New virtual hospital service for Harlow residents
Health / Wed 1st Mar 2023 at 09:54am
A NEW virtual hospital service has launched in west Essex for adults over the age of 18 years, giving them more choice around where they can receive care.
The service launched in early December 2022 and allows patients with specific conditions to be cared for at their usual place of residence, including care homes.
Vanessa Wakefield, deputy director of the West Essex Care Coordination Centre, which manages referrals into the virtual hospital and organises care for patients, said: “The virtual hospital is a safe, alternative way of allowing patients with specific conditions to receive the same treatment they would otherwise receive in hospital.
“It’s just like being on a ward but they’re in the comfort of their own home and being monitored from a distance, with face-to-face care as needed.
“Our aim is to help people stay well at home so they do not need to go into hospital in the first place, help them stay independent and to recover faster.
“We know many people prefer to be cared for at home if possible, so this enables them to be in familiar surroundings and with their family, with the reassurance of knowing they will be monitored closely and receive tailored support to help their recovery.
“If there is any change in their health, we will talk to them about what medication or further care they need and put any extra support in place.
“Patients who have used our service have told us they appreciate the support and care they receive, and being given the choice to recover at home.”
We have paid with real money and receive a virtual service.
I will be virtually paying in future then
A relative of mine nearly died as a result of not being able to see a doctor face to face last year. She had plenty of virtual consultations though. When she suddenly deteriorated, we called 999 and the paramedic knew from looking at her what was wrong and said the emergency could have been avoided if someone had looked at her some weeks previously. she spent the next 3 months in hospital recovering from something that could have been treated with medication if the doctor had seen her at the beginning. So in this case the policy of virtual appointments has resulted in more cost to the NHS than just seeing people when required. I am sure this is not the only case.
I have recently had the experience of being cared for by PAH (Patients At Home) which is a part of Princess Alexandra Hospital, which I assume is what people are referring to as the virtual hospital. The NHS is not beyond criticism BUT in this case I wish that people with other agendas would stop criticising something that they have had no experience of. Having spent 3 weeks in the hospital with a spinal infection and after exhaustive tests I was told that I would have to have antibiotics pumped into my system for a period of in excess of seven weeks. After the initial care I had reached a point when all the hospital was doing was to administer pain relief and IV antibiotics. I was given the option of going home with an IV line fitted and pain relief provided, with the a nurse visit me at home to make sure everything was running properly. This has turned around to be a godsend AND a Hospital bed was freed up with my going home. The care provided by the doctors (who ring every day) and the nurses (who complete ALL the health diagnostic tests and more) has been FANTASTIC and includes transport to and from the hospital should I need it. So please, unless you have had direct experience of this service, shut up!
Agreed Kaz. I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and rather than be treated in hospital, I was given the option to be treated at home. It worked very well with daily visits from nurses. I didn't want to be in hospital. Recovering in my own home was less stress for me and a bed freed up to be given to someone more in need than me.
I have been treated by the virtual hospital for the last two weeks and I have nothing but praise for the service I have received. A daily nurse visit to administer antibiotics by IV and to change my dressing has been brilliant. The nurses are competent and cheerful with nothing being too much trouble. I have also received regular calls from the doctor which has reassured my greatly. The virtual hospital is a great idea and works really well. Thankyou so much.