Embracing the changes imposed by COVID-19 to shape future stoma care service provision
As the end of 2020 approaches, it is timely to look back and reflect on what such an unprecedented year this has been for us as clinical nurse specialists and service providers, alongside all the changes that the NHS and social care staff have had to make to ensure that their clinical services are maintained.
With restrictions on face-to-face contact has come the requirement to reduce the number of outpatient clinics and home visits, leading many stoma nurse specialists to employ innovative ways of maintaining their service to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. With some staff shielding, sick or redeployed to support frontline care, it has been essential to triage and prioritise patients to help keep everyone safe and maintain vital services.
NHS England (2020) has encouraged a transition to new ways of delivering care to prevent the transmission of SARS-COV-2: this has meant reducing patient footfall and having fewer staff in hospitals and finding the means for both clinicians and patients to have clinical interactions in their home environments.
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