Virtual Frailty Ward

Lead: NHS Leeds CCG

Period: 7th Oct 2019

We conducted a focus group to gain people's views on our plans for the Virtual Frailty Ward pilot project.

Brief description of the project

The Virtual Frailty Ward (VFW) is a joint service between Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT), Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH) NHS Trust and other local health organisations.

The service provides a rapid response to care for people who are living with moderate or severe frailty in their own home when they experience an episode of ill health.

People attending the focus group were able to:

  • find out more about the plans for the Virtual Frailty Ward
  • provide feedback on the plans
  • contribute ideas for the name of the service.

Who did we speak to?

17 people attended the focus group including representatives from:

  • Age UK
  • Carers Leeds
  • Leeds Older People’s Forum
  • Public/patient representatives
  • Older People’s Engagement Group members
  • Members of staff and clinicians.

What and how did we ask?

People attending the focus group were able to:

  • Write down their thoughts about the name, ‘Virtual Frailty Ward’, to share with the group.
  • Review the draft of a short film script that is intended to explain the service to the public.
  • Propose and discuss alternative names for the service.

What did people tell us?

Some attendees told us that we need to be careful when using words like ‘frail’, as to some people, especially older people, it may have negative meanings. Someone attending said:

“Frailty is a somewhat derogatory term. Virtual Ward would do.”

Some people also thought the term ‘virtual’ may be confusing. One of the attendees fed back:

“Virtual – Online? Virtual reality? Skype?”

People flagged up the importance of involving carers in conversations.

What did we do?

The project steering group agreed to the name “Leeds Virtual Ward (Frailty)” for the pilot project as none of the other suggestions were favoured.

The Leeds Virtual Ward (Frailty) pilot was launched on Monday 25 November 2019.

Carers Leeds will be involved in developing messages relating to providing reassurance about the care and safety of loved ones outside of hospital.

We are expecting a formal evaluation of the service in January 2021.

If you have any questions about this engagement please email the Leeds Community Healthcare Virtual Frailty team at or call the Single Point of Urgent Referral on 0113 3760369.


Focus Group and Report  (846KB)

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Engagement Plan (578KB)

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