The NHS is preparing for one of the toughest winters in its history and is currently actioning ‘winter resilience plans’. Mapping out additional systems of best practice to relieve pressures, the plan supports clinical leads to improve ambulance handovers and response times, manage risk appropriately across local systems and to boost hospital capacity.
Supporting people in the community is an integral part of the winter plan, and to reduce pressures on general practice and social care, as well as lessen hospital admissions, the NHS will be maximising the use of virtual wards.
While virtual wards can relieve pressure on hospitals, they rely on patient’s self-reporting their symptoms and test results via a technological device without receiving in-person visits. Although healthcare providers will speak with patients over the phone, the current virtual wards model cannot provide the consistent, day to day 24-hour monitoring of patient’s well-being that they would receive in hospitals.
In this article, John Vesey, WM5G’s Health and Care Sector Lead discusses the missing piece of the ‘virtual healthcare’ puzzle – 24 hour remote monitoring. He will explore the role of At Home sensors and look at how they enable all-round virtual care to be able to step up from ageing well, assisted living approaches to virtual wards or Hospital at Home as well as being able to step down too. John will draw upon previous trials of at home sensors, particularly referencing a Council that believe the sensors have saved the lives of four people so far by identifying changes in behaviour patterns.