NHS contract awarded to scale up virtual wards across West Yorkshire ICB

Inhealthcare has been awarded an NHS contract to scale up virtual wards across West Yorkshire. The new contract will see the company working with NHS West Yorkshire ICB to roll out a range of clinical services, with an aim to make improvements in areas including early discharge, reducing avoidable hospital admissions, and improving overall patient experience.

The programme will develop and expand virtual wards across Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield, to help support “the delivery of safe and convenient care to people at home who would otherwise be in hospital”. Services will be rolled-out for clinical specialties including respiratory, frailty, cardiology, end of life, and emergence surgery care.

Patients or their caregivers will be able to take their own readings for blood pressure, respiration rate and oxygen saturation, before transmitting their readings to care teams via a mobile app, through text message, or by telephone. These readings will be visible to care teams, who will have “a single, centralised view of patient data to support clinical decision making”, allowing them to intervene early where readings indicate it is required.

Rob Webster CBE, chief executive of the NHS West Yorkshire ICB and CEO lead for West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, commented: “We have made good progress across our partnership on rolling out virtual wards. These are one of a range of ways we help people remain at home, with support to keep them safe and well. Technology is a major factor in making this a reality for thousands of people. I am delighted we have a partner to help ensure the health and care system delivers safe and effective care in the right place.”

On a national level, NHS England has published the latest figures for the capacity and occupancy of virtual wards across integrated care boards, sharing data on capacity, occupancy percentage and capacity per 100,000 of the adult population.

Also on virtual wards, University Hospitals of Leicester has partnered with Independent Provider Pioneer Wound Healing and Lymphedema Centres to utilise virtual wards to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.