Pirate FM News

New tracker to tackle bed-blocking in Cornwall

Health and Wellbeing Show

Published by Emma Carton at 7:58am 14th August 2018. (Updated at 11:13am 14th August 2018)

A new tracker is being launched to tackle the bed-blocking crisis at Cornwall's main hospitals.

It will allow staff at Treliske, West Cornwall and St Michael's in Hayle to keep an eye on delays in real-time.

It comes as figures show around 20 patients a day are still on the wards, even though they are ready to leave.

Karen Kay is in charge of emergency care for Kernow CCG and hopes it will help clear the backlog.

"We have significantly reduced the number of people whose transfer of care out of hospital is delayed, we've reduced how long people stay in hospital waiting for diagnostic tests but we've still got quite a high number of people who could move on to the next stage of their care much more quickly.

"This is another step on the way for us but we've still got a long way to go.

"The benefit of this technology is it's allowing the care homes, in real time, to put the details of the places they've got available on the system and for our nurses to access that up-to-the-minute information".

How does the tracker work?

More than 50 care homes have signed up to a the new system which allows them to share information about how many beds are available with hospital workers and healthcare teams working with people who are ready to leave hospital.

The bed state tracker can be used on any device with an internet connection and was rolled out last week.

Not only does the system help reduce the delays to people leaving hospital, it can also help prevent unnecessary admissions into hospital by providing healthcare workers with up-to-the-minute information about the number of beds available in nursing and residential care homes, which may provide a more suitable place of care when a person does not need to be in a hospital but their current needs cannot be met at home.

NHS England has given Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly a grant of £12,000 to test the tracker, which is also being used in other parts of the country like Manchester.

"I see the passion, commitment and compassion that healthcare teams provide to people during their hospital stay and after, but often the protocols and outdated methods of sharing information slow things down to a point that means people are not receiving the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

"As a result of having access to the bed state tracker we have started to move away from the slow and clunky manual process which involved a twice weekly sharing of information about care home availability by the care homes team to colleagues working with people in hospital.

"The bed state tracker provides real time information about what beds are available and where, which means teams can work out the best care home for the person and remove some of the inefficiencies presented with the manual process".

NHS Kernow Chief Officer, Jackie Pendleton

Heath Groves from Sundown Solutions, which installs the system, said Cornwall has been a dream to work with.

"We have rolled-out the system to the first 55 homes and this usually takes 14 working days but the homes in Cornwall have completed this in just nine days, which is a system record by some clear distance.

"We have been very impressed with how enthusiastic and proactive the care homes across Cornwall have been and NHS Kernow was meticulous in their preparation for the roll-out and this has already paid off for them now and into the future".

The feedback NHS Kernow and NHS England receive from the success of phase one will be used to help to decide whether the bed state tracker is extended for use by all care homes across the county.

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