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Oxford palliative care 'virtual ward' launched


A "virtual ward" enabling patients who want to die at home get the palliative care they need has launched.

Hospice Outreach provides a "specialised pathway" for patients identified by existing services who would benefit from support.

It is part of a project that supports people at the very end of their life.

Dr Victoria Bradley, of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), said it was about giving people "control and agency".

OUH claims Hospice Outreach's virtual ward will mean more people will receive personalised care, including in their own homes if that is their choice.

It said specialist palliative care would be "provided virtually or in person, depending on what is best for the patient".

Amelia Foster, chief executive at Sobell House, said: "Being able to offer a virtual ward to those in a palliative crisis or at the end of their lives helping them to remain at home means more people can access our care in the way that they wish."

Dr Bradley, who is the clinical lead for palliative medicine at OUH, said: "We can support with discharge from hospital to people's homes if that is their wish, and by reducing people's time in hospital and caring for them at home, we can offer the right support in their chosen surroundings."

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Source: BBC News, 14 March 2024

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