Skip to content

Virtual Wards at a Glance

Page Contents

Virtual Wards, Providing medical care in the place you call home

Some patients who are currently in hospital may be suitable to receive medical care at home instead. The below text describes how the “Virtual Ward” system works in basic detail so that you are familiar with the processes and know what to expect. The care you receive on a Virtual Ward will be tailored to your needs, and therefore, we encourage you to ask questions about being on a Virtual Ward with your doctor and the Virtual Wards team.

What are Virtual Wards?

A Virtual Ward aims to provide hospital-level care at home.

Virtual Wards allow suitable patients to get the care they need safely and conveniently at the place they call home (including care homes) rather than in the hospital. This leaflet informs you, your family and/or carers on how we will do this.

On a Virtual Ward, supporting you can sometimes involve using monitoring technology and face-to-face visits.This means you may have to use applications similar to those you would see on a modern mobile phone and/or wearable technology such as a blood pressure cuff. All the technology you need will be provided to you with clear instructions should you be admitted to a virtual ward.

Who works on a Virtual Ward?

A Virtual Ward team will have a range of experts. This could include your hospital doctor, a lead nurse, a group of experienced nurses, a pharmacist and other health professionals such as physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, dieticians and occupational therapists.

How long will you be on a Virtual Ward?

Your Virtual Ward stay will be dependent on your condition and how much support you need. This could be anywhere from a few hours to 14 days. Your team will check in on you daily and continue to involve you in your care decisions while on a Virtual Ward.

How you are looked after on a Virtual Ward?

If you are suitable for admission to a Virtual Ward and would like to receive hospital-level care in an environment you are more comfortable in; your health professional will discuss this with you and contact the Virtual Ward team to arrange this.

No two patients are the same, so the Virtual Ward team will develop a personalised care plan with you. This will include discussing whether you need monitoring technology and how the technology will be managed, any further investigations that might be required, your medications and the level of contact the Virtual Ward team needs to have with you. You will be given a copy of this plan on the day you are admitted to the Virtual Ward.

The team will contact you once you get home to ensure everything you need is set up and working. Your GP will also be notified about your time on the Virtual Ward. The Virtual Wards team will then follow your agreed care plan. They will also ensure that everything in your electronic patient record is in your shared care record. If at any point you feel unhappy or uncomfortable about being on a Virtual Ward following your admission, you can speak to your named Virtual Ward contact to discuss the best way forward.

What do you do after discharge from the Virtual Ward?

Your ongoing care will be handed back to your GP, community provider or your existing specialist team if required. Once you have been discharged from the Virtual Ward, please contact them with any concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

What technology will I need, and will I need internet broadband to be on a Virtual Ward?

As each patient will have different needs, it’s not possible to say which technology any given patient would need. However, all the technology you would need to be on a Virtual Ward will be provided to you with clear instructions and you will not require your own internet broadband connection to use it.

How is the monitoring technology used?

The monitoring technology is used for observation purposes, which then informs your health professional and Virtual Wards team of any further care you need. The information gathered is treated confidentially.

What if I have questions once I’m back home?

Your healthcare team and the Virtual Wards team will be keeping in touch with you throughout the process, but you will also be given the contact details of your Virtual Wards team.

I’m not sure a Virtual Ward is for me…

It’s completely your choice if you wish to receive care on a Virtual Ward. However, we would recommend you discuss this with your doctor and the Virtual Wards team before coming to a decision so that your questions and concerns can be talked through.

How do I contact the Virtual Ward team?

If you and your hospital team decide a Virtual Ward is right for you, you will be given lots more information about how this will work. This will include all the important information you will need, including how to contact your hospital team.

Last Updated: Wednesday 22nd May 2024 - 2:15:pm

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Joined Up Care Derbyshire produces a bi-monthly newsletter which provides important updates on health and care developments around the city and county.

Previous copies of the newsletter can be found on our website.

If you would like to receive this newsletter, please visit our newsletter page to sign up.