NEWS2 and deterioration in COVID-19

This guidance emphasises the place of NEWS2 in managing patients with COVID-19.

NEWS2 should be used when managing patients with COVID 19. The use of NEWS2 will ensure that patients who are deteriorating, or at risk of deteriorating, will have a timely initial assessment by a competent clinical decision maker. NEWS2 should supplement clinical judgement in assessing the patient’s condition.

The NEWS2 scoring system for oxygen supplementation is binary (yes/no). In patients with COVID-19 infection, once hospitalised and treated with oxygen, their oxygen requirement might increase rapidly if their respiratory function deteriorates but this may not result in any additional significant increase in the NEWS2 score. Therefore, in patients with COVID 19, all staff should be aware that ANY increase in oxygen requirements should trigger an escalation call to a competent clinical decision maker. This should be accompanied by an initial increase in observations to at least hourly until a clinical review happens, if this has not already happened as a result of NEWS2.

For further information on the use of NEWS2 see our NEWS2 resource page and implementation guidance

We are delighted to announce that OCB media has enabled all NHS staff caring for patients with COVID-19 to use its elearning package free of charge.