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Found 47 results
  1. Content Article
    In this blog, Angela Osei, associate director, NICE implementation support, sets out to understand some of the challenges, benefits and considerations of setting up and running a virtual ward, from the perspective of teams on the front lines.
  2. Event
    On the NHS75 anniversary, NHSE announced that paediatrics will be the next priority pathway for the rollout of virtual wards. With over 350,000 children in the queue for treatment, capacity pressures continue to mount for paediatric teams. The stage is set for paediatric virtual wards to address these pressures head-on, and emerging evidence is promising. Pilot sites have demonstrated paediatric virtual wards can: Reduce a child’s length of stay in hospital by an average of 3 days Decrease hospital readmission by 38% for children with chronic conditions. So what is needed to build paediatric virtual wards that work for both children and their caregivers? This webinar will dive into the nuanced approach required when caring for children at home, bringing in insights and learnings from leading UK paediatric clinicians and experts working in the field. In this webinar you will learn: The need for a fresh approach: the huge potential for paediatric virtual wards to reduce pressure in paediatric departments and why these pathways require teams to think differently Lessons from the front-line: the key take-aways from one of the first NHS sites to trial paediatric virtual wards How to build a successful paediatric virtual ward: what is needed to set up a paediatric virtual ward pathway and team for success Speakers: Zoe Tribble, Children's Nurse Jim McDonald, Black Country ICB Juliana Faleti, Paediatric Nurse Register for the webinar
  3. News Article
    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. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 25 September 2023
  4. Content Article
    This report summarises the findings of an evaluation conducted by Health Innovation East and Health Innovation Manchester on behalf of the national Innovation Collaborative for digital health. It presents findings from an evaluation of a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) virtual ward that falls within a virtual hospital managed by South and West Hertfordshire Health and Care Partnership. It aims to inform the potential wider adoption of the virtual ward model across the UK and understand the model’s potential to support people with other health conditions. It also considers the success of South and West Hertfordshire Health and Care Partnership Virtual Ward objectives to improve patient care, clinical outcomes, healthcare utilisation, and patient and staff satisfaction. 
  5. Content Article
    In January 2023, NHS England’s Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency services committed the health service to ease the growing pressure on hospitals by scaling up the use of ‘virtual wards’. Also known as ‘hospital at home’, virtual wards allow people to receive treatment and care where they live, rather than as a hospital inpatient, while still being in regular contact with health professionals. This article by The Health Foundation looks at how NHS staff and the UK public feel about the use of virtual wards, based on the results of a survey of 7,100 members of the public and 1,251 NHS staff members. The survey aimed to assess how supportive these groups are of virtual wards and what they think is important for making sure they work well.
  6. Event
    Virtual wards have the potential to improve patient experience by enabling them to receive care at home, and to alleviate workforce pressures by freeing up staff time. However, there is still a lot of work to be done to improve capacity and use of virtual wards if patients and staff are to feel the benefits. Additionally, there are still extensive variations progress and use of virtual wards - operationally, digitally and financially - across the NHS and integrated care systems (ICS). With central funding coming to an end, all parts of the health and care system face practical challenges in making virtual wards a positive option for the future. Against this backdrop, this panel discussion will bring together experts to discuss: how to build a model for sustainable virtual wards that meets the immediate challenges of the health and care system, but also aligns with the NHS vision and aspirations for the future what patients and communities want from virtual wards and how their voices can shape future services what opportunities there are for virtual services to enable better integration between partners across the health and care system, as well as providing better working options and flexibility for staff. Register
  7. News Article
    The NHS has heralded a “new era” of healthcare that will see hundreds of thousands of patients avoid lengthy hospital stays and instead be treated in their own homes. From September, 10,000 acutely ill patients will be cared for on “virtual wards”, using remote monitoring technology which automatically transmits data on their condition to teams of doctors and nurses several miles away. Health chiefs believe the massive expansion of the scheme, which is already the largest in the world, is essential to free hospital capacity — preventing another winter A&E crisis and helping to bring down record waiting lists. Every NHS region has set up virtual wards for frail over-65s, including dementia patients, as well as for respiratory conditions such as asthma or lung disease. From this month the scheme will be rolled out to cover under-18s, allowing terminally ill children to remain at home surrounded by family. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 28 July 2023
  8. News Article
    Tens of thousands of children will be treated in “virtual wards” to free hospital beds for more critically ill patients under new NHS plans. The Hospital at Home service will be expanded to include paediatric care in every region of England this month, the health service announced. As part of the service, clinical teams review patients daily and can provide treatments including blood tests, prescribe medicines or administer fluids through a drip. Ward rounds can include home visits or a video call, and many services use technology such as apps and wearable devices to monitor recovery. Professor Simon Kenny, the NHS’s national clinical director for children and young people, said: “The introduction of paediatric virtual wards means children can receive clinical care from home, surrounded by family and an environment they and their parents would rather they be — with nurses and doctors just a call away.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times. 5 July 2023
  9. Content Article
    Access outline their virtual ward offer and 10 case studies from NHS trusts and other organisations from which they present findings as testimony, to show the impact of virtual wards on the NHS’ ability to provide care.
