In the coming days and weeks staff in the NHS across the UK will be expected to work very differently to support increasing numbers of patients presenting with symptoms of COVID-19.
In order to prepare for this, NHS Trusts have reduced their non-urgent diagnostic and therapeutic workload. This has resulted in additional numbers of skilled healthcare professionals, including cardiac scientists, to assist in our critical care areas. The focus is now to increase critical care capacity and support ventilated patients. As a part of this initiative many Trusts are establishing local training and competency schemes to support the redeployment of those healthcare professionals.
SCST supports this approach as we acknowledge that many of the core skills possessed by the Cardiac Scientists are transferable to the critical care setting, this is subject to appropriate training, competency assessment and clinical oversight.
SCST highlight that Echocardiography is deemed to be an essential service during this time, and is required both to support critical care and other urgent services such cancer, therefore and as such the redeployment strategies should not compromise the delivery of echocardiography or other essential cardiac services.