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Ashgate Hospice > Our services > Virtual Ward

Welcome to your Virtual Ward

The Virtual Ward is available to anyone:

• over the age of 18
• registered with a North Derbyshire GP and living in their catchment area.

Your nurse or doctor will assess whether you are suitable for the Virtual Ward. If suitable, you will be referred to the Virtual Ward team.

What to expect from the Virtual Ward

1. Patient assessment

Your healthcare professional will assess whether you are suitable to receive care at home from the Virtual Ward team. If you and your carer consent to this, you would be referred onto the Virtual Ward. Patients can be transferred to the Virtual Ward from other teams within the hospice, the GP or District Nursing team, from hospital wards or from the Accident and Emergency department.


2. Creating a care plan

Once you have been admitted onto the Virtual Ward you remain under the care of the Virtual Ward team, who are based at the hospice in Chesterfield. A personalised care plan will be discussed with you, your carer and the team. This will help identify what matters to you to ensure that the support you receive is designed and coordinated around your desired outcomes.


3. Simple and easy-to-use technology

One of the Virtual Ward team will meet with you and spend the time familiarising you (if needed) with the devices and how to operate the technology, to safely monitor you at home. This may include a blood pressure machine or a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels. The readings provide real-time information to the Virtual Ward team.


4. Daily check-ins

You will be reviewed daily by the Virtual Ward team. This includes, specialist nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, support workers and supportive care during the hours of Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. The team will agree the type of contact (phone, video or face-to-face) with you. At weekends and out of hours, you will be supported over the phone.


5. Responsive treatment

The Virtual Ward team will be automatically alerted by the technology if your readings worsen, or you are not responding to treatment as expected. Changes to your care plan will be made to manage these symptoms, or changes to your physical and practical needs to keep you within the place you call home. There may still be a need to attend a hospital for a specific test or procedure, but the Virtual Ward team can support with this and when you return home.


6. Discharge or referral to other services

Following the completion of your care, you will be discharged from the Virtual Ward. You would then be transferred back to another team within the hospice for ongoing monitoring and support, and your GP and District Nursing team would be made aware of any changes and updates to your care.