News, NHS trust

Humber Teaching updates on virtual ward usage, and common reason for referral

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust has shared an update on its virtual ward programme 12 months after the launch, sharing that the service has supported 175 patients to date, with the number of beds increasing from five to 15 and further plans underway to increase to 25 beds.

The most common reasons for referral to the virtual ward services have been managing infection at home, receiving support at home following a fall or delirium, and assessment and management of pain following shingles.

On next steps, the trust is looking to develop the service further by bringing virtual ward and urgent community response services “more closely together”, and by exploring new ways that digital technology can help support the provision of “responsive care” to patients at home.

Resources have been made available on the trust’s website, providing information on what a patient journey can look like as well as information for patients on what they can expect from a virtual ward, what the service does and who it is for. As part of this guidance, the trust shares insight into equipment provision and medical devices, sharing that patients can expect a virtual ward nurse to meet them and teach them how to use any devices that are provided as part of the service in order to safely monitor their health.

Sarah Locker, service manager and operational lead for the virtual ward development and delivery, has shared that the service has received “positive feedback from patients, as well as from other local professionals, around the benefits of proving this additional care at home”.

She added: “We look forward to continuing to grow our community virtual ward and to developing clinical skills and use of technology to support more patients and families.”

The resources can be found here.

In other news on virtual wards, Barking, Havering and Redbridge (BHR) University Hospitals NHS Trust has shared an update on the impact of its frailty virtual ward playing a role in helping to keep frail older people out of A&E.

Elsewhere, one of our recent feature articles, written by Access, has explored successes and challenges surrounding virtual wards, considering next steps for service development, and tackling some of the most common misconceptions.