Just over half of the 7,000 new virtual ward beds opened under the new national programme are occupied by patients, according to recent internal figures seen by HSJ.
NHS England director for community transformation Stephanie Sommerville told a recent NHSE webinar that occupancy stood at around 52%.
Although it is understood programme directors are pleased with the 43% growth in virtual beds since May, Ms Sommerville said it “demonstrate[s] we have a way to go to make sure our virtual wards are really well utilised. Of course, one of the big contributions to delivering more activity to our virtual wards is getting the referrals and admissions process right.”
While the concept of remotely monitoring patients at home has been around for more than 20 years, NHSE has made expanding remotely monitored care a key ambition in order to tackle the capacity and demand challenges facing the NHS.
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Source: HSJ, 16 December 2022