  10. Content Article
    NHS England believes virtual wards could create much-needed capacity for the NHS, but progress against the national body’s 2022-2023 guidance in this area has been inconsistent. An HSJ roundtable, in association with Akeso and Masimo, explored the barriers to adoption and how they can be tackled.
  11. Content Article
    This is the recording of a roundtable hosted by the Institute of Health & Social Care Management (IHSCM) about virtual wards. Roy Lilley, IHSCM Chair and health policy analyst, discusses reducing waiting times, being innovative and sustainable and improving patient outcomes and patient journeys with a panel of speakers. The panel includes: Kris Glover, MD & Founder of Neon Health Solutions Paul Rylance, CTO, JKMCare Dr Folarin Majekodunmi, Director at Peopletoo
  12. Content Article
    This is the recording of a webinar hosted by The Patients' Association, looking at how virtual wards work and patients' experiences of virtual wards. A panel answered questions about who was suitable for care on a virtual ward, how they are staffed and what happens if you're not tech-savvy. The panel was: Jono Broad, a patient leader in the southwest of England. He is a Senior Manager for Personalised Care, NHS England South West, works on patient experience, safety and quality. Emma Matthews, Regional Community Development Lead NHS England South West, Consultant Practitioner Older People and Frailty. Dr Shelagh O’Riordan, Consultant Community Geriatrician at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust and Professional Adviser to the virtual ward team at NHS England. She is also Clinical Director for Frailty in East Kent and runs a large frailty virtual ward. Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, The Queen's Nursing Institute. Crystal qualified as a nurse at University College Hospital, London. In 2017, Crystal was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to community nursing and her leadership of the QNI. Crystal is an Honorary Professor at London South Bank University. Patients Association member, Alan Bellinger, who represents patients on the Hospital at Home programme in Hertfordshire, and is a patient representative on the Eastern Academic Health Science Network Review of Remote Monitoring.
  13. Event
    ‘Nurses are voting with their feet’, so said a report by the RCN in February of this year, describing the mass exodus of tens of thousands of skilled and experienced nurses. With workforce challenges an indisputable pressure facing the NHS, how can virtual wards be a part of the solution to address these pressures and support future resilience. Join this animated and thought-provoking discussion on “New Ways of Nursing”, chaired by Natasha Phillips, Chief Nursing Information Officer for NHS England, to explore how tech-enabled virtual wards have the potential to enable teams to work in new and innovative ways, release capacity, retain staff and help ICSs meet ambitious targets. Headline discussion points: How virtual wards are addressing workforce capacity issues. Case studies of tech-enabled virtual wards that have improved efficiency and patient outcomes. How virtual wards can offer news ways of engaging with the workforce that enhance wellbeing without compromising patient care. What attendees will learn: How tech enabled virtual wards are addressing NHS capacity issues head-on. How to set up a virtual ward for success and ensure buy-in from all stakeholders. The opportunity present for teams who embrace tech-enabled virtual wards. Register
  14. Event
    What does it take to successfully implement an award-winning virtual ward? This webinar from GovConnect looks at Leicester Glenfield’s AF virtual ward for cardiovascular disease monitoring and uncovers how the ward was built, assesses the patient recruitment process and explores the meaningful relationships made along the way. Stella Vig will speak to the pioneering clinicians behind the award-winning virtual ward to discuss how they created a secure clinical pathway centred around patients to deliver ground-breaking virtual care. The webinar will increase understanding of the benefits and insights of patient engagement in integrated care and how it can lead to effective digital transformation. It will also explore how medical data was gathered using transformative tech-enabled devices, the challenges and results of a multidisciplinary approach, and the technologies available to support remote patient monitoring. In the webinar you will learn about: How to implement a successful, secure, and scalable virtual ward The challenges and results of a multidisciplinary approach The technology available to support patients from the comfort of their home Register for the webinar
  15. Event
    When the Patients Association asked its members earlier this year if they'd be willing to be cared for on a virtual ward. The answer was a cautious, 'yes' but members wanted to know more about the system. To answer those questions, the Patients Association put together a panel, who'll explain how the NHS is using virtual wards and answer questions. Panel: Jono Broad, a patient leader in the southwest of England. Emma Matthews, Regional Community Development Lead NHS England South West. Dr Shelagh O’Riordan, Consultant Community Geriatrician at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust where she runs a large frailty virtual ward. Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive, The Queen's Nursing Institute. Ann Lloyd Keen, who is also a registered nurse, will chair this event. Register
