Delegating clinical tasks to informal carers and relatives during the COVID-19 pandemic
Livewell Southwest used our guidance on end of life care for adults and our COVID-19 rapid guideline on managing symptoms (including at the end of life) in the community, to develop their end of life care for adults policy.
At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the team avoided unnecessary visits by delegating care tasks to families and carers where appropriate. The policy gives clarity on the roles and responsibilities of staff when care is delegated. Staff also completed training covering:
- what third party delegation entails
- exclusion criteria
- what is required of them
- what they are permitted to delegate.
The greatest benefits were seen in supporting relatives and informal carers to administer wound care and change dressings. This reduced home and care home visits by staff, which may have helped to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This method also helped to reduce caseloads, particularly when staff were off sick or isolating due to COVID-19 and it enabled more patients to be seen when needed.