First NOA webinar of 2023 explored whether virtual wards are applicable to elective orthopaedic surgery.

The first NOA webinar of 2023 was a packed session which discussed an issue high on the healthcare agenda – Virtual Wards, (Hospital at Home) – an established pathway for many medical conditions in respiratory and cardiac medicine and to a lesser extent in surgery. The Government is encouraging engagement and setting targets for Integrated Care Systems (ICS’s) to adopt these pathways to reduce pressure on hospital beds.

The lunchtime session looked at how virtual wards can be used for elective orthopaedic surgery and had over 70 orthopaedic professionals from across the country in attendance. Guest speakers included, Alex Gilbert, Business Development Director, Companion MedTech, Huma, Dr Noel O’Kelly, Medical Director, Spirit Health and Dr Elizabeth Kendrick, Medical Director, Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

NOA Programme Director, Ann Hoey, chaired the session. Ann kicked off with an overview of Virtual Wards and why we chose the topic for the webinar.

The first guest speaker, Dr Noel O’Kelly, gave an overview of Clinitouch and how it can support elective orthopaedic surgery Virtual Wards. Dr O’Kelly also shared his personal experience of a total knee replacement and reflected on how a digitally supported virtual ward could have helped him.

Alex Gilbert shared Huma’s progress so far in virtual wards for orthopaedics and the final guest speaker, Dr Elizabeth Kendrick shared learnings from the post-operative orthopaedic pilot, along with some hints and tips about how to take services forward #virtualwards at Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust.

The guest speakers answered a range of questions from attendees in a busy question and answer session before Chair, Ann, closed the session. You can read the Q&A report here. The webinar, which one attendee said was “Very encouraging and inspiring“, can be viewed here. For the latest on NOA events, check out the NOA events page