The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust has been celebrating after their Paediatric Virtual Ward welcomed their 1000th patient.

The ward, the first of its kind within the NHS and the wider country, launched in March 2022 and has saved over 1,945 bed days.

Patient capacity of this globally recognised service has doubled due to an increase in its dedicated staff team.

The Royal seal of approval has been bestowed on the team for their innovation, with an invitation to the Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 8.

King Charles and Queen Camilla were in attendance alongside members from across the country's public service sector who enjoyed tea and cake in the royal gardens.

Diane Wake, chief executive at the Dudley Group said "We are incredibly proud of our paediatric virtual ward and its achievements since launch.

Stourbridge News: The team welcomed their 1000th patient in early May

"Receiving so much recognition for the innovations it has bought to healthcare across the NHS is well deserved and we’re proud to be at the forefront of utilising technology to improve patient care."

The concept of virtual wards has spread across the Black Country, supporting more than 4,000 children.

Dr Ananta Dave, chief medical officer for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: "We know that being treated at home can have a hugely positive impact on patients, especially children.

"Virtual wards allow patients to get hospital-level care at home safely and in a familiar environment and it also means they are not separated from their families, providing peace of mind for loved ones."

The service's techniques are shared nationally and internationally, gaining attention from healthcare companies worldwide.

A parent, whose son was on the ward, said: "It allowed us to have peace of mind and we also had a great night’s sleep at home!”

The ward is a finalist at this year's Health Service Journal Digital awards due to take place in June.