North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust has chosen Spirit Health to launch and deliver a COVID-19 virtual ward service, after securing funding from NHSX.
Spirit Health is continuing to deploy its CliniTouch Vie technology platform in the fight against COVID-19, with the launch of a new virtual ward service across North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAngliaFT).
The project will see CliniTouch Vie deployed at both Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals to enable patients to be safely discharged from the hospital earlier. It comes in the wake of ongoing capacity challenges in the region, where COVID-19 cases and admissions have remained high throughout the pandemic.
The technology is designed to offer stepdown discharge to COVID-19 patients with stable or recovering respiratory function, whose care needs can be met at home. Using remote monitoring, the hospitals’ clinical teams can oversee their patients’ recovery and monitor for signs of deterioration after discharge.
Patients in the virtual ward will be monitored seven days a week, with Spirit’s in-house clinical team supporting with an interim weekend monitoring service to ensure continuity of patient care.
Once ‘admitted’ to the virtual ward, patients complete the bespoke COVID-19 question set and vital sign measurements daily, with results sent in real-time to be reviewed. CliniTouch Vie automatically analyses the data and generates a risk-scored list of prioritised actions, enabling clinicians to intervene and provide urgent care where required.
The introduction of the virtual ward, which is due to go live in January, marks the trust’s first major move into the use of digital health technology to support patient care. It comes as winter pressures, workforce capacity, rising cases, and concerns over the new Omicron variant all continue to add to the strain.
Dr. Robert Buttery, Consultant in Respiratory at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, said: “Empowering and enabling patients to complete their recovery in their own homes represents a significant development in how we deliver healthcare. We’re pleased to be partnering with Spirit to provide the virtual ward service and continue delivering the best levels of care for our patients.”
Spirit’s new partnership with NWAngliaFT follows the successful launch and implementation of a COVID-19 virtual ward in Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which has now safely supported over 300 patients in their recovery.
Noel O’Kelly, Clinical Director at Spirit Health, added: “We’ve seen first-hand the effectiveness of a virtual ward to help support COVID-19 patients, and we are pleased to be partnering with North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust to introduce our technology to support patients across the region.
“COVID-19 continues to place immense pressure on the NHS, but we’re proud to play our part in designing and developing digital solutions that deliver brilliant virtual patient care, improve outcomes and support health systems.”
CliniTouch Vie is a market-ready remote monitoring platform enabling clinicians to provide remote care for their patients. Digitised pathways include monitoring and management for a wide range of long-term conditions, including COPD and heart failure, as well as support for COVID-19 virtual wards and pulmonary rehabilitation programmes.