During the height of the pandemic we were unable to deliver face to face group rehabilitation due to increased risk of viral transmission and resultant outbreaks of COVID-19. We have, therefore converted our program to home-based tele/virtual rehabilitation to address this major gap in care. We have managed in this way to reduce patients’ vulnerability to physical deconditioning, depression, and social isolation.
From May 2021 we have returned to face to face classes using venues situated across our large ICS patch in Farnham, Fleet and Camberley ensuring in this way that rehabilitation classes are closer to our patients’ homes. The pre- established numbers of patients enrolled in each class ensure we comply with government guidance on social distancing.
We have been very excited to receive huge number of referrals from various practices within our ICS although we have noticed that many of these referrals were inappropriate. Some of the practices have been sending a link out via text message for respiratory patients to complete which in turn has generated referrals to the PR service. Most of the patients were not consented (verbally/written) or were not reviewed for suitability and fitness to exercise within the last 2 weeks.
There are strict criteria for referring patients for either virtual/tele/face to face rehabilitation programs and these are documented in the ‘Referral Criteria to Community respiratory team’ attached to DXS.
We are happy to help practices understand the referral criteria for PR and provide either training sessions or send out leaflets explaining the programs content.
We would like to let the practice nurses and doctors know that we appreciate the constant effort they are putting into coping with the increased demand and workload pressures caused by the pandemic.
Please contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at 0300 613 8032.
FHFT Community Respiratory Team.