The Greater Manchester Care Record has begun receiving information from a Covid management app which support 233 care homes in the region.

The Care Record is receiving information from the Safe Steps Covid Tracker, a Covid management app for care homes that provides real-time data on infection rates.

The tracker, which was rolled out across care homes in the region in February, monitors symptoms and interventions including vaccinations and testing. It also alerts health and care staff to deterioration of residents through the frequent monitoring of oxygen saturation levels.

Manchester Care Record, powered by Graphnet’s CareCentric solution, now has access to a real-time view of the Safe Steps dashboard which shows Covid data from the 233 care homes, covering around 7,600 residents.

It is hoped access to the tool will provide fast, easy identification of people who need advanced care planning by picking up early signs of deterioration.

Care homes, GPs, hospitals, social care workers, and other clinicians, are able to view the dashboard, resulting in greater collaboration and better, more personalised support for residents.

Guy Lucchi, digital innovation director at Health Innovation Manchester and the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “Having the Safe Steps Covid Tracker feeding into the GM Care Record will further bridge the gap between care homes, and local health and social care services, including GPs and hospitals, and ensure that Covid treatment plans are efficient, effective, and tailored to the individual.

“It will also help Greater Manchester develop an understanding of our older citizens, and the impact that Covid has had and is having on them, which will be particularly important as we head into the winter months.

“Having that rich source of data will enable us to refine our health and social care strategies, create a more joined-up approach, and continue improving our standard of care for the people that need it most.”

Safe Steps, a digital health company that originally set up a digital falls risk assessment tool, co-created its Covid tracker with the NHS in April 2020 to help care homes grapple with the challenges the pandemic presented. Since its launch it has been used half a million times.

Lee Omar, Safe Steps founder, said: “The development of the Safe Steps Covid Tracker and the integration into the GM Care Record this month is a great example of how quickly things can be done with an innovative approach and good leadership.

“At the end of the day, it’s about helping people live happier, healthier, longer lives. The data from the Covid tracker will bring care home staff and healthcare professionals closer together and help them make the right decisions for their patients. We’re hoping that it will serve as a blue-print and inspire other regions to adopt a similar approach.”

The Greater Manchester (GM) Care Record is a partnership between the GM Health and Social Care Partnership, the 10 GM localities, Health Innovation Manchester and Graphnet.

At the start of the pandemic, development and use of the GM Care Record was fast-tracked to support the city-region’s response and to build on borough-based care records to create a single joined-up care record for all of GM and its 2.8m citizens.

Since it’s launch close to 11,000 frontline users access it every month to help care for more than 108,000 patients. It is estimated to have cut appointment times by 15 minutes per patient.

The GM Care Record enables GPs, doctors, nurses and care practitioners to access up-to-date medical records, care plans, test results and prescribed medications by collating the information held by multiple health and care settings.