A new virtual hospital has been set up in west Essex

New Virtual Hospital

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.

Patients receive a mixture of face-to-face care and remote monitoring by a team including consultants, advanced clinical practitioners, nurses, therapists and pharmacists.

They are also supported by other specialist teams and social care, depending on their individual needs.

Patients are monitored and reviewed every day by a multi-disciplinary team of health and social care professionals.

The number of face to face visits and telephone calls patients receive will vary depending on their specific needs, and they are asked to regularly send in readings for their blood pressure, oxygen levels, temperature and weight as necessary.

Patients can be admitted to the West Essex Virtual Hospital Service for up to two weeks but will be referred for further care if their needs change at any point during that time, which could include being referred to hospital.

They will also be referred for further care as needed once they leave the care of the virtual hospital team.

While being cared for as part of the virtual hospital service, patients can receive a wide range of personalised care depending on their individual needs. This can include administration of medications, face to face nursing and therapy care, urgent assessments, end of life care, oxygen therapy, and blood tests.

If the individual has identified care needs, support can be deployed quickly through the close working relationship the service has with adult social care.

People will only be referred to the virtual hospital service if their condition and individual circumstances mean it is a suitable option for them.

Patients with the following conditions can be referred into the virtual hospital service:

  • Frailty Syndromes – Patients aged over 65 with a Frailty Index Score (FIS) of 5 or above ( FIS is a validated assessment tool used to ascertain level of frailty)
  • Breathing conditions such as acute respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pneumonia
  • Heart failure symptoms, breathlessness, fluid retention
  • Infectious conditions requiring antibiotics

All patients are given easy to use remote monitoring equipment and there is full support in place to help them if they have any questions or concerns about using it.

The kit includes a mobile phone or tablet for them to use to submit their health readings and send instant messages to the Care Coordination Centre, which picks them up immediately and will respond.

For more informatioan:

New West Essex Virtual Hospital Service