  16. Event
    NHS England & Improvement has asked all Integrated Care Systems to extend, or introduce for the first time, the Virtual Ward model. The guidance starts a two-year funded transformation programme to support the development of Virtual Wards, including Hospital at Home. In this free webinar an expert panel will discuss how Virtual Wards can support elective recovery and improve patient flow during the critical Winter period. Our panel will also focus on the practicalities of setting up, rolling out and managing Virtual Wards across multiple treatments and care pathways. Headline discussion points: NHS winter pressures and tools to support delivery. Setting up, rolling out and managing Virtual Wards. Impact of Virtual Wards on the Healthcare system. Hospital at home & community based care models. What attendees will learn: What is a virtual ward and what needs to be in place to make virtual wards work. Innovation and initiatives that have been used previously to support delivery. How virtual wards can be rolled out across a system and new treatments/pathways introduced within a virtual ward. Register
  17. News Article
    NHS England’s plans to rapidly expand virtual wards are being ‘hastily rolled out’ and could put patients at risk while taking up significant staffing capacity, leading clinicians have warned. The Society for Acute Medicine and the Royal College of Physicians are among those who have raised concerns to HSJ about the huge increase in the use of the virtual wards model, under which patients are discharged home and given oximeters that fit on their finger so they can be remotely monitored by clinical staff. The concerns follow NHSE ordering trusts to ensure a minimum of 15% of hospital covid patients were being treated in virtual wards, in plans to help ease pressures on hospital wards announced just before Christmas. At the time NHSE announced the plans there were around 7,000 covid inpatients in English NHS hospitals, meaning around 1,000 patients should be in virtual wards. But the covid inpatient figure had more than doubled to nearly 16,000 by 5 January. The project is hugely significant because NHSE and trust chiefs want to use virtual wards much more widely – including for non-covid patients – and believe they represent a potentially game-changing option when it comes to alleviating pressure on hospitals and speeding up discharges. Many of the clinicians who spoke to HSJ were supportive of the principle of virtual wards but had serious concerns about the speed and timing of the rollout. They said there was a lack of evidence the approach was safe. Society for Acute Medicine president Tim Cooksley said virtual wards had potential for the future but that they “simply cannot be seen as a short-term mitigation measure which can be hastily rolled out mid-pandemic”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 7 January 2022
  18. News Article
    NHS London’s plan for dealing with the omicron wave needs to take a more multidisciplinary approach and be more evidence-based if it is to not build unwarranted variation into services, write Elaine Maxwell and Alison Leary in HSJ. A key tenet of high reliability organisations is to expect the unexpected. The start of the global COVID-19 pandemic was perhaps a little too unexpected to have good plans in place, but nearly two years on there really is no excuse and the NHS London plan for the omicron wave leaves a lot to be desired. Standing down Covid Virtual Wards across the summer with limited capacity to restart them (and no clear evaluation) was, in hindsight, a mistake - but standing up a different model without careful forethought is perhaps a bigger mistake. We have talked for at least a decade about unwarranted variation and we seem to be building it into services now, because we don’t spend the time considering the research evidence and consulting the whole multidisciplinary team in order to set meaningful standards. In safety science terms, this is a nightmare. We should and could do better. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 December 2021
  19. News Article
    Virtual wards, at-home antibiotic kits and using artificial intelligence in GP surgeries are among new initiatives to be trialled as part £160m funding to tackle waiting lists in the NHS. NHS England announced the funding to aid in the health service’s recovery after the pandemic, after figures last month revealed the number of people waiting to begin hospital treatment in England had risen to a new record. A total of 4.7 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of February - the highest figure since records began in August 2007. But NHS England said indicators suggest operations and other elective activity were at four-fifths of pre-pandemic levels in April, which is "well ahead" of the 70% threshold set out in official guidance. It said it is working to speed up the health service's recovery by trialling new ways of working in 12 areas and five specialist children's hospitals. The so-called "elective accelerators" will each get some of the £160m as well as extra support for new ways to increase the number of elective operations, NHS England said. Tens of thousands of patients in the trial areas will be part of initiatives including a high-volume cataract service, one-stop testing facilities and pop-up clinics to allow patients to be seen and discharged closer to home. Other trials over the next three months include virtual wards and home assessments, 3D eye scanners, at-home antibiotic kits, "pre-hab" for patients ahead of surgery, artificial intelligence in GP surgeries and so-called "Super Saturday" clinics, bringing multi-disciplinary teams together at the weekend to offer more specialist appointments. Read full story Source: The Independent,
  20. Event
    Virtual wards were a key part of the response to the early phases of the pandemic and again to Omicron. Indeed, in late December 2021 NHS England issued urgent guidance saying a minimum of 15 per cent of covid positive hospital patients should be treated in virtual wards. And the national body’s 2022/23 priorities and operational planning guidance – issued around the same time – goes further, stating that “the scope for virtual wards is far greater”. By the end of 2023, systems are expected “to have completed the comprehensive development of virtual wards towards a national ambition of 40–50 virtual beds per 100,000 population”. Funding has been promised to support this transformation. So can virtual wards work at scale in the NHS? Is it possible to make such setups part of business at usual? What do we know about how to most effectively implement virtual wards? What are potential challenges and how can they be overcome? Is the 2023 target realistic – and desirable? This HSJ webinar, run in association with Doccla, will bring together a small panel of experts to discuss the answers to these questions. Panellists Tara Donnelly, director of digital care models, NHS England and NHS Improvement Fiona McCann, respiratory consultant and clinical lead for respiratory medicine, Northampton General Hospital Trust Martin Ratz, founder, Doccla Matthew Winn, chief executive, Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust and national director of community health, NHS England and NHS Improvement Claire Read, contributor, HSJ (chair) Register for the webinar
  21. Content Article
    There was a national roll out of ‘COVID Virtual Wards’ (CVW) during England's second COVID-19 wave (Autumn 2020 – Spring 2021). These services used remote pulse oximetry monitoring for COVID-19 patients following discharge from hospital. A key aim was to enable rapid detection of patient deterioration. It was anticipated that the services would support early discharge, reducing pressure on beds. This study from Georghiou et al. evaluated the impact of the CVW services on hospital activity. The study found no evidence of early discharges or changes in readmissions associated with the roll out of COVID Virtual Wards across England.
  22. Content Article
    In a fundamental sense, the vision for transforming virtual care from that of an exclusive service that benefits only a few to that of a standard for providing equitable care for all echoes the age-old debate between policy variations on the zip code and the genetic code. This commentary from Esha Ray Chaudhuri aims to further develop the key theme of engaging the “reimagining” of virtual care for older ethnic adults—by considering the syndemic nature of COVID-19 and the intersection of cultural interventions in care and equity in virtual care.
  23. Content Article
    Dr Gordon Hay, service director of A&E/urgent care services at Moorfields Eye Hospital discusses with Digital Health the challenge to minimising hospital visits during the pandemic and how Moorfields Eye Hospital utilised a video conference platform to implement a fully functional virtual A&E service, providing an effective hybrid care delivery model for the future.
  24. Content Article
    A digital transformation is underway in healthcare and health technology. But what exactly do the smart hospitals of the future look like? Are we heading for a fully virtual health experience? Whether it’s AI and machine learning, or another form of innovation – it’s clear to see that health tech, and healthcare, is changing drastically. The words “smart hospital” and “virtual hospital wards” have eased their way into our vocabulary – and they will soon be the driving force of healthcare everywhere. So what would smart hospitals look like? And what should we be expecting between now and 2050? Health Tech World asked some of the leading experts in the field to give us their predictions as well as their expertise on what the healthcare of the next few decades will look like.
  25. Content Article
    Paul McGinness, chief executive, Lenus Health, presents new evidence showing how a digital service model can reduce respiratory-related hospital admissions and enable care at home.
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