Much of the conversation around virtual wards and hospital at home has been centred around community care beds and their ability to reduce pressure in crowded hospital wards.
While this is necessary, there is a range of care equipment required to provide appropriate and effective care to a person in their regular place of residence. Below, we look at the various types of healthcare equipment that could be required to set up a virtual ward or hospital at home environment.
Profiling beds are electric beds with height adjustability and tilting functions that aid with moving and handling tasks and nursing in general.
These medical style beds are used for home care where patients can recover and rehabilitate in a community setting while having access to the height adjustability and profiling options that enable carers to treat conditions in a non-intrusive way.
Electric profiling beds provide all the features that hospital staff and patients may need, in comfortable surroundings, meeting the criteria required for the provision of hospital at home care.
Care chairs offer comfortable & supportive seating for patients and are packed with features that can improve a patient’s quality of life and make it easier to socialise.
A well-chosen care chair can provide mobility and support to a patient who would otherwise be bedridden. The rise and recline function can act as a standing aid that lifts a person from a sitting to a standing position. This leads to reduced risk for carers as well as the user during moving and handling tasks.
Care chairs usually rest on robust castors and have enough ground clearance allowing for a mobile hoist to be placed under them and the patient placed in a sling and transferred. These rehabilitative chairs can also be used as a safer seating solution that help to minimise the risk of accidents and falls.
When caring for a patient outside of an acute hospital environment, the correct moving and handling of patients remains just as crucial but is faced with new challenges.
Folding and compact hoisting solutions will be needed to effectively care for patients in a variation of residences.
Mobile hoists that enable the safe moving and handling of patients from one piece of care equipment to another (a profiling bed to a care chair for example) along with stand assist devices for patients with weight bearing ability that are unable to stand alone.
The rapid availability of these specialist care equipment devices will need to be accessed to ensure that virtual ward and hospital at home environments are safe for patients and staff.
This will require the provision of moving and handling equipment to enable easier and safer active transfers for patient and carers.
For use alongside profiling beds, these specialist pressure relief mattresses are designed to alleviate pressure from specific, overloaded parts of a patient’s body when they are in bed and distribute that pressure elsewhere to reduce the risk of developing pressure sores/ulcers.
When paired with profiling beds, pressure relieving mattresses can enable a patient to find the most comfortable lying position for them that relieves pressure from parts of their body. Care in a home setting may allow a patient influence over their own care methods that they may not otherwise have had.
For patients at low to medium risk of pressure injury, care mattresses can be made with castellated foam which moves pressure away from certain parts of the patient’s body and decrease the opportunity for pressure injuries to develop.
For patients at high risk of developing or exacerbating pressure injuries, alternating airflow pressure injury care mattresses are constantly only move and do not allow pressure to build up on any single part of the body, resulting in a greatly reduced risk of pressure injury development.
Extremely important for patient recovery is the ability to patients to rehabilitate in appropriate environments with the right care equipment. This is usually achieved by provision of the correct care chair which can be difficult for carers working in multi-user environments.
This process can become more difficult when caring for bariatric patients who have more specialised requirements.
Bariatric rehabilitative seating options should be:
With these requirements in mind, vivid.care have developed the Lento Bariatric Riser Recliner which enables community-based patient rehabilitation for multiple users and person-centred care through its fully adjustable and modular design that allows a carer to make all size adjustments quickly and easily without the need for tools.
Removable arms and a vertical rise function facilitate easier patient transfers and a modular, while the highly adjustable, modular design that enables care of a broader distribution of clients.
Our specialist care equipment for patient care in the community are available in bariatric options for more specialised care requirements.
These options include a bariatric profiling bed and bariatric care mattress with pressure relieving foam built in, along with a reinforced bariatric high back seat for patient relaxation and proper posture control.
With conversation around Virtual Wards and Hospitals at Home increasing, it is important to have a grasp of the equipment that may be required to set up these community care environments with the speed required by NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care.
To meet government aims of 50,000 patients to be treated in Virtual Wards by winter 2023, rapid provision of community care equipment must be made available without compromising on the level of care offered to patients.
Vivid.care developed the Lento specialist seating range with the rapidly changing needs of multi-user environments in mind and can provide specialist seating and profiling beds along with their accessories quickly to meet urgent emergency care needs.
As part of the CoreCare group, our relationship with Dependall allows us to store large quantities of healthcare equipment ready to despatch as required.