Pilot trusts using real-time technology to increase bed capacity

Five NHS providers will be piloting new technology that uses 'fitbit' style bracelets to track beds, staff and patients, giving trusts real-time information on bed status, patient pathway tracking and asset management.

The real-time technology, called TeleTracking Technologies, detects electronic badges and bracelets attached to patients, staff and equipment. It provides staff with visibility to all beds, patients, assets and equipment across their trust. Similar to air traffic control centres, staff have a real-time view of: 

  • bed status
  • which patients need to be allocated to a bed
  • where specific types of equipment are
  • the nearest housekeeping or portering staff available to clean a bed or help transport a patient

Bernard Quinn, Director of Improvement Programmes, NHS Improvement, discusses the role of TeleTracking in enabling NHS patients to move through the system faster and more effectively.

Benefits of the new technology

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust is the first pilot site for the technology and as a direct result of TeleTracking, patients are 3 times more likely to be directed to a bed appropriate to their on-going needs than before using the system. This has helped the trust reduce on the day surgical cancellations due to lack of beds by 60%.

The technology has also helped the trust reduce breaches of the four hour A&E treat, admit or discharge target due to a lack of beds by 35%, despite a 10% increase in attendances. 

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust's TeleTracking story in numbers

A key part of NHS Improvement’s role is to support NHS trusts in developing new ways of working to improve patient care and meet rising demand. TeleTracking is one example of that ambition.

This new technology enables staff to see real-time data on beds available within the hospital, enabling patients to be allocated to the most appropriate ward first time, ensuring they receive care from a medical and nursing team who are experts in their particular condition.

If the NHS is to meet rising demand it must continue to innovate and develop new technologies that enhance and improve patient care.

Adam Sewell-Jones, Director of Improvement, NHS Improvement

Pilot sites

The TeleTracking technology pilot will be rolled out to these additional sites: 

  • The Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust
  • University College Hospitals London NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Mid and South Essex Regime (Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust)

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