Virtual Ward Models in South West London Evaluation

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The Health Innovation Network (HIN) Insights team was jointly commissioned by the @home team and the London Digital team at NHS England to undertake an evaluation aiming to understand the role of virtual wards in reducing hospital (re)admission, and supporting early discharge of high acuity patients in South West London.

This evaluation provides in-depth case studies of the virtual wards in Sutton, and in Kingston, and Richmond. In addition, it supplements a previous evaluation of the Croydon virtual ward with additional data.

Report Summary:

The evaluation found that overall the three South West London Virtual Ward models, although set up differently, were all successful at treating patients safely and comfortably at home, through a combination of remote monitoring, telephone calls, and home visits. However, further evidence is needed to understand the full impact of virtual ward services on healthcare utilisation in South West London.

Data collected and analysed across the three models also highlighted a number of key enablers for virtual wards to prevent admissions into acute hospital beds, or supporting early discharge out of hospital, including:

  • Offering continuous monitoring to all patients
  • Referring a small but targeted cohort of patients
  • Having established clinical and referral pathways
  • Having in-reach virtual ward staff based in acute settings
  • Strengthening relationships with acute trust staff
  • Building multi-disciplinary teams
  • Having clear clinical governance arrangements in place

This project is featured in our Annual Report 2022/23.

Download the full evaluation report below.

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