Our response to COVID-19

Here in the Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre, our palliative care experts are working with health professionals, partners, patients and members of the public to improve palliative care for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Discover the ways we are responding to COVID-19:

Managing the supportive care needs of those affected by

Professor Miriam Johnson and Professor David Currow contributed to the world's first consensus-based guidance on palliative care in COVID-19, emphasising the need for excellent symptom control, conversations about medical treatment plans tailored to the individual, and compassionate communication with patient and families.

Read the paper in the European Respiratory Journal

Practical guide to symptom management of COVID

In most cases of COVID-19 (>80%), the illness is relatively mild and can be self-managed out of hospital. However, in about 20% the illness causes respiratory compromise severe enough to require hospital admission.

Professor Miriam Johnson co-authored a practical guide for respiratory healthcare professionals on the frontline to provide good symptom control to their patients.

The guide included downloadable patient and family information sheets available in 24 languages, which was published in the European Respiratory Journal. The paper was downloaded nearly 7,000 times in the first three weeks of publication.

To download a COVID19 Hospital Factsheet for people hospitalised with COVID-19 and family or friends, please visit the the European Lung Foundation website.

Read the paper in the European Respiratory Journal

Quality testing face-masks donated to the NHS

Professor Miriam Johnson assisted the scientists and engineers at the University of Hull to quality-test 80,000 face masks donated to the NHS, for use in hospitals in North Lincolnshire.

Tests were carried out on the masks to ensure they met the standard required for use by NHS staff, before then being rolled out to local NHS hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the University of Hull website for details of the testing

Improving palliative care for people affected by COVID-19

Professor Fliss Murtagh is working with King’s College London and the University of Lancaster on the CovPall study: improving palliative care for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support people in many settings, palliative care services and hospices have changed rapidly how they work. They are supporting existing patients who don’t have COVID-19, and also those with COVID-19 who have severe symptoms or are dying. In addition the symptoms that people experience, and the best treatments for these symptoms, are not well understood.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand how palliative and end of life care services have responded to COVID-19. Learning from each other will speed up the responses, and help future plans.

CovPall aims to understand more about how palliative care services and hospices are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the problems that patients and families affected by COVID-19 are facing, and how to best respond.

Visit Kings College London website for further details.

Understanding public and patient concerns during COVID-19

Dr Joseph Clark worked with King’s College London and the University of Sheffield on a rapid response Public Patient Involvement (PPI) consultation. The project highlighted the concerns of PPI representatives regarding palliative care research priorities in the context of COVID-19 and showed that PPI was possible in the context of social distancing measures using virtual methods. 

View the project report on the King's College London website.

Managing breathlessness at home during the COVID-19 outbreak

Dr Ann Hutchinson worked with colleagues at Kings College London and the University of East Anglia to write a leaflet to help people with long-term conditions manage their breathlessness during the pandemic.

It has been disseminated widely through several Clinical Commissioning Groups, The Primary Care Respiratory Society, on our breathlessness blog and on Twitter.

To download a copy please visit our Guide to living well with breathlessness page.