‘Virtual wards’ urged as answer to strain on NHS

Report urges patients to opt for  ‘virtual ward’, saying they can be back at home within hours after  treatment Denis  Campbell, health correspondent reports in The Guardian 30th May 2013

“The NHS  is being urged to relieve the pressure on hard-pressed hospitals by treating  thousands of patients in “virtual wards” – at home, with regular visits from  health staff replacing long stays on wards.

The service could create 5,800 “virtual beds” in people’s homes to help  hospitals cope with bed shortages and overcrowded A&E units deal with  patients arriving as emergencies, a new report says.

A few hospitals have begun treating certain types of patients this way in an  effort to provide a patient-friendly response to growing demand at a time when  NHS budgets are tight. In some places up to 35 patients a week, whom doctors  agree do not need to be kept in hospital, are being cared for this way…..”

Things must be getting really desperate when advice of this nature is given without trial. What record of skills and training in telephone triage do the hospital and community staff have for this change. I happen to think its a good idea but implementation seems risky ++

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. Franz Kafka. The great Wall of China: Aphorisms 1917-19, 1941.

 

This entry was posted in A Personal View, NHS managers, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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