidisciplinary patient review in Covid-19 cohort wards was developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Nursing in collaboration with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and NHS England & Improvement Emergency Care Improvement Support Team.

Multidisciplinary patient review in Covid-19 cohort wards

Guidance includes:

  • Recommendations that board rounds or huddles are restricted to one member of each appropriate discipline and are appropriately socially distanced to the setting.
  • Ward rounds should include individual members of the multidisciplinary team that are relevant to each patient.
  • A safe distance should also be maintained during ward rounds and bedside reviews, including around patient charts and records.
  • Attending a patient at their bedside should be done while using appropriate PPE. Still, team members should maintain a safe distance, as well as incorporating a suggested ‘PPE buddies’ system to ensure that standards are maintained.
  • As teaching and training is an essential element of the medical profession, exceptions should be allowed for bedside care education providing precautions are observed.
  • The encouragement of the use of technology to facilitate as little contact between colleagues as possible.
  • Doors to patient bays and rooms should be closed.
  • Visiting should be restricted to specific needs – such as for compassionate end of life grounds.
  • Mechanisms for patients to communicate with their families, such as phones or tablet computers, should be routinely cleaned.

Dr John Dean, RCP Clinical Director for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, said: “This short guide is the first national standard for ward-based patient assessment. Developed by clinicians for clinicians, we hope that it will be widely adopted.”