Chelsea and Westminster NHS launches acute Covid app

The app aims to work as a one-stop Covid-19 information and resource shop for doctors and nurses working with coronavirus patients

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has, together with its charity CW+, launched a Covid-19 app, aiming to support staff who have been redeployed to look after Covid-19 patients.

The app, which was co-developed together with Imagineear Health, was originally created as a learning resource for the trust, but it’s now being made available nation-wide on IOS and Android devices.  

It gives doctors and nurses a step-by-step guide on the different stages of treating a Covid-19 patient, from triaging potential Covid-positive patients in A&E, through admitting them to hospital, further treatment and advanced care management.

It also features training on non-invasive ventilation, such as CPAP, used to support breathing, which was initiated at Chelsea and Westminster during the first wave of the pandemic last year. The method could prevent the need for invasive ventilation if used appropriately.

Ryan Dhunnookchand, respiratory registrar and medical education fellow at the trust, said that during the first wave of the pandemic, the trust quickly realised that there were not enough staff with specialist skills to care for Covid-19 patients, and staff rapidly had to be trained and deployed across the trust’s 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 an aid to troubleshooting problems that might arise, particularly when skilled staff may not be readily available to assist and thereby to improve patient safety,” he said.

The app also features advice and signposts to mental and physical well-being support for staff to ensure they are able to get the support they need after looking after Covid-19 patients.

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Niamh Woolven, respiratory nurse specialist at the trust, said the 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,” she said.

Chelsea and Westminster’s CW Innovation programme aims to deliver innovative and remote care in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a focus on allowing patients to manage their long-term conditions at home through digital care.

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