Online Care Home Bed Tool Launches in Wakefield


A new online tool, which enables care homes to share their bed vacancies with local hospital discharge teams, social care teams and others at the touch of a button, goes live in Wakefield during November and December 2017.

Wakefield has been chosen as a pilot site for the portal as part of the West Yorkshire Urgent and Emergency Care Vanguard. The portal, which is free to all, is designed to minimise delayed transfers of care – and enables users to instantly search for available nursing and residential beds across Wakefield, without having to call numerous homes – which can frequently be the case.

When using the new portal, care homes are required to update their availability as soon as there is a change in the number of vacant beds. As a result, the displayed information will be as near to real-time as possible. Care homes can also publish important operational messages, such as information about temporary closures.

Wakefield Council currently collates occupancy and bed vacancies for all contracted care homes via their Weekly Bed Return and disseminates vacancy information to the relevant teams.  The current process has been simplified from October 2017 and will continue to be in place whilst moving to the bed capacity portal and until the new system has been fully established.

The portal is already being used successfully in Manchester and South Yorkshire, and will eventually be rolled out across the whole of the Wakefield district. The roll-out will occur in a phased approach, beginning with those care homes which are part of the Enhanced Health in Care Home Vanguard, and will eventually include Intermediate Care Beds and under 65 care homes once fully operational.

Benefits of the tool:

  • Helps care homes fill vacant beds
  • Prevents users having to make numerous calls to care homes to find a vacancy
  • Helps minimise delayed transfers of care
  • Prevents paper vacancy reporting which can be time consuming and inefficient.
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