What is a Virtual Ward?
A proportion of Patients with COVID-19 become significantly unwell with their disease before seeking help. They develop respiratory failure without the normal picture of increasing breathlessness arriving in hospital grossly hypoxic. The COVID-19 Virtual Ward offers patients with COVID-19 disease the opportunity to monitor and report their oximetry to the ward for 14 days of their illness. Patients are loaned an oximeter and supported to submit data using an App not less than twice a day. The app and ward prompt patients as to how they should act if their oximetry shows signs of falling
Why Tees Valley?
Virtual wards are being piloted across the country and the Tees Valley Pilot will be one of the largest. The CCG and Federations pushed for us to become an early adopter so that we can gain the benefits for the people of the Tees Valley, particularly areas that have been hit hard in the first wave of COVID-19. We are hopeful that such an approach will minimise the impact of any second wave and were keen to have a robust system in place in good time. All three Federations are working together to deliver the Virtual ward and to enhance patient care locally.
How does it work?
Patients identified as having COVID-19 or strongly suspected of having the disease will be invited to join the ward and will be supplied with an information pack and an Oximeter. They will be invited to download an app (or have a buddy do this for them) and submit physiology and symptoms to the ward via the COVID Tracker. This will be monitored on a daily basis by our nursing team who will advise patients with abnormal results to act, similar prompts are built into the COVID Tracker app.
We have a virtual briefing July 2020 on the Tees Valley COVID-19 Virtual Ward for the clinicians across Tees Valley, if you were unable to attend this meeting the link for the video is below.