MLCO and Hospital at Home in Greater Manchester
The NHS is increasingly introducing Hospital at Home, sometimes known as virtual wards, to support people in the place they call home. This service allows patients to get the care they need at home safely and conveniently, rather than being in hospital.
Delivering integrated care in the community, and particularly in people’s homes, plays a significant role in the vision for everyone across Greater Manchester to live a good life in a greener, fairer and more prosperous city region.
Multidisciplinary teams of NHS staff working together ensure people receive high-quality care, including senior clinical reviews, the use of tried-and-tested monitoring devices, clinical advice, smartphones and other technology. Healthcare professionals may also visit a patient’s home to provide face-to-face care.
This service is not new. Early in the COVID pandemic, COVID-19 patients were provided with an app and pulse oximeter. This enabled NHS clinical teams to regularly monitor patients whilst they could recover in the comfort of their own home. If the data monitored showed patients were worsening, clinicians could quickly act to provide the appropriate care.
There are a number of benefits for patients who are suitable for this service. The option to stay in the comfort of their own home, whilst being closely monitored by hospital staff, can lead to faster recovery and improved mental wellbeing. It can also give patients greater independence and empower them to work alongside clinicians and carers to manage their condition.
Hospital at Home is one of Greater Manchester’s top priorities, and through close collaboration with staff, patients and their families and carers, Hospital at Home will become a successful and well-established service across Greater Manchester.
MLCO is closely involved in the work and already runs a Hospital at Home Frailty ward in central Manchester where patients have care wrapped round them at home from an expert team of practitioners. There are further exciting plans to develop and support more offers as we expand what can be provided in the community.