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Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB to deploy virtual wards


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Patient at home with blood pressure monitor
Image source: Symchych Navrotska

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Integrated Care Board has launched a virtual ward service for patients on a selection of care pathways.

It has set up its [email protected] service with remote monitoring service provider Doccla to support care for acute respiratory conditions, heart failure, frailty, outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy and general observations.

Patients will be given a box of equipment including a preconfigured smartphone with a large font screen, and devices to measure heart rate, respiration rate, body temperature, blood oxygen levels and blood pressure.

Community interest company Sirona care & health is providing the healthcare professional team for this service from a clinical hub in Bristol to look after 165 patients at a time.

The launch is part of an investment of over £18 million in schemes to increase bed capacity to respond to demand for NHS services in the region.

Benefitting more people

Lisa Manson, director of performance and delivery at NHS BNSSG ICT, said: “We’re really pleased that thanks to the [email protected] scheme, more people will be able to benefit from high quality, hospital level care in the comfort of their own home – which is often where they would rather be.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that demonstrates that this approach provides a range of benefits for patients, who recover more quickly in the comfort of their home environment and are less prone to the ‘deconditioning’ which can affect those who stay in hospital for longer periods of time.

“It also gives us extra capacity within our health and care system during the busy winter months when pressure on our hospital beds is at its most intense.”

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