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Specialist COVID APP to teach key skills for redeployed NHS staff 

New COVID app co-developed by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation  Trust has been launched to support redeployed healthcare staff. 

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The Acute COVID app aims to increase staff confidence and function as a learning  tool for staff at two NHS Trust Hospitals, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital.

The easily accessible app is now available for download in the UK across IOS and Android devices.  

The Acute COVID app is part of the CW Innovation programme. It is a joint initiative between  Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and its charity CW+ – which identifies,  tests and scales high-impact innovations that improve patient care and patient experience.  

Functionality  

The app provides step by step guides for doctors and nurses. It also includes vital information on  triage at A&E, hospital admission, in-hospital treatments and advanced care management.  

Another feature includes training on non-invasive ventilation which was initiated by the Trust at the  start of the pandemic. When properly used, non-invasive methods such as continuous positive  airway pressure (CPAP) may reduce bed days and can prevent the need for more invasive  methods. 

Mental health support  

The app will provide signposting for staff looking for mental and physical wellbeing  support. It acknowledges the effects of caring for COVID-19 patients can have on frontline staff while preparing them to look after themselves and their colleagues.  

Dr Ryan Dhunnookchand, Respiratory Registrar & Medical Education Fellow at Chelsea and  Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:  During the first wave of COVID-19 in early 2020, we quickly realised that there were not  enough staff with the specialist skills required to care for COVID-19 patients, and we had to rapidly train and redeploy many staff members across our hospitals.

“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 aid to troubleshooting problems that might arise,  particularly when skilled staff may not be readily available to assist and thereby improve patient safety. 

 “Working with Imagineear, and supported by a generous grant from Pfizer, we are pleased to be  able to make this innovative and educational resource freely available to help all NHS Trusts and  healthcare providers.” 

 Niamh Woolven, Respiratory Nurse Specialist at the Trust said: “The Acute COVID app was designed by staff for staff. The information on caring for  patients with CPAP, and definitions of COVID, have been instrumental for nurses who have been  redeployed during the pandemic – it’s great to see our work become available via the app for  nurses across the country who are looking to learn about non-invasive ventilation.”  

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