Virtual wards, also known as a 'hospital at home', allow patients to get hospital-level care at home, speeding up recovery and freeing up hospital beds.
Patients are cared for by a multidisciplinary team who can provide a range of tests and treatments, using technology such as apps, wearables and other medical devices which enables clinical staff to easily check in and monitor recovery.
NHS England's Delivery plan for recovering urgent and emergency services commits the health service to ease the growing pressure on hospitals by scaling up the use of virtual wards. By winter 2023, NHS England is aiming for more than 10,000 virtual ward beds to be available. Current NHS England guidance is also driving the digitisation of virtual wards, with a view to soon have all virtual wards enhanced using technologies, such as for remote home monitoring. There are similar commitments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
How can we help?
We provide a range of framework agreements aimed to help NHS Trusts increase their uptake of virtual ward solutions. We support NHS Trusts to efficiently discharge patients to a virtual ward setting where deemed clinically appropriate and provide the technology required to enable remote monitoring of patients within the environment.
The Technology Enabled Care Services 2 framework agreement facilitates the uptake of virtual wards by providing technology solutions for remote patient monitoring, alarm receiving centre platforms, digital alarms solutions and peripherals and intelligent activity monitoring. The framework agreement enables patients to oversee their own healthcare, but at the same time feel supported by clinical professionals via the use of technology.
The Patient Discharge and Mental Health Step Down Care Services framework agreement facilitates the uptake of virtual wards by providing a "secondary care" service within a patients care setting for up to six weeks. Suppliers can transfer patients to the virtual ward support service following referral from the Trusts' clinical discharge teams on acceptance by service leads to increase bed capacity and prevent re-admission.
The Respiratory Therapy Equipment and Consumables framework agreement supports the uptake of virtual wards by offering NHS Trusts the option to contract with suppliers who can provide remote data monitoring and diagnostics of respiratory patients. This means that patients with non-urgent respiratory needs can stay at home and feel supported by clinical staff remotely, rather than in hospital.
Our framework agreements are easy to use, free to access and are managed by experienced Category Managers, who are always happy to assist with any queries.