Improving the information exchange on virtual wards

NHS and social care colleagues in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are leading the way in linking up the information of patients on ‘virtual wards’ within the LLR Care Record.

The virtual ward service has been arranged locally by NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Integrated Care Board and is being provided by a collaborative of local organisations, including University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and Loros hospice care.

The LLR Care Record Programme is one of the first health and care systems in the country to integrate information from virtual wards into their shared care records programme. To find out more visit the LLR Integrated Care Board website at

A virtual ward is a team of professionals who look after a group of patients with similar health conditions, safely and conveniently at home rather than in hospital. Using a combination of remote monitoring by healthcare professionals and home visits, virtual wards can help prevent hospital admissions or allow for an earlier, supported discharge. People tend to make a better recovery in their own surroundings as staying in hospital longer than necessary can have a detrimental effect on their condition and their independence.

Traditionally, information about a patient’s care and treatment has not always been easily shared between organisations but now the LLR Care Record is enabling all professionals directly involved in an individual’s care to see the bigger picture. Sharing information from virtual wards using the LLR Care Record means that different practitioners, such as a care worker, pharmacist, GP or hospital doctor, can now see all the updates on a person while they are being monitored. This includes data such as the patient’s ‘vital signs’ observations, for example, their blood pressure, temperature, deterioration or improvements in their condition, and any questionnaires completed by the patient.

Laura Godtschalk, LLR Care Record Programme Manager, said: “In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland we have virtual wards in place for a number of conditions such as diabetes or respiratory disease. People might be on a virtual ward for anything from a couple of weeks to six months. By having virtual wards information within the LLR Care Record, health and care professionals can receive real time updates on the health and care of the individual.

 “We are aware that we are one of the first health and care systems in the country to be integrating information from virtual wards into our shared care records programme. As such, NHS England is taking a keen interest in our progress, to see how learning from our work can potentially be rolled out nationally.”

To find out more about the LLR Care Record, visit the LLR Integrated Care Board website –

The website contains various information about the programme, including an animated video, a ‘frequently asked questions’ sheet, a public-facing leaflet, a poster and information on how a member of the public could choose to object to being included should they wish. The leaflet has been translated into a number of languages and there is also an ‘easy read’ guide available.

To contact the LLR Care Record Programme team, please email: