Box 1.

Checklist for setting up a new multidisciplinary COVID-19 treatment working group

Engage stakeholders
  • Identify and engage all relevant specialties (for our working group, these included infectious diseases, microbiology and virology, specialist clinical pharmacy, respiratory medicine, rheumatology, haematology, renal medicine, intensive care, paediatrics and obstetrics)

Agree terms of reference
  • Clearly define the roles and objectives of the group, write a mission statement and set out your expected outputs

  • Define your membership and quorum

  • Establish a frequency for meetings

Establish governance and accountability
  • Obtain the medical director's approval and endorsement

  • Ensure there is a clear clinical governance structure and a defined position in the organisational flowchart

  • Establish reporting responsibilities (in our case this was directly to the medical director's office)

  • Set up processes for documentation, including a clear record of all referrals received and of clinical advice given by the group

Ensure effective leadership and values
  • Flatten hierarchies to encourage open and equal debate among all members of the group

  • Co-chairing of the group can be beneficial to provide a balanced view

  • Set a clear set of values to be followed during meeting (eg kind, expert, collaborative and aspirational)

Ensure visibility and accessibility to other clinical teams
  • Make sure guidelines are easily accessible on the hospital intranet

  • Provide easy-to-use flowcharts

  • Set up a simple referral system (form to be emailed or online referral)

  • Establish a 24/7 on-call rota for a responsive service (including essential pharmacy support to release drugs in stock within hours of original referral)

Secure drug supplies
  • Establish collaborative partnerships with pharmaceutical companies for compassionate supply of drugs

  • Make sure all compassionate use request forms are completed and sent back to pharmaceutical companies

  • Carry out a daily check of pharmaceutical stock to replenish drug supplies