Practical guidance for teams aiming to maximise the use of virtual wards is now available, in a partnership between NHS England’s Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) and Virtual Ward programmes.
Making the most of virtual wards, including Hospital at Home pulls together summaries of existing virtual ward guidance in an easy-to-read, concise format. Download here.
Supported by eight professional organisations, including ARNS, the guidance summarises the key benefits and principles of virtual wards, as well as the practicalities for implementation. It focuses particularly on frailty services – where Hospital at Home has been used to provide a safe alternative to hospital for patients living with frailty through community-based acute health and care delivery – and on services for those with acute respiratory infections.
An increase in the use of virtual wards was identified as a key ambition in NHS England’s Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency care services (January 2023). This innovative approach to providing hospital care at home is delivering better, more convenient care for patients, enabling them to remain in their own home supported by family or carers, to recover more quickly in a more comfortable environment.