20 Apr 2020

Help us to help keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

Your hospital clinical teams, HEN providers and the national NHS bodies are working closely together to ensure your service continues with minimal disruption throughout this challenging period. This information has been prepared to reassure you and help you understand what measures have been, or are being, put in place by your hospital clinical teams and homecare providers to protect you and continue to provide a safe service. The government is urging everyone to pull together and there are things that you, and your family, can do to help as well, which we have included below. Over the next few months it is anticipated that the pressure on the NHS and the HEN providers will peak to an unprecedented level. As it is not possible to know how the situation will develop, the NHS and HEN providers are planning for a number of potential situations.

How can you protect yourself and help the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Enteral feed equipment - we need your help

There is an urgent need for extra enteral feeding and equipment nationwide. If you have a pump that is not in use and has not been returned, please contact your HEN provider at your earliest opportunity to arrange for it to be picked up. If you have a spare pump, please discuss with your healthcare professional whether this is needed at this time as returning it even on a temporary basis may help others during a period of increased demand.

If you are on pump feeding, your dietitian may discuss with you the option of changing to bolus feeding (this involves administering the enteral feed using a syringe) or gravity feeding. This will not be recommended if your dietitian feels it could impact on how well you tolerate your enteral feed.

Although we are pursuing actions to ensure we have enough pumps to meet the increased demand, should your pump malfunction during a period when there is a shortage of pumps available nationally, the dietitian will discuss alternative feeding methods to ensure you continue to have your enteral feed.

Read the full document at the link below.