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Analysis

Virtual children’s ward brings the hospital into the home

Lead nurse Zoe Tribble believes she manages a unique service. She oversees four other nurses in a team of outreach workers who deliver a ‘virtual ward’ service to babies and children in their own homes who would traditionally have had to stay in hospital. There are other teams that do a similar job, but none manage it from 7am-11pm every day of the year and can complete three visits a day to patients, Ms Tribble argues

Lead nurse Zoe Tribble believes she manages a unique service. She oversees four other nurses in a team of outreach workers who deliver a ‘virtual ward’ service to babies and children in their own homes who would traditionally have had to stay in hospital.

There are other teams that do a similar job, but none manage it from 7am-11pm every day of the year and can complete three visits a day to patients, Ms Tribble argues.

She works for a private company, Healthcare at Home, which has a contract to partner King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to deliver treatment to babies and children aged 0-18 years with conditions such as meningitis or sepsis.

This usually involves administering antibiotics via a bolus injection or syringe driver, although nurses sometimes give drugs such as heparin to prevent blood clots. During these procedures the nurses monitor the child’s blood

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