A web-based Capacity Tracker is combating bed blocking by enabling care homes to instantly make their vacancies visible to hospital discharge teams.
The digital portal was developed by NHS North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) in partnership with NHS England, local authority representatives and care home providers.
Diane Ashton, a care home trusted assessor at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It’s in the patient’s best interests to give them accurate information to help them make the choice that is best for them and Capacity Tracker does this.
“It takes away the confusion individuals and their families often associated with finding a care home and having the ability to search out of the area is an added benefit.
“It’s so easy to use you simply type in the postcode and search radius, and the results are immediate, it has made us so much more effective and efficient, and within 24 hours the patient is usually in their chosen destination.”
The Capacity Tracker speeds up care transfers by removing the requirements for discharge teams to speculatively call care homes to gather up to date vacancy information.
Over 7,500 care homes and around 13,000 users have already signed up to the system.
The NHS Long Term Plan recently pledged to upgrade NHS support to all care home residents, reduce avoidable long stays in hospital and improve the sharing of information between care homes and NHS staff.
You can find out more about Capacity Tracker by visiting www.necsu.nhs.uk/CapacityTracker or twitter @CapacityTracker. Care homes, NHS and social care teams can also register by visiting https://carehomes.necsu.nhs.uk/.