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?
- As we are all being encouraged to do so, please continue to follow the government’s advice on regular hand washing and social distancing.
- Information for members of the public to protect themselves from COVID-19 can be found at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- Continue to follow the social distancing guidance stringently, as outlined by the government. Whilst challenging, it is one of the ways to keep yourself/your child safe. For advice on social distancing please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
- For advice on travel and for those who are working visit: www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
- Unless the amount of nutrition you need has changed (as advised by your healthcare professional), please only order your usual amount of enteral feed and ancillary items as this will help ensure availability of products to all.
- If you have community nurses supporting you with routine enteral tube care, please consider which aspects of your care you, or a family member, could undertake temporarily to reduce contact with others and ease pressures that may arise through the absence of NHS staff and increased numbers of patients to support.
- Please ensure your HEN provider has a current email address and mobile number for you. If you wish to set up an additional ‘contact’ for your homecare service at this time, please let your HEN provider know.
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.