Virtual Wards

What are virtual wards?

Virtual wards are an NHS initiative designed to allow patients to get hospital-level care at home. Providing care in this way, safely and in familiar surroundings, helps speed up recovery while freeing up hospital beds for the patients that most need them.

Just as in hospital, people on a virtual ward are cared for by a multidisciplinary team who can provide a range of tests and treatments. This could include blood tests, prescribing medication or administering fluids through an intravenous drip. Patients are cared for by a team of experts who can offer a range of tests and treatments. Every patient has a personalised care plan designed to meet their care needs.

Patients are reviewed daily by the clinical team and the ‘ward round’ may involve a home visit or take place through video technology. Many virtual wards use technology like apps, wearables and other medical devices enabling clinical staff to easily check in and monitor the person’s recovery. These technologies allow our staff to keep track of a patient’s progress. If the patient’s condition starts to change, the virtual ward team can step in quickly to help.

Clinician speaking with a patient remotely on a virtual ward

The benefits of virtual wards

Virtual wards have many benefits:

  • Getting you home sooner or avoiding going to hospital in the first place, if appropriate
  • Same joined up, high-quality care, just as you would have on a ward
  • Regular monitoring by, and access to, a team of health professionals, able to visit you if necessary
  • Keeping you connected to your families, carers and communities
  • Fewer trips to NHS settings

What a virtual ward is not

A virtual ward is not for every patient. Patients are assessed to make sure they will be safe to join a virtual ward.

  • It is not about keeping very ill people out of hospital
  • It is not just for young patients or people who are good with technology
  • It is not only ‘virtual’ care, but in person care too

Who can join a virtual ward?

Virtual wards are usually for people who are stable or on the mend, but still need some medical attention. It’s not for serious cases that need lots of hospital equipment. Your healthcare team will assess your condition to see if a virtual ward is right for you before you are offered it.

Nurses working on computers for the virtual wards

Frequently asked questions

You can find the answers to some questions on the FAQs page.

Virtual ward services at the Trust

Our services currently running virtual wards are: