ECCH has launched a Community Virtual Ward which allows patients to receive hospital monitoring and treatment at home, preventing avoidable admissions to hospital.
The Community Virtual Ward in our area is part of a system wide initiative involving the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust, the three local acute hospitals and Norfolk Community Health and Care (NCH&C).
The service is appropriate for patients with conditions including respiratory disease, frailty, and heart failure.
If suitable for virtual ward care, patients are trained how to use a device which sends continuous or intermittent observations including their breathing, heart rate, and skin temperature directly to the Community Virtual Ward team.
If there is a sign of health deterioration, such as blood pressure rising, the Community Virtual Ward team will get an alert immediately. Staff will call the patient over the phone or by video call to talk through any health changes and to decide on the most appropriate next steps.
We expect patients to be under the Community Virtual Ward for up to 14 days, depending on their treatment plans and recovery.
The service will run 8am to 8pm, seven days a week and will work alongside established nursing and therapy teams including the intravenous (IV) therapy team providing IV treatments at home.
ECCH’s Community Virtual Ward is available to patients registered with a GP in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area. NCH&C launched a similar service for patients in Norwich in September. The aim is to roll out the service across the whole of Norfolk and Waveney by the end of the year.