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17th May 2021

The Capacity Tracker – Not just another task !!

Now let’s be honest, when the initial versions of the capacity tracker launched were you like me, skeptical and far too busy to bother with a tracker that is of no use to you?
I was lucky with stable services, healthy occupancies and waiting lists. I used to get annoying calls telling me I had not updated mine until I finally got someone to understand why it didn’t fit with my services and as such there could be times when nothing changes for months.

I could see how it had benefits for some but as it didn’t fit with my services and the teething problems experienced were enough to drive any manager mad, we parted ways.

In a nutshell, I declined to carry on with it.

Then came COVID-19 and boy did things change.

Remote working became the norm as did compliance with CQC getting behind the tracker to monitor our data as part of the transitional monitoring approach. It suddenly became a really effective tool for many in the sector, despite so many managers kicking back as another daily task was added to an already increased workload.

The initial snagging had been resolved, it was easy to use and portable with many providers responsible for updating it having it downloaded on phones and laptops as working from home kicked in.

Better still, managers finally had a tool that was reflective of bed status in real-time as the minute it was updated the information went live. As a result of COVID-19, the tracker swiftly became the central hub for information sharing, bed, infection and compliance data during the pandemic between:

  • Providers
  • Local Authorities – including commissioning teams
  • Infection Control Teams
  • Hospital Discharge Teams
  • CQC

For providers, it has reduced the “Have you got any beds” and “We have vacancies” calls actually freeing up time to get on with other priorities. At the same time as supporting the pandemic efforts, the tool has supported improvements in occupancy. This has helped some providers to not only survive this journey but turn it back into a viable business.

If you have not seen the Resource Centre can I suggest you take a look as these resources could aid you in compliance inspections.
This past year has not been an easy one, there have been many changes and adaptations we have had to make as a sector but, it's fair to say that due to COVID-19 I like many others see the capacity tracker very differently. Like other initiatives that have been developed to meet the demands placed on us, the capacity tracker is definitely one many of us will keep as part of our routines as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Barry Price

Specialist in Adults with Learning Disabilities and Complex Needs

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