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Nurses in London create a virtual NHS ward for those with heart conditions

Posted on June 2021 By Jamie Southwell

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​To closely monitor those with heart failure, a team of twelve cardiac nurse practitioners have collectively invented a virtual system in which they can remotely check up on a patient whenever necessary.

The ‘virtual ward’ is planned to be rolled out by London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust later in the month and will allow healthcare professionals overseeing the patients to monitor their condition on the go.

With over 100,000 hospital admissions to the NHS per year for the condition, according to the British Heart Foundation, it comes as a more fast and safe method to keeping track of patients outside of the hospital.

Through the use of a smartphone app, the patient will be able to provide vital information like blood pressure levels, heart rate, weight, and oxygen saturation levels.

All of which will be assessed by the NHS professional in accordance with the standard levels of the specific age group relevant to the patient.


Emil Elias, NHS cardiac nurse practitioner, London North West University NHS Trust, pictured above

The usual method of assessing a patient with heart failure will be done through a clinic of the NHS Trust within a two week period of their hospital admission, with routine checkups following.

However, the new method of remotely monitoring the condition will fast track the process and reduce the overall repeat clinical visits.

Emil Elias, one of the twelve cardiac nurse practitioners, discussed the importance of the service. He said, “The virtual ward programme is going to revolutionise the management of heart failure patients.”

“The physical location of the patient will be at home, but they will send in all the necessary information,”

Currently, the limitations of seeing a patient are restricted by “capacity”, explained Elias.

Yet, with the plans to introduce the app into the Trust, it will allow for further monitoring done remotely and “assure that these patients are looked after on a regular basis” he added.

The common symptoms of heart failure are:

  • Breathlessness.

  • Fatigue.

  • Swollen ankles or legs.

For more information on diagnosing heart failure, please visit the official NHS website: