Guidance has been issued to specialty endocrine services as coronavirus figures continue to rise.
The Society of Endocrinology is advising those working in the field to continue during the second wave of COVID-19 but to “tailor their future working” depending on what is going on in their region.
It said that any change to service will largely depend on “COVID-19 numbers, staff redeployment to general medicine, staff sickness and the need for individuals to shield, quarantine or self-isolate”.
The authors added: “The variability in services will mean departments will need to tailor their future working to their region’s scenario. We foresee more localised impacts rather than a national stopping of services, but see it as paramount that we continue providing specialty endocrine services in future waves for our patients’ safety.”
It is being advised that endocrine departmental capacity should run as “high as possible”, but ABCD has drafted a risk stratification document of endocrine conditions for various capacity options. The minimum capacity which has been deemed safe to provide safe endocrine patient care is 25 per cent.
The authors said: “We see it as a clinical risk to not be able to manage patients with acute endocrine issues in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, including urgent dynamic endocrine testing. This 25% capacity would allow those priority conditions needing specialist endocrine input to still be managed.”
The guidance has also laid the need for clearly defined roles for specific team members, including nurses, shielding colleagues and registrars.
Where possible, specialty training for endocrine trainees should be maintained and integration between primary, secondary and tertiary care is being encouraged as much as possible.
In addition, referral routes for all patients which may differ from region to region must be fully understood and people who can be seen by virtual appointment should be identified.
To read the document, click here.