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Broad Green & Waddon Neighbourhood Partnership 18 October 2006 INTRODUCING VIRTUAL WARDS roydon’s first new “virtual C ward” opened in May 2006, and a second ward is due to open shortly. Patients admitted to the virtual wards will be cared for in their own homes, using similar organisation, timetable and staffing to a hospital ward. A Virtual wards care for vulnerable community matron will lead the day-to- patients living at home who run the day running of the ward, liaising closely highest risk of unplanned admission to with the patient's GP. Each ward will hospital. Many of these people have have a team of nurses, a pharmacist, long-term health conditions and all social worker, physiotherapist, have complex needs. occupational therapist and a ward administrator. The first pilot ward - able to care for 100 patients - will be carefully evaluated, The telephone number of the ward and if successful further virtual wards administrator will become a will be opened, eventually to cover the “communications hub” for patients and whole borough. Patients will be healthcare staff to use to share or selected for the virtual wards based on collect information about ward patients. their predicted need, using computer software newly developed for the NHS. "We hope the patients cared for on the virtual wards will be healthier than they Emergency admissions would be otherwise,” says Dr Geraint Lewis of the PCT’s Public Health The software means that for the first Department, who first proposed the time, staff of Croydon Primary Care idea. “As a result, we are hoping they Trust will know in advance who is at will need to be admitted less often to most risk of emergency admission to hospital. A by-product will be savings hospital. Virtual wards can then be for the PCT which can then be offered exclusively to these patients reinvested in other aspects of primary with the greatest need for extra care.” support. There are around 2,600 patients in Laurence Mascarenhas Croydon who have had three or more Croydon Primary Care Trust unplanned emergency admissions in a Tel: 020 8274 6266 year with a worsening of their long-term condition - one patient alone had 20 unplanned admissions. The target is to support these patients so that the overall use of emergency beds in Croydon is cut by 5 per cent from 2006- 07.
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