Tuesday 16 July 2024
14.9 C

Rushcliffe man home in time for Christmas thanks to NUH Virtual Ward

A patient at the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) will make it home for Christmas thanks to Nottingham University Hospital’s (NUH) Virtual Ward.

Peter Benson, 76, from East Bridgford was admitted to QMC two weeks ago after suffering acute pancreatitis.

Before the introduction of Virtual Wards, patients like Peter would have had to stay in hospital over Christmas to have further blood work and observations done, but now, thanks to NUH using modern technology to help treat patients in their own homes, he can go home and spend Christmas with his family.

Peter said: “I am so pleased that I am able to go home and be with my family for Christmas, it means such a lot to be able to spend it with them. It is great that technology is being used in this way to get people back in their own environments quicker.”

Virtual Wards are a safe and efficient alternative to inpatient care, which use the latest technology to support patients, who would otherwise be in a hospital bed, to receive the care, monitoring and support they need at home.

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Once home, Peter will continue to be monitored remotely via our Electronic Patient Record system known as Nerve Centre, and will have regular visits from a nursing team who will be able to take his bloods and make sure he is ok whilst he continues to recover in the comfort of his own home.

The Trust currently has 16 Virtual Wards online across several specialities including; respiratory, frailty, heart failure, acute medicine, emergency general surgery, neurosurgery, vascular, elective orthopaedic arthroplasty, Hepatobiliary, Major Trauma, Children’s Haematology and Oncology, Children’s Jaundice, Maternity, Gynaecology and Children’s Antibiotics. These wards have meant many patients have been able to receive treatment from home, surrounded by their family, friends and loved ones rather than being on a hospital ward.

More Virtual Wards are planned to be launched this winter to help with pressures. Currently the Virtual Wards at NUH can have up to 100 patients on them at any one time, which equates to around four wards full of patients.

Virtual Wards can also help to get patients home sooner in a safe and supported way after they have had a procedure, with 765 surgical patients being discharged early and receiving their care at home over the last year. This has equated to 160 bed days saved within the Trust, allowing for beds to be available for patients who need them the most.

Mark Simmonds, Deputy Medical Director at NUH added:

“The growth in the use of Virtual Wards to provide ongoing care has helped significantly with the elective recovery process and has helped release beds to help with patient flow across the Trust.

“The Virtual Ward programme offers the opportunity to rethink the care of patients with acute needs and creates opportunities in the community to deliver care outside the wards of a hospital.

“This has to be explored in order to meet the demands of modern healthcare and we are proud to be offering this for our patients in an innovative way at Nottingham University Hospitals.”


NUH has seen 6,029 patients use Virtual Wards since January 2023, which has helped significantly with pressures across the hospital and has meant that patients have been able to have care in their own homes rather than on hospital wards.

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