• Community Virtual Ward - Header

    Community Virtual Ward

    NCH&C's Community Virtual Ward launches in Norwich Place on Monday 18 September 2023

What is Community Virtual Ward?

Community Virtual Ward allows patients to receive hospital monitoring and treatment at home, offering a ‘Step Up’ service to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital.

There are three treatment pathways:

  • Respiratory
  • Frailty
  • Heart Failure

We expect patients to be under the Community Virtual Ward for up to 14 days, depending on their treatment plans and recovery.

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 gets 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.

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.

How do virtual wards work

Where does this service operate?

The Community Virtual Ward will initially be available to patients registered with a Norwich GP from Monday 18 September. The plan is to rapidly roll out the model across the rest of Norfolk and Waveney by the end of the year.

Community Virtual Ward will operate from 8am until 8pm, seven days a week and be based in the newly assigned Community Virtual Ward area in Block 15 in NCH along with the Homeward and IV Therapy team.

Who is appropriate for Community Virtual Ward?

The service is appropriate for patients over 18 with conditions including respiratory disease, frailty, and heart failure.

Patients in any community setting including community hospitals, residential care homes and nursing homes can also be referred.

Patients must be able to manage the remote monitoring technology with support.

What type of patients are not appropriate for Community Virtual Ward?

Patients who cannot be referred to Community Virtual Ward include:

  • Patients with no fixed abode
  • Patients with advanced cognitive conditions who do not have the continuous support of family or carers
  • Patients requiring intravenous therapy with a recent history of illicit intravenous drug misuse
  • Patients with a presenting condition that require acute assessment or admission and are deemed unsafe to remain in a community setting

If you think you have patients who could be safely supported at home with the aid of monitoring technology and with Advanced Clinical Practitioners managing the clinical care (ACPs), please use the referral route as below.

How do I refer patients to the Community Virtual Ward?

There is a single point of contact for referrals to this service:

Telephone: 03000 247 222 (existing NEAT contact number)

Where can I find out more?

We have a patient information leaflet about Community Virtual Ward.

For more details about the Community Virtual Ward and to answer any additional questions you may have about the service contact:

Andrew Karrouze
NCH&C Virtual Ward: Hospital at Home Service Lead
Tel: 07891 878555