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Experiences of a National Early Warning Score (NEWS) intervention in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative interview study.
Stocker, Rachel; Russell, Siân; Liddle, Jennifer; Barker, Robert O; Remmer, Adam; Gray, Joanne; Hanratty, Barbara; Adamson, Joy.
  • Stocker R; Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK rachel.stocker@newcastle.ac.uk.
  • Russell S; Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Liddle J; Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Barker RO; Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Remmer A; Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Gray J; Community Services, Specialist Older Person Team, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Tyne and Wear, UK.
  • Hanratty B; Department of Nursing, Midwifery & Health, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
  • Adamson J; Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
BMJ Open ; 11(7): e045469, 2021 07 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1329054
ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND:

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the care home sector, with residents accounting for up to half of all deaths in Europe. The response to acute illness in care homes plays a particularly important role in the care of residents during a pandemic. Digital recording of a National Early Warning Score (NEWS), which involves the measurement of physical observations, started in care homes in one area of England in 2016. Implementation of a NEWS intervention (including equipment, training and support) was accelerated early in the pandemic, despite limited evidence for its use in the care home setting.

OBJECTIVES:

To understand how a NEWS intervention has been used in care homes in one area of North-East England during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has influenced resident care, from the perspective of stakeholders involved in care delivery and commissioning.

METHODS:

A qualitative interview study with care home (n=10) and National Health Service (n=7) staff. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

RESULTS:

Use of the NEWS intervention in care homes in this area accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stakeholders felt that NEWS, and its associated education and support package, improved the response of care homes and healthcare professionals to deterioration in residents' health during the pandemic. Healthcare professionals valued the ability to remotely monitor resident observations, which facilitated triage and treatment decisions. Care home staff felt empowered by NEWS, providing a common clinical language to communicate concerns with external services, acting as an adjunct to staff intuition of resident deterioration.

CONCLUSIONS:

The NEWS intervention formed an important part of the care home response to COVID-19 in the study area. Positive staff perceptions now need to be supplemented with data on the impact on resident health and well-being, workload, and service utilisation, during the pandemic and beyond.
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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Early Warning Score / COVID-19 Type of study: Prognostic study / Qualitative research Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: BMJ Open Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Bmjopen-2020-045469

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Full text: Available Collection: International databases Database: MEDLINE Main subject: Early Warning Score / COVID-19 Type of study: Prognostic study / Qualitative research Limits: Humans Country/Region as subject: Europa Language: English Journal: BMJ Open Year: 2021 Document Type: Article Affiliation country: Bmjopen-2020-045469