North West England NHS chooses Spirit Health to launch virtual COVID-19 ward

North West England 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 with the launch of a new virtual ward service across North West England 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 COVID-19 question set and vital sign measurements daily, with results sent in real-time to be reviewed. CliniTouch Vie analyzes the data and generates a risk-scored list of prioritized actions.

The introduction of the virtual ward marks the trust’s first major move into the use of digital health technology to support patient care.

Dr. Robert Buttery, a respiratory consultant 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 to deliver the best levels of care for our patients. ”

Spirit’s new partnership with NWAngliaFT follows the launch and implementation of a COVID-19 virtual ward in Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which has now 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’re pleased to be partnering with North West England NHS Foundation Trust introduces 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 remote monitoring platform allowing clinicians to provide remote care for their patients. Digitized 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 programs.

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