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A state-of-the-art electronic bed and capacity management system which helps get hospital patients the right care, in the right place, at the right time has won Gold and Silver awards in two categories at the prestigious national Health Service Journal Partnership Awards.

The Care Coordination Centre at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW), working in partnership with healthcare tech company TeleTracking, is using the technology to provide real time information about bed occupancy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Data shows how many beds are empty, may need cleaning or have a patient who is leaving.

With real-time visibility of available beds at both Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals, the Trust has significantly reduced the amount of time a bed is empty and the time a patient spends in the Emergency Department (ED) before they are transferred to a bed. This ensures patients arriving in ambulances are quickly moved into ED. The system has allowed the Trust to increase the number of planned operations performed each day and given nurses and ward staff more time back to focus on patient care.

Miles Scott, the Trust’s Chief Executive said: “Our entry was one of over 200 nominations submitted so we are incredibly proud of the team for winning Gold in the HealthTech Partnership of the Year category and Silver in the Best Acute Sector Partnership with the NHS category. This recognition really does reflect and celebrate the dedication of teams across our Trust who work so hard every day to provide the very best care to our patients.”

Director of Operational Flow, Sally Foy, said: “Our approach at MTW is not just ‘more of the same’ but using new ways of working to meet our patients’ needs in the best way we can. Safety is at the heart of our decision making and our electronic bed management system supports us to make quality-based decisions to ensure our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time.”

Despite a significant growth in attendances, MTW has one of the top-performing EDs in England, and reduced its list of patients waiting more than 52 weeks for treatment from over 1,000 to zero within 15 months.

Since the system was launched in 2020, the Care Coordination Centre (CCC) has evolved to include Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust’s four community hospitals and the Trust’s acute virtual wards which care for patients at home, in one of the UK’s first examples of shared decision making and strategic planning across a region. This allows the CCC to act as a central hub covering two acute hospitals, four community hospitals and two hospices. MTW can redirect incoming ambulances between hospitals to minimise handover delays and waiting times, and reduce the amount of time patients spend in hospital.

The CCC has also been the blueprint for the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care System, coordinating the activity of 17 different providers, including ambulance, primary care, social care, hospitals and mental health providers.

Chris Johnson, Co-CEO of TeleTracking said: “This achievement across both categories is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work and could not have been achieved without the dedication in the meaningful partnership between TeleTracking and Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. We are proud to be a role model for collaboration across the NHS, making an impact on the community and patients served by the Trust and we look forward to continuous improvement and innovation.”

Presenting the award, the HSJ Partnership Award judges noted that they “felt that the success and importance of this work was clear and [they] were impressed by the spread achieved by the team.”

A full list of finalists and winners in each category is available on the HSJ Partnership Awards website.