Recruitment drive kicks off launch of Virtual Wards projects in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Recruitment is underway to staff “virtual wards” that will be able to care for hundreds of patients throughout Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
The Virtual Wards project aims to give hospital-equivalent care to patients while they remain in their own home or another community setting.
It offers significant improvements for patients and will also help hospitals cope with spikes in demand.
Lesley Roberts, Head of Operations, said: “Hospitals are not the right place for people who don’t absolutely need to be there. They can quickly suffer from deconditioning and lose the ability to be independent.
“The virtual wards scheme will directly help a group of people who do not need to be in a hospital bed but still need an element of hospital support.
“They will be attended by NHS staff who have access to equipment, treatment, monitoring and consultant advice, but it will all happen at home.”
It is planned to have a total of 470 virtual ward beds. And for this to happen around 95 staff with a range of skills and backgrounds will need to be recruited. These range from Band 8 Matrons to Band 3 Health Support Workers.
To help with the recruitment drive and to answer questions about flexible working options a drop-in day is being held. This will be at the Smithfield 1, Hanley (ST1 3DR), from 9am-6pm on Wednesday September 28.
Anyone can call in at any time to ask about the roles available.
Dr Zia Din, a Consultant at Royal Stoke University Hospital and Clinical Lead for the Virtual Wards project said: “The virtual wards will provide an infrastructure for us to care for a proportion of our patients who have urgent care needs but without admitting them to hospital. They will be assessed by practitioners who will use digital technologies to support care. Care plans will be discussed with consultants so the patient receives the same care as they would in a hospital environment.”
Lesley added: “We’re looking for passionate and dedicated staff. We think these positions will really appeal who are looking for flexible working to fit around family commitments. You don’t need to have previous NHS experience for all of the roles.”
Dr Zin and Lesley Roberts talk about the recruitment drive: