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Virtual wards: achieving the NHS ambition

Virtual Wards are a crucial part of NHS plans to increase capacity and tackle the increasing operational pressures facing the NHS. But what is a Virtual Ward? What benefits will they deliver? Furthermore, how well is the NHS doing in delivering on its ambition for Virtual Wards? Tracey Barr provides an insight.

Virtual Wards support patients, who would otherwise be in an acute hospital bed, to receive the acute care, monitoring, and treatment they need in their own home or normal place of residence. This can have benefits for individual patients, as well as for the flow of patients through the wider health and care system, by helping to prevent avoidable admissions to, and support safe and timely discharges from, hospital. 

A safe, efficient alternative to inpatient care, Virtual Wards provide personalised care and patient choice, by combining face-to-face provision and technology to allow hospital-level care in settings outside of the hospital. Patients are managed remotely by a clinical team via a digital platform. Virtual Wards differ from other community services in a number of ways:1

The concept of a ‘Virtual Ward’ has been around for many years, often in the form of ‘Hospital at Home’ services. However, the rapid development of digital innovations (such as telecare, remote monitoring, wearables and hands-free tech) that allow patients to receive their care and be monitored remotely, together with the acceleration of their adoption and more widespread use during the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a much greater focus on Virtual Wards as part of the solution to the pressures facing the NHS.

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Upcoming Events

Infection Prevention & Control

National Conference Centre, Birmingham
23rd - 24th April 2024

ESGE Days 2024, Symposium – ‘Elevating Endoscopy: Inspiring Progress and Innovation’

Estrel Congress Center (room 15), Berlin, Germany
25th April 2024, 16:30 – 17:30 CEST

National DERS and SMART pump conference

BCEC, Birmingham
29th April 2024

Theatres & Decontamination Conference 2024

Coventry Building Society Arena
16th May 2024

The AfPP Roadshow - Birmingham

Millennium Point, Birmingham
18th May 2024

BAUN Summer Educational Event – Essential Urology Skills

Crowne Plaza, Newcastle Stephenson Quarter
6th June 2024

Access the latest issue of Clinical Services Journal on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Clinical Services Journal app from your device's App store

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