St. Rocco's Launch Palliative Virtual Ward


The Palliative virtual ward (PVW) is where patients are looked after at home by health care professionals with oversight from the Warrington Integrated Palliative care Hub

St Rocco’s was successful in a bid to be the lead provider for a 12-month pilot for Palliative Virtual Ward in partnership with Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Bridgewater Community Healthcare, Warrington borough council, Warrington CCG, Warrington together partnership and health, social and Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise partners.  Technology is provided to help people monitor their own symptoms in the comfort of their own home with ongoing clinical support.

The Palliative Virtual Ward (PVW) is where patients are looked after at home by health care professionals with oversight from the Warrington Integrated Palliative Care Hub.

Patients are provided with a smartphone and are given access to the DOCOBO telehealth platform to log their symptoms as well as responses to pre-determined question set. Patients have a face-to-face visit on day 1 by the Integrated Palliative Virtual Ward Care Team. Then, their telehealth information is reviewed on a virtual ward round by integrated Palliative care nurses daily. Patients also receive a telephone call at pre-agreed intervals to review their symptoms .

Plans of care include

Patients admitted to Hospital/Hospice with a palliative diagnosis will be assessed and triaged by a clinical nurse practitioner. The patient could then follow one of these plans of care:

  1. Discharged with a follow up by the Community Nursing Service.
  2. Admitted to the Palliative virtual ward (PVW).
  3. Admitted to acute/Inpatient hospice unit.
  4. Symptom monitoring of unstable palliative patient in their own place of residence or symptom monitoring with a new medication change. The patient could be either:
  • Followed up in either an Outpatient clinic with additional monitoring from PVW
  • A home  visit should the consultant in charge of this care feel they need closer monitoring with additional support from the PVW

Following patient consent and if clinically appropriate, the patient will be admitted to the PVW, and  referred to the Warrington Integrated Palliative Care Hub.

Sara-Marie Black, Chief Operations officer at St. Rocco’s said, “We are very excited about this innovative and new service and opportunity to work with our system partners in the development of virtual wards. It allows us to utilise technology to further expand the care we provide away from the Hospice and ensure choice for the people of Warrington who need our services, whether via our in-patient unit or at home.”

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