Virtual wards: how they work and their opportunities for nurses
Nursing roles are being reinvented as virtual ward and hospital at home services evolve, shedding new light on boundaries between acute and community care
Virtual wards are expanding in many parts of the UK, with the aim of allowing patients to get the care they need at home, rather than in hospital.
They can take different forms but primarily involve remote monitoring, using apps, technology platforms and medical devices, such as pulse oximeters. They can also involve face-to-face care from the multidisciplinary team, usually based in the community, often called hospital at home.
NHS England has defined what it means by virtual wards – essentially saying that they support patients who would otherwise be in a
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