Respiratory practice with COVID-19 patients

FAQs and resources on key areas of respiratory physiotherapy practice in relation to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.


The CSP recognizes the ACPRC as the clinical network leading work in this area and we are signposting CSP members to the ACPRC COVID-19 resources which will be updated regularly.

CSP members who have not worked in respiratory care for some time must be mindful that they have a professional responsibility to identify any training needs they may have before undertaking work in this area. NHS organizations are providing rapid induction and training and in addition the online resources on this page may be useful to develop or refresh your knowledge and skills.  These online resources will be useful to help you to develop or refresh your knowledge and skills to work with COVID-19 patients.

If you are unhappy with your level of competence or capability to move in to a respiratory roles, you should raise your concerns with your line manager as per normal policy and procedures.

National clinical guidelines

COVID-19 rapid guideline: critical care in adults [NICE: NG159] (updated 25 March 20)

Guidance for the role and use of non-invasive respiratory support in adult patients with coronavirus (confirmed or suspected) [NHS England]


See the Government's Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19  which sets out that particularly vulnerable  patient groups must be shielded for at least 12 weeks. These include people with severe respiratory conditions such as all Cystic Fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.  See our Conditions management section below for more resources on working with these patients.

Online learning resources for respiratory physiotherapy with COVID-19 patients

NHS Education for Scotltand has produced a series of excellent learning resources to support assessment of and caring for the acutely unwell person The most relevant of these resources along with those from other sources are listed below.

Professional skills

e-Learning for Healthcare

The Respiratory eLearning programme was developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Condition management



COVID-19 : Obtaining an upper respiratory tract sample (Health Protection Scotland)

Further Online Training Modules

You can also find a series of training modules from the knowledge network of NHS Scotland using the links below:

Last reviewed: