A new virtual ward has been established for patients living within NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), to help reduce the risk of an asthma re-admission.

Patients who have been admitted to hospital due to their condition will be supported by the virtual ward so they can be discharged safely to continue treatment at home.

The service uses Spirit Health’s CliniTouchVie app. Patients will use the app to complete daily health questions and submit peak flow readings. They’ll also be asked about how their breathing has been, if it is affecting their sleep and how controlled their condition currently is.

This data will then be shared with the healthcare professionals on their clinical team. Should face-to-face intervention be needed, healthcare teams are empowered to act quickly before a patient deteriorates further.

Dr Noel O’Kelly, medical director at Spirit Health, said: “… patients admitted to hospital after an asthmatic episode can be safely discharged earlier. They are supported by healthcare professionals at home whilst 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 whilst still being connected to their clinicians.”

As well as preventing patients from being re-admitted to hospital for their asthma, the NHS LLR virtual ward aims to improve asthma sufferers’ experience of living with the condition in general.

The launch of the virtual ward is the latest milestone in the partnership that will see a total of 16 digital pathways launched across NHS LLR ICS.

The new NHS LLR asthma pathway has joined the COPD and Covid-19 pathways. Community-acquired pneumonia, heart failure, ambulatory jaundice and colorectal cancer are all due to launch before Christmas.