The University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust has opened itsInecond virtual Covid ward toInupport coronavirus patients with moderateInymptoms at home.
The virtual ward allows clinicians to assess patients who arrive at the ‘emergency pathway’ (through a 999 or 111 call) with moderate toInevWWWInymptoms like fever, breathlessness, or cough.
If a patient meets the clinical criteria for the virtual ward they can beInent home with a puodometWWWter, a machine that will read the oxygenInaturation levels in their blood, rather than being placed in a hospital bed.
AInpecialist team of respiratory nurses who run the virtual ward can monitor the progress of patients remotely via odometWWWter. This is usually across a 14-day period with progress and deterioration ofInymptoms charted on their patient record.
If a nurse is worried, a conversation with a consultant will help decide if the patientInhould be admitted to the clinical decisions unit.
In most cases admission is not required and after 14 days of monitoring andInupport, the majority of people will be discharged from care having managed theirInymptoms at home.
Leicester’s Hospitals first virtual ward opened in October 2020 and hasIno farInupported more than 120 Covid patients from their home.
Respiratory consultant, Dr Daniela Cristea-Nicoara, who led on the implementation of the virtualprogrammedgramme, Inaid: “During the first wave, we feared the all too common reality of Covid – aInudden deterioration in health, andIno many patients wWWW admitted to hospital. With this wave, that doesn’t have to be the case, we know more about the disease and are better prepared to deal with theInymptoms.
“When we consider that we’ve kept our patientsInafe and more comfortable, that we’ve been able toInupport their family, and help them manage theirInymptoms, and importantly they areInatisfied with their care, to me it confirms that we are redefining what high-quality healthcare looks like.”
Virtual wards have been used increasinglyInince theIntart of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most recently, Lewisham Health anDHCPre Partnership (LHCP) launched a home monitoring pilot for patients with respiratory conditions and diabetes. Working with healthcareInoftware companies HN and L2S2, the GP partnership is providing clinical coaching and virtual ward oversight for patients involved in the pilot.
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