Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is expanding its patient flow platform into Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s four community hospitals.

The move will strengthen collaboration between acute and community care, delivering shared operational decision-making and strategic capacity planning.

The expansion is supported by TeleTracking Technologies, whose integrated healthcare operations platform is already powering a care co-ordination centre, that went live at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells in November 2020.

The care co-ordination centre will now be expanded into community health and deployed at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s four community hospitals. This expansion will add additional capacity and improve efficiencies across the integrated health system. At the same time, by increasing the volume of timely discharges and reducing length of stays, patients’ health outcomes will be enhanced.

Nick Sinclair, director of central operations, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: “The expansion of TeleTracking into our community hospitals will provide numerous benefits to patients and the broader healthcare system in Kent.

“Both MTW [Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells] and Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust now work from a single source of truth across the system in real-time, meaning we can enable closer collaboration and system-wide working to minimise discharge delays and reduce patients’ length of stay in the acute setting, while better supporting our staff and providing patients with a seamless transition into community care.”

The centre’s implementation of the software in 2020 was the first phase of a centralised, holistic approach to capacity management. The software provides real-time visibility of bed status across both Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital. Staff can see if beds are: occupied; pending discharge; clean status; ready to be allocated; or allocated.

The real-time visibility of bed status has seen the trust improve its capacity management, better support staff with workflows and achieve operational improvements. It has also seen an increase in the number of elective procedures performed each day, cut patient transfer times by 26% and allowed healthcare teams more time to focus on patient care.

Bed status is not the only benefit of the care co-ordination centre. The technology platform also allows for operations analysis, using predictive models to anticipate downstream demand, coordinate patient placement and adjust resources to match changing circumstances in real-time.

Neil Griffiths, managing director at TeleTracking International, added: “Maidstone and Tunbridge Well’s Care Co-ordination Centre already represents an integrated and sophisticated approach to operational excellence and capacity management, moving away from traditional and manual siloed point solutions.

“The expansion of this methodology into Kent’s community hospitals is a testament to the leadership at MTW and KCHFT [Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust] and the power of operational solutions to unlock capacity and improve patient flow across an entire health system. The vision and the commitment that all stakeholders at a system level have demonstrated is both pioneering and inspirational as the NHS strategically looks to deliver Integrated Care Systems.”