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Case study: Virtual wards and prehabilitation in Bristol

  • Organisations we regulate,
  • Hospitals

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, rated requires improvement in December 2014, achieved an outstanding rating in March 2017.

Caring for patients on the virtual ward

The ‘virtual ward’ was launched in July 2016 in partnership with a private provider. Adult patients who met agreed criteria were admitted to the virtual ward through the emergency department and other wards.

Patients received the same type of care they would in hospital, but in their own home. The consultant-led service was available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Over 100 acutely-ill patients have been treated at home and then discharged to the care of their GP practice. The trust has received good feedback from patients using the virtual ward, as it helped them to avoid a lengthy stay in hospital.

Improving patient fitness using the prehabilitation programme

This programme aims to improve a patient’s fitness before major surgery. Patients are encouraged to stop smoking, manage their alcohol intake, eat healthily and manage their medicines effectively.

This collaborative programme involves surgeons, anaesthetists, Macmillan nurses, academics digital start-up companies and the trust’s hospital charity Above & Beyond.

Prehabilitation has been established in thoracic, hepatobiliary and pancreatic, and obstetrics and gynaecology surgery. The trust has also worked with colleagues at North Bristol Trust to develop this in urology and vascular surgery.

Last updated:
15 May 2018