In-person assessment

Tutorial presented by Dr Sion James, Deputy Medical Director and GP in Hywel Dda UHB.

An in-person assessment can be undertaken in a designated room in the GP practice or Cluster Hub or at the patients home, using PPE. Review the patient for typical symptoms of COVID-19, including:

  • New dry cough
  • Fever/chills
  • Impaired sense of taste/smell
  • Lethargy
  • Breathlessness

And take basic observations, including:

  • Temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Respiratory rate
  • Pulse
  • SpO2

Risk stratify your patient to help determine whether they require admission to hospital or management in the community with safety netting. In some areas a virtual ward may be established to offer additional home monitoring to detect early signs of deterioration. This decision should be considered in the context of the patient’s wishes as well as the wishes of the family.

Emerging evidence suggests that people may not present with breathlessness despite significant hypoxia. If uncertain, a low threshold for pulse oximetry is advised. Some patients, particularly those in the low risk category should commence with SpO2 monitoring without requiring an in person assessment.

How to assess a patient over the phone

Pulse oximetry

Mark as Understood


All Wales Guideline for the Management of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 in the Community

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© Institute of Clinical Science and Technology (ICST) 2020