Healthier Together @ Home

Introducing Healthier Together @ Home

The Healthier Together @ Home service allows people with Covid-19 to have their oxygen levels monitored by local clinical teams – all from the comfort of their own homes.

Eligible people are being provided with simple-to-use devices called ‘pulse oximeters’ that monitor blood oxygen levels. Blood oxygen levels are an important factor in assessing whether someone with Covid-19 is deteriorating and needs a hospital admission.  The service helps to keep people well at home and allows extra medical help to be put in place quickly if needed.

Those who’ve tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days and are most at-risk of severe illness from the virus are eligible for Healthier Together @ Home. That includes unvaccinated (not fully vaccinated) pregnant women, and those over 16 with health conditions such as cancer, COPD, asthma and diabetes, particularly if not fully vaccinated.

You can find out whether you or someone you care for is eligible for this support by taking our confidential three-minute survey here:

Complete survey

Martin and Wendy talk about how Healthier Together @ Home has helped them

How Healthier Together @ Home works - providing pulse oximeters

Anyone eligible for support from the service will go through a simple telephone triage process, after which a pulse oximeter will be sent directly to their home, or to a local pharmacy for collection.

Pulse oximeters are simple-to-use devices that clip onto your index finger and take a reading of your oxygen saturation levels. These levels indicate whether someone with Covid-19 may be deteriorating, or at risk of ‘silent hypoxia’ – where people experience low oxygen levels but not significant shortness of breath.

People then report their oxygen readings to local health and care teams twice a day, in the way that’s easiest for them. This could be by email or text message. Some people, including those with a learning disability, might prefer a phone call – which can all be arranged with the service. Our teams will monitor the readings remotely and intervene if someone’s condition worsens or they require an admission into hospital.

After a 10-day period, the devices are sent back to us so that more people can be supported through the scheme.

Pulse Oximetry eligibility - British Sign Language

Eligibility

If you have had a positive Covid-19 test in the last seven days and you:

  • are over 16 years old and have a health condition like COPD, asthma or diabetes
  • have received a letter stating that you might be suitable for treatment with Covid Medicines (Anti-viral)
  • are pregnant and not fully vaccinated for Covid-19
  • are significantly overweight
  • have an active malignancy (cancer)
  • have a learning disability

You may be eligible for support from the service. Carers and loved ones are also encouraged to get in touch if they think the person they care for may be eligible for Healthier Together @ Home support. You can view an easy-read guide to pulse oximetry at home here.

Check your eligibility and request service support now by completing this short and confidential survey.

Complete Survey

Monitoring at home with shop bought oximeters

Even if you’re not eligible for the service right now, you may want to invest in a pulse oximeter for your home medicine cabinet.

A short guide on how to use a pulse oximeter correctly and what to look out and when you might need medical help can be found on the NHS England website.

Pulse oximeters work by shining light through the skin to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. We are aware of reports that suggest pulse oximeters are less accurate for people with darker skin, and this is being looked at nationally. The Healthier Together @ Home team have included this in the care plan for people with darker skin. The Medicines and Health Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is monitoring effectiveness on an ongoing basis.

People with darker skin who have been provided with a pulse oximeter should continue to use it to monitor changes to their readings. Please do contact your healthcare professional if you have any issues using the device or are concerned about the readings shown.