The NHS England is set to widely introduce a new digital tool called the 'Capacity Tracker' that enables health and social care staff to check vacancies in local care homes. This means that they no longer have to call and check the availability, thereby preventing unnecessary delays in getting patients discharged from the hospital.
In 2018, nearly a quarter of a million hospital bed days were occupied by individuals clinically fit for discharge but not discharged due to delays in finding an appropriate care home. The new technology offered to care homes, councils and hospitals as a part of NHS England's ‘Long Term Plan’ aims to support individuals requiring care home placement to be discharged from the hospital sooner.
The 'Capacity Tracker' can be accessed on any device, and care homes can upload details of their availability in just 30 seconds. More than 6250 care homes signed up for the pilot last year and the service is now being extended to thousands more.
Ruth May, England's Chief Nursing Officer, said: "As well as offering improved care for patients and care home residents, the new initiative links health and social care professionals more closely and reduces wasted time and resources."