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Patient Praises Hospital's New Scheme

Tuesday November 5 2013

Barnsley Hospital Barnsley Hospital

A BARNSLEY Hospital patient has praised a new scheme designed to reduce readmissions.

When 77-year-old Audrey Dixon, of Monk Bretton, was admitted to hospital last November, doctors and nurses thought she may have suffered a stroke or even a heart attack.

It was only after performing tests that she was finally diagnosed with epilepsy.

Since epilepsy is an ongoing condition that can be treated and kept under control with medication, Audrey was discharged from hospital and placed on the 'Virtual Ward' scheme.

Audrey was provided with a nurse at the hospital who would call her everyday to ask if she had any problems with her medication or any queries about her treatment.

The scheme focuses on patients who are most likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge.

If it wasn’t for the Virtual Ward, Audrey may have faced readmission to hospital. Nurses found that many patients don't always fully understand their medical needs as they're often too complex, leading to readmissions.

Whilst Audrey was on the scheme, a nurse set out a care plan, through which Audrey had everyday contact with a nurse if necessary. Audrey was able to ask any questions she had about her condition on a daily basis.

"The care I received was excellent," Audrey said. "I felt very reassured about my diagnosis and the nurses made sure that I understood everything and felt comfortable with my medication.

"Knowing that there was somebody to contact every day if I needed anything was marvellous, I felt like I knew exactly what was happening with my treatment."

Mandy Philbin, clinical service manager at Barnsley Hospital, said: "The Virtual Ward scheme has received great feedback and patients have been more than impressed with its excellent standard of service."

The Virtual Ward scheme takes place for 30 days after the patient has been discharged from hospital. After this, the patient may be referred to another specialist for any extra treatment they may need.

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