Virtual Ward

The Virtual Ward provides rapid assessment and wrap-around care to people in their own home, who become suddenly unwell and would normally be admitted to hospital or are already under the care of the Trust and whose needs can be safely managed at home.

Introducing the Virtual Ward

The below information explains how the service functions, and how it can be accessed.

What are the aims of the Virtual Ward?

The Virtual Ward Service, a collaborative initiative between Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) and Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust’s (RDaSH), is designed to cater to patients requiring regular monitoring and ongoing treatment, such as acute respiratory infections, chronic lung conditions, and those requiring intravenous antibiotics.

This Virtual Ward provides rapid assessment and wrap around care to people in their own home, who become suddenly unwell and would normally be admitted to hospital or are already under the care of the Trust and whose needs can be safely managed at home.

The Virtual Ward provides an alternative to hospital admission as well as, often, supporting a speedier discharge, improving outcomes and reducing the risk of hospital-acquired adverse events such as deconditioning.

The Virtual Ward will work alongside and communicate with existing providers if the person already receives homecare or other support in the home and ensure a good plan post input.

How does the Virtual Ward work?

Patients would be identified for the Virtual Ward by any member of the Multidisciplinary Team and must be accepted by a responsible Clinician.

Once identified and accepted they will be referred to the Virtual Ward practitioner who will come and assess the patient, fill out the criteria form and refer to RDaSH (who will provide care in the community). If the patient consents and RDaSH have capacity, then the patient is transferred to the Virtual Ward (their usual place of residence).

Patients need to be referred before 2pm and discharged before 5pm.

Patients can stay on the Virtual Ward for up to 14 days if required.

There is an escalation process in place in case the patient needs to be readmitted back into hospital.

RDaSH provide a service seven days a week 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday and Sunday and Bank Holidays (patients have an emergency contact number out of these hours if required).

The patient will have an initial assessment within 24 hours after discharge by a trained Advanced Clinical Practitioner in the Community and the continued plan of care will commence.

Follow up care will be on an individual basis and will involve both the primary and secondary team if required.

What do we mean by ‘virtual’?

What do we mean by Virtual?

The Virtual Ward is a Consultant led service that supports people experiencing medical problems in their own home.

There is availability to take bloods/bladder scan/preform ECG’s, refer for x-ray/ultrasound and Multidisciplinary Team referrals, if required.

Also, medication reviews by the Community Pharmacist, prescription changes if required and administration of IVA’s (if community capacity available).


Criteria for referral to the Virtual Ward is as follows:

  • Patient able to participate in virtual monitoring (or patient has relative/carer).
  • Patient registered with a Doncaster GP and Doncaster postcode.
  • Have a working diagnosis with a treatment and follow-up plan.
  • NEWS2 Score stable <4 (Excluding 3 in any one parameter).
  • They are medically stable and can be managed at home.
  • The Virtual Ward is more appropriate than any existing services offered by the Community Team.
  • A risk Assessment has been carried out by the Physio or Ward Team with the Patient.

What are the benefits of a Virtual Ward to a person?

  • The Virtual Ward aims to reduce length of hospital stay or avoid admission in the first place, which leads to quicker recovery and reduces disruption to patient’s lives. This means we can proactively manage people living with some medical conditions at home, through support from a wider care team, which improves patient’s experience and outcomes.


Documentation for patients

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