Capacity Tracker helps staff to locate care home places for patients in England

The digital tool aims to ensure people ‘aren’t left waiting in hospital unnecessarily’

The digital tool aims to ensure people ‘aren’t left waiting in hospital unnecessarily’

The Capacity Tracker can be accessed on any device. 
Picture: North of England Commissioning Support

A digital portal that helps NHS hospital staff to find care home places for patients is to be rolled out across England, in a bid to cut unnecessary delays.

The Capacity Tracker provides a ‘shop window’ for vacancies, saving staff the time they would normally spend phoning around to check availability.

The tool, which can be accessed on any device, will be made available to all hospitals, care homes and councils in the country following successful pilots, NHS England said.

Informed decisions

The tracking portal was trialled in Greater Manchester to address delays in finding care for patients who are ready to be discharged from hospital but not well enough to go home.

It also provides information about care homes, which helps staff and patients to decide on the most appropriate option.

More than 6,250 care homes in Devon, Berkshire and northern England have signed up to the system, and thousands more are expected to join them.

Ageing well

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: ‘One of the central ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan is to improve support for people to age well, and that means joining up different services locally to better meet people’s needs.

‘By using this technology to work together more closely, hospitals, local authorities and care homes can ensure that people get the right care in the right place at the right time, and aren’t left waiting in hospital unnecessarily.’

‘Brilliantly simple’

The digital tool, funded by NHS England, has been praised by health secretary Matt Hancock.

‘The best digital innovations are often brilliantly simple,’ Mr Hancock said, ‘and this new Capacity Tracker tool is a perfect example of the kind of services we want to cultivate through the NHS Long Term Plan.

‘I want to see more technology like this unlocked for the benefit of people across both health and social care, and I urge more hospitals and care homes to sign up.’

Further information

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