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P-69 Care home designated to take COVID-19 patients – palliative care support
  1. Belinda Pomeroy
  1. Salisbury Hospice, Salisbury, UK


Background Three Acute NHS Trusts were reaching maximum bed capacity by January 2021 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. A local recently refurbished care home was identified as a suitable COVID-19 discharge facility for COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 contact patients whose ceiling of care could be managed in this setting (including oxygen therapy) to help ease bed pressures.


  • To support primary care and care home staff with symptom control and decision making for those patients who were end-of-life.

  • To help avoid readmission back into the Acute NHS Trusts who were already at capacity.

  • To support the relatives of these patients.

Method From January until the end of March 2021 support was provided to the designated care home in the form of:

  • A weekly virtual ward round. Members on the virtual ward round included a GP, the Lead Nurse from the care home, an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, a paramedic and a Palliative Care Nurse Specialist.

  • The provision of regular telephone calls throughout the week was dependant on need from the care home.

  • If there were any particular patients that the care home staff had concerns about a clinical nurse specialist would be available at weekends and bank holidays for advice and support.

  • Telephone calls to relatives.


  • Prevention of patients being readmitted to the Acute NHS Trusts following the input from specialist palliative care.

  • Quality symptom control provided for patients not for escalation.

  • Quality end-of-life care.

  • Support for care home staff.

Conclusion The specialist palliative care input made a positive contribution to the care of patients and also to the symptom control of those patients who were end-of-life. Staff felt supported in looking after these patients at a time when care home staff were generally feeling very isolated.

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