New Approach to Care with "Virtual Wards"
- 30 May
The NHS are using 'virtual wards' in peoples homes to relieve the growing pressure on hospitals.
The virtual wards are being encouraged for patients to replace a long stay on a wards, and are set up like a hospital room in their own home, with regular visits from health care staff.
A report has been released urging hospitals to use this new method of care to help with bed shortages and overcrowding in A&E units.
It has already been used in some hospitals to help with growing demand and reduced NHS budgets, and means that patients who do not need to be kept in hospital can return home and be treated from there.
As well as reducing the pressure on hospitals it also means patients can be treated in the comfort of their own homes which is likely to improve their rate of improvement.
Patients who agree to have their treatment in a virtual ward can avoid anything more than a few hours of treatment at hospital before being discharged to such care.
The report calls for the NHS to expand their current use of this method to deal with the overcrowding problem in a patient friendly manner, and currently it is only used in patches across the country.
Currently around 35 patients a week are treated this way as some areas have already adopted the method, but the report by an NHS specialist consultant says 5,800 virtual wards could be created to in peoples homes and reduces readmittance in to hospital.
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1303348
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