February 14, 2024

Frailty ‘Virtual Ward’ celebrates one year of helping people get better in the place they call home

Wakefield District’s Frailty ‘Virtual Ward’ recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, during which time it has provided specialist care to nearly 1,000 people.

Virtual wards, which are also known as ‘Hospital at Home’, allow patients to get hospital-level care at home safely and in familiar surroundings.

This helps speed up their recovery while freeing up hospital beds for patients that need them the most.

The Wakefield District Frailty Virtual Ward sees a multidisciplinary team provide a range of tests and treatments and patients are reviewed daily – just as they are in hospital.

The ward round may involve a home visit by the Adult Community Services team or take place through video technology.

Meanwhile apps, wearables and other medical devices enable clinical staff to easily check in and monitor a patient’s recovery.

Since launching in late 2022, the Frailty Virtual Ward has given specialist care to 992 people, enhancing their quality of life and preventing them from being in a hospital bed.

Dr Colin Speers, who has taken up the new role of Medical Director for Integrated Community Care in Wakefield District, said: “The Frailty Virtual Ward has become a vital part of our healthcare system for many of the people of Wakefield District, who we have managed to keep safe and cared for in their own home.

“Research and experience tell us that keeping frail people in their familiar surroundings but with the necessary care and support from the hospital and community services, is likely to improve their outcome.”

Dr Speers, whose new role will include expanding existing services to help keep people living independently for longer in the place they call home, added: “We must thank the dedicated team who work across organisations and places to deliver the Frailty Virtual Ward.

“They have forged trusted, meaningful connections and everyone has played a significant role in making this initiative a success.”

The Frailty Virtual Ward is a collaboration between health, care and voluntary service providers and commissioners across Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield.

This partnership includes the Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust and Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Adult Community Services provided by Locala CIC, Calderdale, Kirklees, Wakefield councils and voluntary services.

(You can find out more about Frailty Virtual Ward by watching Joyce’s story on YouTube.)

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