Nursing care is hugely important to people in hospital. Nurses help people with eating, drinking, going to the toilet, skin care, moving, keeping clean, breathing, communication and mental wellbeing. Nursing care makes a significant difference to the way people experience being in hospital and to their recovery. For people with COVID-19, their symptoms and the infectiousness of the virus poses unique challenges for nurses in delivering this care.
Currently, no evidence-based guidelines exist for nursing hospitalised patients with Covid-19, leading to variations in patient experience, care quality and costs. We aim to co-create and evaluate an evidence-based nursing protocol for patients with the virus, in order to maximise patient experience, care quality, outcomes and costs.
In this study we will examine the literature from previous viral outbreaks and undertake a survey of innovations from NHS clinical teams. We will work with patients, nurses, other health care workers and doctors to design specific nursing procedures for these patients. We will then undertake a type of randomised controlled trial called a “rapid-cycle” trial, which will allow us to quickly test these procedures across an initial 18 NHS sites to determine their impact on patient experience, care quality, patients’ ability to manage day to day activities, treatment outcomes and costs.
We will ensure our nursing procedures are acceptable and realistic for rapid NHS implementation, with guidance and education materials. We will ensure they could be adapted for care homes, patients with other conditions requiring isolation and to global health systems.