Reaping the rewards of using the Capacity Tracker across the East Midlands

Across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, care providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups
(CCGs), local and county authorities employ the Capacity Tracker to provide crucial data that supports their operations.

Originally used as a bed tracker to find vacancies and after a push from the county authority, it is now the main tool used to aid decision-making by gathering date and providing insight on a range  of topics from bed capacity to Covid-19.

Local and County Authority Teams on their switch to the Capacity Tracker: “We were originally using our own portal, as Capacity Tracker did not provide all the data we needed and were asking providers to fill in this portal. However, as the Capacity Tracker developed, we realised we were duplicating data and no longer needed our own portal. Capacity Tracker had progressed to a place where it provided everything that we wanted and needed, and eventually provided a more consistent picture of the data.”

Each Monday the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG team sit down to use the Capacity Tracker to highlight anything out of the ordinary, such as care providers with little or no personal protective equipment (PPE), any ‘outliers’ in terms of Covid-19 data, or care homes with no beds. The team can see this information for specific care homes and then raise these issues with the local authority, who can then provide targeted support.

The Capacity Tracker tool enables enhanced help to care homes, meets national targets and expectations and keeps residential care home’s risk registers, allowing them to identify issues that need addressing before the risk becomes critical.

Sharon Riberio from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Authority said: “We have an obligation to maintain take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine, and we work with vaccination teams to be confident that all our homes have had their vaccines and are using infection prevention and control to match up that data.”

Sarah Davidson and Sally Dore from the team at the CCG added: “We look at the Capacity Tracker tool almost every day and use the data from the tool to pull and input into our own specific ‘one version of the truth’ which the entire team uses on a daily basis.

The Local and County Authority Teams commented: “Like anything new, it has taken us a little while to adjust to the Capacity Tracker, and we were sceptical about at first. However, the training that NECS offers, the central point for any issues and the personalised support that we can receive, all make it a great tool that we are able to use effectively and efficiently. The data that we generate is comprehensive and simple to extract, created in an ‘end-user friendly’ format and in a consistent manner that can be easily inputted into our own reporting tools.

“Everything, from data on flu vaccines, Covid vaccines and empty beds is available in one place. This saves us so much time and energy to identify priority issues each day and enables us to address priorities. In comparison with other tools, we would say it is far easier to use, the data output is always consistent, and it covers more varied data – enabling us to use it in a more efficient manner.

“Between us all, when beginning to collaborate at the start of the pandemic, we had no idea of the true amount of care and residential homes that we had. We had many different numbers – in fact, each organisation had different figures, so there was never a true list. The Capacity Tracker gives us this confidence and supports us to continue working collaboratively. There is so much information available from the tool and it is still growing. Looking ahead, we will use it for purposes other than Covid-19 because it works so well.”

“In summary, we would recommend the Capacity Tracker as it is a great tool that can work in collaboration with other more personalised systems that CCGs and local authorities use, or those used by the providers and partners we work alongside, which means that it can work for everyone.”

To find out more about Capacity Tracker, visit necsu.nhs.uk/capacity-tracker or contact the team at necsu.capacitytracker@nhs.net

Read the whole case study here: Reaping the rewards of using the Capacity Tracker across the East Midlands