Asthma virtual ward launches in Leicestershire

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 22-Nov-2022

Pioneering partnership goes live to reduce hospital readmissions

A new virtual ward has launched in Leicestershire to provide a supported discharge service for people following a hospital admission for asthma.

Patients living within NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), which covers more than one million people, now have access to virtual wards upon discharge from hospital through a remote patient monitoring platform provided by Spirit Health.

The virtual ward will enable patients admitted to hospital with an exacerbation of their asthma to be safely discharged to continue their treatment from home.

Patients will complete daily health questions and peak flow readings using the CliniTouch Vie app, all under the care and vigilance of healthcare professionals.

Patients will also be asked to report on a number of symptoms, including how their breathing is and whether their asthma has affected their sleep.

In addition, questions include inhaler use, how controlled they feel their asthma is, and about their asthma action plan.

This data is then shared in real-time with the clinical team, allowing them to act swiftly and provide further face-to-face intervention if the patient’s health shows signs of deterioration.

The virtual ward is designed to reduce the risk of re-admission and to improve the experience of people living with asthma.

The launch marks the latest milestone in a ground-breaking partnership that will see a total of 16 digital pathways launched across the LLR Integrated Care System (ICS).

Asthma joins COPD and COVID-19, with community-acquired pneumonia, heart failure, ambulatory jaundice, and colorectal cancer all due to launch before Christmas.

Dr Noel O’Kelly, medical director at Spirit Health, said: “Under this collaboration, patients admitted to hospital after an asthmatic episode can be safely discharged earlier were they are supported by healthcare professionals at home while they recover, reducing their risk of readmission.

“For asthma patients this is a great benefit as they are supported in their recovery on the virtual ward. Plus, they can get back to a sense of normality at home while still being connected to their clinicians."

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