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17 November 2016

Innovative service brings high quality hospital care to Bristol patients’ homes

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) in partnership with ORLA Healthcare has launched a new 'virtual ward' service for adult patients (aged over 18).

Patients who meet agreed criteria are admitted to the ORLA virtual ward via UH Bristol's emergency department and other wards and receive the same type of care they would receive in hospital but in the comfort of their own home or where they live.

Using the latest patient monitoring technology, the ORLA service is consultant-led and available 24/7, 365 days a year and is an extension of the services offered by UH Bristol.

Since the service started in July, over 100 acutely-ill patients have been treated locally at home by the ORLA team and then discharged back to the care of their GP.

Owen Ainsley, chief operating officer of UH Bristol, said: "The feedback from patients on the ORLA virtual ward service has been very positive. We are thrilled to be able to offer this innovative high quality care to eligible Bristol patients in their homes and help them avoid a lengthy stay in hospital."

David Harrop, chief executive officer of ORLA Healthcare, said: "We are delighted to be partnering with UH Bristol. Together we are embracing innovative ways of delivering clinical care to a high quality and in a way that works for patients and their families."

Philip Wren, from Brislington, is one of the first people in Bristol to have been admitted to the new ORLA virtual ward at UH Bristol.

Philip had cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, and was looked after at his home by the ORLA team for 10 days before he was discharged.

He said: "The care I received from the ORLA team was absolutely wonderful. They were professional, friendly and always ready to answer any questions I had. It was great that I could receive the same high quality treatment as in the Bristol Royal Infirmary in the comfort of my own home."

UH Bristol and ORLA are currently planning to expand the service beyond Bristol.