Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Case Study

Case Study

Delivering excellent patient experiences through virtual wards

How technology-enabled virtual wards have enabled Croydon to improve operational and patient outcomes.


Key Results

Bed days saved over 17 months
55 %
Patient NPS
3 x
Less likely to require a home visit
70 %
Reduced hospital readmissions

About Croydon Health Services NHS Trust’s Rapid Response Service

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust provides acute and community health services to a population of 391,000 people.

Croydon’s Rapid Response Service is a short-term medical intervention team consisting of nurses, therapists, geriatricians, primary care physicians, and specialist telehealth nurse.

Patients referred to this service are visited at home within 2 hours when a response is required to stop an unnecessary hospital admission. All referred patients receive a medical assessment and are provided with a tailored care plan to enable them to remain at home.


In late 2020, escalating pressure on Croydon hospital brought a need for its Rapid Response team to manage more patients within the community.


Limited hospital capacity

Reducing avoidable hospitalisations while ensuring patients were safely managed and cared for in the community was critical for alleviating hospital pressure.


Increased caseload

The Rapid Response team was now responsible for not only more patients but patients of increased complexity and acuity.


Croydon implemented a technology-enabled virtual ward model in July 2020, using Current Health.

As varying patient populations were now referred to the service, Current Health’s platform was ideally suited due to its configurability to monitor different morbidities.

Within three months, the team successfully scaled care for up to 30 patients on the ward at a time.


Customisable clinical monitoring at home

Patients suitable for care at home were provided with a Current Health monitoring kit tailored to their clinical condition and needs.


Remote visibility of patient health

Captured health data was assessed remotely by the Rapid Response team through Current Health’s centralised clinical dashboard.


Proactive delivery of healthcare at home

Built-in risk stratification and disease-specific health alarms enabled the Rapid Response team to efficiently triage and prioritise care at home.



The programme reduced utilisation of services and delivered cost savings

An analysis of 250 virtual ward patients revealed that the care model allowed the team to offset some in-home visits with telephone calls.

As in-home visits were the team’s most time-consuming clinical task, this reduction helped to increase the team’s capacity and made the team more efficient.

The increased efficiency contributed to cost savings through the reduced need for in-home visits as well as the bed days saved. In an independent report by the NHS Health Innovation Network, the technology-enabled virtual ward delivered combined cost savings per patient of £742.44.


The patients reported an excellent experience

The patients who received virtual ward care were overwhelmingly happy and satisfied with the care they received and their interaction with the Current Health technology.

Patients reported having their needs met above and beyond what they had anticipated, which in some instances, exceeded their experience of being treated in hospital in terms of feeling safe.


“I think it was better (than hospital treatment), it was a personal touch. In hospital, there’s a ward full of patients and one nurse responsible for everyone. At home, I was alone and had the nurse to myself.”

Patient feedback


The program improved clinical outcomes and detected potentially life-threatening conditions

Continuous vitals monitoring and on-demand video calls and messaging, allowed the team to detect deterioration earlier. This helped to reduce readmissions and admissions post-discharge from the virtual ward, at both 7 days and 28 days post-discharge.

The biometric monitoring also identified significant (and potentially fatal) pathology. These conditions included pulmonary emboli, heart arrhythmias, obstructive sleep apnoea, and atrial myxoma.


“Remote monitoring is enabling us to deliver more clinical care outside of hospital. We can now manage more patients with acute and chronic conditions in the community to help reduce unnecessary hospital attendances and admissions as well as facilitate early supported discharge.”

Francesca Demain Croydon Health Services NHS Trust Telehealth Lead Nurse


Looking Forward

With remote patient monitoring, Croydon’s Rapid Response team has been able to broaden its service to support higher acuity and higher-risk patients. 

Beyond the pandemic, the organisation plans to further embed care at home due to its proven ability to drive greater collaboration, reduce unnecessary admissions and increase patient choice across the health system.