Publish date: 13 April 2023

The UCLH@Home service is helping patients like 80-year-old Margaret Stone to continue their recovery in their own home under the care of their hospital team.

virtual ward

UCLH@Home is a nurse-led ‘virtual ward’ that is run in partnership with Whittington Health NHS Trust. The service enables clinically stable patients to go home from hospital and complete the remainder of their acute care in the community, while remaining under the care of UCLH. This may include patients who need regular intravenous antibiotics, or heart-failure patients requiring ongoing monitoring after returning home.

For Margaret Stone, who has been an inpatient at UCLH many times in recent years for her lung conditions, being cared for by UCLH in the comfort of her own home was a really positive experience.

“Although I’ve had wonderful treatment when I’ve had to stay in UCLH, I much prefer to be in my own home with my own things. When my lung problems recently took a turn for the worse and I needed to be looked after by the hospital team, I was really grateful to be given the option to be cared for at home,” Margaret said.

“The nurses from the UCLH@Home service made sure I was well cared for. They visited me at home every day for four or five days, to give me my medication and make sure I was getting better.”

Nigel Steventon, UCLH@Home matron, explains some of the benefits of the service: “Patients often tell us they prefer to be looked after in their own home and we acknowledge that a prolonged stay in hospital is not always the best thing for them. “Virtual wards like UCLH@Home have a key role to play in freeing up hospital beds for those that need inpatient care, while providing safe, home-based care for stable patients.”