To support the NHS in delivering a high-quality care this winter, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published its quality standard for the initial assessment and management of ARI, including virtual wards, which sets out the best practice on Tuesday, 31 October.
The quality standard, developed following a public consultation, sets out seven statements to support healthcare practitioners when assessing and managing a person with suspected acute respiratory infection (ARI).
They include that adults admitted to an acute respiratory infection virtual ward are:
- Cared for by a multidisciplinary team that has access to speciality advice and diagnostics and is led by a named consultant practitioner or GP with suitable expertise.
- Supported to self-manage, including having a self-escalation plan.
- People discharged from an acute respiratory infection virtual ward are given a discharge summary, including follow-up details, that is also shared with their GP.
An acute respiratory infection virtual ward provides personalised care for adults with confirmed or suspected acute respiratory infections who are stable or improving but require acute care, monitoring and treatment. They do this by providing an alternative to care in hospital and support safe early discharge for people who require ongoing monitoring, through digital technology, in people’s homes and care homes.
NICE has also published a short video on Twitter/X which summarises the key statements in the quality standard.