The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, has spoken about how better technology and accurate data is vital for efficiency and better decision-making in the NHS.
One exponent of this is the digital portal, Capacity Tracker, which is proving to be a valuable tool for individuals, commissioners and health and social care providers across the North East and England, as well as attracting interest from overseas health systems.
Our CCG is one of the organisations using Capacity Tracker, which was built by our partners at NHS North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) in partnership with NHS England, local authority representatives and care home providers.
Capacity Tracker provides a platform for care homes, in-patient community rehabilitation, substance mis-use and hospice providers to make visible their vacancies and other critical information through minimum input to provide rich information across health and social care organisations, i.e. vacancies to help reduce the time taken to discharge individuals from hospital, PPE to enable rapid response from local/regional teams.
It enables care homes to make their vacancies instantly visible to all discharge teams across England in real-time and is accessible from any desktop or mobile device. This helps individuals make the right choice, ensuring they don’t stay in hospital any longer than is necessary when discharge to their own home is not possible. The simplified process reduces stress and anxiety for the individual and their families at a time when they need care and support.
As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, Capacity Tracker was mandated by the government and provided valuable insight, enabling support to be offered to providers in dealing with the crises.
Capacity Tracker continues to evolve thanks to the input from health and social care partners and users of the system. By having close engagement with user groups drawn from local authorities and health care commissioners, this enables the system to meet the changing and ongoing needs and priorities of its users.
As part of the Covid-19 response, additional critical information on PPE, Covid-19 outbreaks, admission status and workforce has been added to support national, regional and local oversight to enable a rapid response from health and social care teams to target support where it was most needed.