The chief executive at a trust behind one of the UK’s first ‘virtual hospitals’ has said this model is the ‘new gold standard’ for care provision and the trust is looking at a significant expansion.
West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals Trust boss Matthew Coats said the trust aimed to eventually have “hundreds” of virtual beds for patients to be monitored at home.
The trust has been at the forefront of NHS England’s programme to significantly expand the use of virtual wards across the NHS. It was also among the first to launch a virtual ward to monitor Covid patients at home during the pandemic.
Its virtual ward model has since evolved beyond covid, to what the trust calls its “virtual hospital”, providing remote care for patients across several different pathways and specialties, including heart failure, respiratory and frailty patients, who are admitted from either a hospital bed, the emergency department or by GPs.
Mr Coats told HSJ its virtual hospital is not only supporting better flow through the hospital, but is also leading to better patient experience.
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Source: HSJ, 25 September 2023