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Virtual wards versus hospital at home: care models for older people
  1. Mary Wheeldon
  1. Brighton Health Campus, Brighton, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Ms Mary Wheeldon, Innovation and Research, Community Health, Brighton Health Campus, Brighton, Queensland, Australia; Mary.Wheeldon{at}

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Commentary on: Norman G, Bennett P, Vardy ERLC. Virtual wards: a rapid evidence synthesis and implications for the care of older people. Age Ageing. 2023 Jan 8;52(1):afac319. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afac319.

Implications for practice and research

  • While virtual wards are now an accepted model of care delivery for older people further research and evaluation of this model specifically focused on patient selection, the use of technology, impact on carers, and patient and carer satisfaction is needed.

  • The use of virtual modalities of care for older people can be a viable alternative to face to face assessment and care.


Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increased interest in Virtual Wards as a viable and cost-effective alternative to hospital-based care. Applying this model of care for frail elderly people has become more common but there remains confusion about the difference and/or overlap in the models of …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.