COVID-19 virtual wards - Pennine Lancashire

The Pennine Lancashire CCGs, with local GPs, East Lancashire Medical Services (ELMS), Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale CVS, East Lancashire Hospital NHS Trust and Lancashire, South Cumbria Care Foundation NHS Trust worked together to quickly deliver the Pennine Lancashire Virtual Covid Ward to respond to the big numbers of people seriously affected by COVID-19.

The virtual covid ward was established when local health professionals from primary and secondary care services worked together to create it as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold. It has helped over 2,000 people from becoming seriously ill or hospitalised with severe COVID-19 or worse.

The Covid Virtual Ward supports clinically vulnerable patients to stay in their own homes when they had a positive COVID-19 test result, or doctors thought they had COVID.  In doing so the service provides patients with physical and psychological support through regular contact, as well as ensuring that the patient’s own GP is engaged to help with continuity of care. However, if and when patients require further treatment, they will be rapidly admitted to hospital if needed.

Patients on the ‘ward’ are kept in touch with daily by health care professionals, either by phone, video consultation or if required a home visit.  Patients have been able to remain at home near loved ones and in their own environment.  They were regularly contacted by phone, video consultation or if required, a home visit, and were provided with pulse oximeters for free, so that they could monitor their breathing symptoms.  If patients required further treatment, the service was able to rapidly admit them to hospital. The home system of close monitoring has helped avoid many hospital admissions and kept people safe and supported their recovery too.  

This vital service achieved national recognition and a top award for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the full news story.

Group of 26 people from Pennine Lancashire collecting the patient safety award

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