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ORLA Virtual Ward

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) is working in partnership with ORLA Healthcare to provide a virtual ward service for adult patients (aged over 18). This is an extension of the services offered by the Trust, with the difference being that all care is delivered in a patient's home or place of residence.

There are a number of clinical conditions that can be safely treated in a home setting by a virtual ward service. UH Bristol doctors and senior nursing staff will spend time with patients to establish if it is the right decision to admit them to the ORLA Virtual Ward.

Available 24/7, 365 days a year, the ORLA service is part of a range of services offered by UH Bristol and patients will remain a patient in the same way as if they were on one of the wards at UH Bristol. Patients will remain in the care of the Hospital at Home service until they have recovered. The ORLA consultant will then discharge the patient on behalf of the Trust to the care of their GP.

The ORLA clinical team is consultant-led and supported by highly experienced doctors, registered nurses, skilled healthcare assistants, pharmacists, physiotherapists and other therapists. The service operates within the Trust's clinical governance and management reporting purposes.

The ORLA clinical team will be identifiable at the Trust through their uniforms, identification badges and an ORLA branded lanyard.

Acute telemedicine technologies will support the work of the ORLA clinical team for patient monitoring and everything will be set up in a patient's home by ORLA.

The process can be explained in four steps:

Step 1: Admission

In the emergency department: The UH Bristol consultant and a senior nurse in the emergency department will discuss suitability with the patient for receiving care in their own home or place of residence. They will then refer the patient to the ORLA clinical team, which will assess the patient for being suitable for the service and agree a plan of care with the patient.

Wards: The same process as above will apply to existing ward patients for referral to the ORLA Virtual Ward service.

Step 2: Transfer

ORLA organise transport for the patient and the set-up of medicines, medical and telehealth equipment needed to provide the same type of care as in hospital.

Step 3: Care

The patient will receive up to six visits a day from members of the ORLA clinical team. If required, the ORLA team will provide some limited social care support.

Step 4: Discharge

When the patient is ready for discharge from the ORLA Virtual Ward service, the patient's care will be handed back to their GP.

Eligible adult patients for referral to the ORLA service must live within the Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area. This eligibility criterion may be reviewed over time.

For more information, please contact the ORLA team on 0117 342 7330 or visit the ORLA website