A VIRTUAL nursing service for terminally-ill patients at home has been saved.

St Helena Hospice has been piloting a new service caring for patients at home at the end of their lives.

The Virtual Ward service offers personal care to those whose health has suddenly deteriorated. The aim is to keep people at home if that is where they want to be.

Between January and September, 165 referrals were received.

The virtual ward, which acts as a rapid response 24/7 service alongside St Helena’s SinglePoint service, was initially funded by the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

After the success of the service’s pilot, the hospice has secured extra funding from the North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance to run the service until March.

The hospice will then use its charitable funds to support the service with the hope to secure further funding in the future.

Frances Rowe, SinglePoint team lead, said: “The virtual ward has changed what we can do in SinglePoint as we offer two visits a day to patients with personal care needs. Our healthcare assistants are an experienced team and as well as looking after the patient, they also support families and friends too.”