Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (MSEFT) and CareLineLive are to expand their partnership in order to free up 60 beds per day of patients who would otherwise remain in hospital awaiting discharge.

During the height of Covid-19 in 2021, MSEFT partnered with CareLineLive, the all-in-one home care management software provider which digitises operations such as rostering, client visits and eliminates the need for paper-based administration.

The trust joined forces with the software provider to help scale up its Bridging Service, which provides short-term domiciliary care to patients leaving hospital. This resulted in over 11,000 bed days being saved between April and November 2021 and 11,500 bed days between April and December 2022.

Josh Hough, founder and MD at CareLineLive, said: “We’re proud to be working with MSEFT to help ease the backlog and free up a significant amount of bed spaces, so that more patients can receive the care that they need.

“We recently put out a freedom of information request and found that only 16 of the 33 services that responded had a Bridging Service in place and most of these were providing re-ablement rather than domiciliary care.

“We now want to encourage the roll-out of more Bridging Services from NHS trusts across the UK to ease the strain on hospital bed capacity.”

MSEFT has built on its Bridging Service with the establishment of a more holistic service in June 2022 called the Southend Enhanced Discharge Service (SEDS).

This Discharge To Access Service provides a full and complete therapy-led hospital discharge assessment at home for Southend residents rather than an assessment being provided by the hospital before discharge.

It enables patients to leave hospital sooner with appropriate provision of care at home where they then tend to recover more quickly.

Between June and December of last year, the SEDS service resulted in 5,070 saved bed days which, combined with the Bridging Service, gave a total saving of 16,570 bed days. The project’s saving for the year April 2022-March 2023 is predicted to be around 22,000 bed days, equating to 60 beds per day.

John Walter, general manager of integrated care at MSEFT, said: “CareLineLive has helped us take our service into the 21st century. It is a fantastic electronic record solution for any service that has a need for remote patient care in the community.

“It enables staff to work remotely, document remotely and be scheduled electronically. It has enabled us to improve efficiency, capacity and reimagine patient care.

“CareLineLive is a great solution if you want to be more efficient, transform your services and future proof your ways of working and delivering patient care.”

NHS digitisation is firmly at the front of the agenda in Essex. In December, Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System (ICS) became the first UK care system to use CardMedic, a healthcare communications app that aids translation to help put an end to health inequalities.