Introduction of Virtual Wards across Milton Keynes
The Trust has been working with the BLMK Integrated Care System (ICS) to introduce virtual beds across the region, aiming to support patients who would otherwise be in hospital, to receive acute care, remote monitoring and treatment in their usual place of residence.
From 1st December, phase one of the introduction kicked off, initially focusing on three pathways: OPAT, Getting People Home therapy and Admission Avoidance. 15 virtual beds are now available for patients, with the ambition to increase this to 65 by the end of the calendar year. This first phase will be a trial to test the system, taking on board patient and staff feedback to look at rolling out further phases in the future.
The key benefits to virtual wards are:
- Reduced ED and hospital admissions
- Increased capacity within the system
- Improved patient experience
- Improved staff experience
- Building better relationships between acute and community care
The first virtual beds across Milton Keynes will focus on frailty patients will include a mix of remote monitoring and face-to-face clinical interventions, with support from the Urgent Community Response team, District Nurses, Therapy teams and Reablement teams. There will be Consultant level oversight by way of a twice weekly MDT and Consultant Connect to ensure a safe and effective service for patients.