Including NICE, Gov.uk, BSI and Ashtons documentation
Over the last few months, a variety of new clinical advice and guidance has been released to help both the public and healthcare providers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has released a series of rapid clinical guidelines since March to support the NHS and social care sector, providing updates when new evidence is available. These guidelines prioritised therapeutically critical topics and cover managing symptoms and complications, managing conditions that increase risk and providing services during the pandemic. The guidelines can be found on the NICE website.
Notable topics include NG179 ‘Arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services’ (published in July) which covers helping healthcare professionals deliver efficient planned care while minimising the risk of COVID-19, and also NG163 ‘Managing symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community’ (published in April). This provides recommendations for managing COVID‑19 symptoms for patients in the community, and for managing medicines for these patients, and protecting staff from infection.
Here at Ashtons, we have produced our own guidance documents on symptom management at end of life ‘COVID-19 and Palliative, End of Life and Bereavement Care in Secondary Care and the Community – Resources’ and ‘Non Injectables for End of Life Care Suggestions’. We have also produced a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that provides guidance on how to reuse dispensed medication in the hospice setting, with a bespoke form available to help with this. Please speak to your visiting pharmacist for access to these documents.
The UK Government’s Gov.uk web resource provides access to information and guidance covering a range of topics including:
- Going to work
- Getting tested
- Advice for healthcare workers, carers and care settings
- Guidance for employers
The British Standards Institution (BSI) has also released guidelines on safe working during the COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines provide recommendations based on user experience and expert input and an updated version has recently become available, which has been enhanced and extended, based on the best and latest information, to help prevent a second wave. The document ‘Help prevent a second wave: Practical steps to support safe working, and prevent and mitigate COVID-19 outbreaks in your organisation’ contains new clauses including:
- Working from home
- Managing suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19
- Multiple or mobile workplaces
- Safe use of toilets
- Reporting to external parties
- Inclusivity and accessibility
- Psychological health and well-being.