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Safe care at home: Easing pressure on the NHS by developing alternatives to hospital

Safe care at home: Easing pressure on the NHS by developing alternatives to hospital. Includes image of a female healthcare professional and a woman looking at a tablet screenFollowing our successful involvement in the establishment and rapid rollout of virtual wards and home oximetry during the pandemic, we are continuing to work closely with integrated care systems and other NHS partners on the ongoing development of virtual wards, remote monitoring and other safe alternatives to hospital-based care. The role of AHSNs in establishing Covid virtual wards and Covid oximetry @home, which supported almost 20,000 patients at home at the pandemic’s peak, was recognised with a share of the patient safety prize at the 2021 HSJ Awards.

Other ways in which we have supported our NHS partners to deliver home-based alternatives to hospital care include:

  • delivering intravenous (IV) antibiotics in patients’ own homes – previously patients needing IV medication several times a day could only get it in hospital – even if they were otherwise well enough to be at home
  • better outcomes for tens of thousands of women and their unborn babies every year thanks to a quick, accurate blood test for pre-eclampsia which has led to fewer unnecessary hospital admissions (see 15 Jan post)

These initiatives free up hospital beds for those who really need them, save NHS money and bring environmental benefits through fewer hospital journeys.

‘New name … same aim: Building on a decade of health innovation’