Acute Hospital at Home (AHAH)

Our Acute Hospital at Home (AHAH) service, which is nationally referred to as the ‘Virtual Ward’ programme, is a safe and efficient alternative to receiving care as an inpatient on a hospital ward.

It is currently running across our Eastern services (the services formerly known as the RD&E), and we will be rolling out AHAH across our Northern services (the services formerly known as NDHT) over the coming weeks.

If you are referred to our AHAH service, you will receive the same care, monitoring and treatment that you would from a hospital bed or from a local community service, but from the comfort of your own home.

Our AHAH team, which includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics, clinical support workers and occupational therapists, will be in touch with you on a regular basis throughout the day, and can be contacted 24 hours a day.

How does it work?

Our AHAH multidisciplinary team will monitor you at home using the latest digital health techniques, which includes smart phone apps, technology platforms and wearable medical devices, such as temperature readers and pulse oximeters.

At the same time, our AHAH team will check in with you several times a day by phone or video call, with care also available face-to-face from a multi-disciplinary team based in your local community.

If readings don’t look right, we can visit and check in on you, and if you let us know that you’re feeling unwell, we can have someone readmitted to our acute medical unit (AMU) within 30mins. 

Our AHAH multidisciplinary team will monitor you at home using digital health techniques, phone calls and face to face reviews in our dedicated ambulatory area.  

Your progress will be discussed daily with our consultant and your progress closely monitored, you will be advised of any changes to your treatment plan.

The aim is that you will be safely discharged to your GP on completion of your care. 

Who can be referred to our AHAH service?

You may be referred to our AHAH service if you have one of the following and, perhaps with the support of a carer or family member, are able to care for yourself at home: 

  • Heart failure  
  • Atrial Fibrillation 
  • Non-ST-elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) 
  • Covid-19  
  • Flu
  • COPD  
  • Acute kidney injury  
  • Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) 
  • Frailty

What do our patients say about the AHAH service?

Sally and Vienna, who were referred to AHAH, share their experiences of using the service.

Why is our AHAH service important?

We know that being treated in your own home can have a hugely positive impact –you can continue with your daily routine and make choices about what you can eat and wear, with the people you know and love around you. You also avoid the risks that an inpatient stay may have, such as deconditioning and delirium. All of this leads to a better chance of recovery for our patients.

In addition, by freeing up hospital beds and creating more capacity, our AHAH service improves the flow of patients through the Royal Devon, easing pressures on our emergency departments and helping to reduce waiting times for both planned and emergency care.

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Last updated: January 19, 2023