Julia Lopez MP has welcomed the news that the NHS has delivered on its ambition to roll out more than 10,000 virtual ward beds by the end of September. These beds are used to care for patients in their own homes, helping to deliver on a key government priority to cut NHS waiting lists.
Virtual wards allow patients to get hospital-level care at home safely and in familiar surroundings closer to family, friends, and carers. Patients are cared for by clinicians who can provide a range of care, including blood tests, prescribing medication, or administering fluids through an IV drip. They are reviewed daily with a home or virtual visit as part of the ‘ward round’, as well as the use of technology like apps, wearables, and other medical devices so staff can easily check in and monitor their recovery.
This introduction of 10,421 virtual ward beds will allow patients to receive expert treatment for illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure or frailty conditions at home.
Alongside this, research has shown that people who are treated at home recover at the same rate or faster than those treated in hospital, leaving hospital beds free for patients that need them most.
Since the launch of this initiative, more than 240,000 patients have been treated on virtual wards across England. Julia is enquiring with local commissioners about the rollout of this facility locally.