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CCS backs virtual wards and remote patient monitoring


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Image source: Tikhonova

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) has taken steps to support the use of virtual wards and remote patient monitoring in the health service.

It has added four new areas to its Spark dynamic purchasing system, covering technology for virtual wards, remote monitoring of long term conditions, continuous monitoring and spot monitoring – with plans to run a briefing for potential suppliers this week.

It said the move will provide digitally enabled care pathways for providers such as NHS England commissioners, primary care networks, NHS trusts and social care organisations.

“Increasingly, people across England are benefitting from being treated at home on a virtual ward,” CCS said. “This innovative approach is delivering high quality care, safely and conveniently for patients at home – where they would rather be. 

“Virtual wards provide hospital level care and remote monitoring for patients who would otherwise be in hospital, either by preventing admissions or allowing them to return home sooner to continue their treatment at home.”

Range of technologies

Spark was set up to support procurement of technologies that support remote monitoring, and as a dynamic purchasing system it is designed for the addition of new products and suppliers during the contract lifetime. Its existing areas cover the internet of things, AI and automation, simulated and enhanced environments, engineering/materials science, wearables, transport and security.

NHS organisations have been placing an increasing emphasis on the potential for virtual wards, reflected by NHS England’s recently announced intent to develop a national recruitment and capability plan to support their roll out.

They promise to reduce the pressure on hospital wards by making it possible to treat more patients from their homes.

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