Getting to know the SMART Team

Date: 25 March 2023

SMART Team News

The Surgical, Medical and Acute Recovery Team – known as the SMART Team – is responsible for making sure the virtual ward in Medway runs smoothly for up to 30 patients.

The nurse-led team (pictured) is made up of consultants, nursing associates, therapy assistants and physiotherapists, and provides a range of acute nursing, therapy care and remote monitoring that allows patients to continue their recovery at home. The service runs seven days a week, from 8am to 6pm, caring for patients in Medway and Swale who are recovering from a range of conditions and treatments.

This innovative use of cutting-edge technology has been hailed by many as a novel way of freeing up bed space to ease pressures on the NHS. SMART Team Lead Jackie Hammond explains more about their work: “Our SMART Team is relied upon more than ever and we’ve made more than 2,400 ‘visits’ in the past six months, of which fewer than half were needed to be seen face-to-face at home by a nurse.

“We continue to work innovatively – in 2021 we introduced the use of balloon-like pumps which can automatically deliver doses of specially selected antibiotics directly into veins throughout the day.

‘’The unique thing about Medway is that we see this as a general adult ward irrespective of the condition – we can look after patients recovering from surgery or with breathing problems, as well as those with heart conditions and gynaecological patients. Many other hospitals run virtual wards based on one speciality.

“We urge all our colleagues to remember to refer to the SMART Team where appropriate and to avoid unnecessary stays in hospital – patients can speak to a nurse or member of staff about how they can be referred to the service and continue their recovery and treatment at home.

“Extensive research has proven that patients recover quicker and better in their own environment; our monitoring pathways allow clinicians to remotely check vital observations like temperature, pulse, respiratory rate, O2 saturations and blood pressure from the comfort of the patient’s home.’’

  • Summary:

    The Surgical, Medical and Acute Recovery Team – known as the SMART Team – is responsible for making sure the virtual ward in Medway runs smoothly for up to 30 patients.