COVID-19 app launched to support care homes across Greater Manchester

Health Innovation Manchester has announced the launch of a new system to support care homes track and coordinate care for patients with COVID-19.

Supported by tech company Safe Steps the system has been developed for care home staff to input information about residents, which can be then used to coordinate care with GP practices, social care and hospitals.

25 care homes across Tameside and Glossop have adopted the tool first, before wider roll-out across Greater Manchester.

Prof Martin J Vernon, Consultant Geriatrician and Clinical Director at Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS FT, said “The COVID-19 care homes data tracker provides real-time information to clinicians about the status of patients, supporting proactive care for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Clinical teams in Tameside and Glossop are now using the dashboard to optimally support care homes and their residents during the pandemic.”

“The tracker will streamline and speed-up this data collection – making it possible to access a real-time dashboard which will help us make the right strategic decisions at pace.”

Dr Saif Ahmed, GP and Clinical Lead “The care homes data dashboard provides invaluable information to GPs about the most up to date status of their patients allowing proactive management and care for the most vulnerable in our society.”

“We can easily identify those patients who need advanced care planning by picking up signs of deterioration as soon as they start to happen. This will act as an invaluable decision support tool around intervention from primary care.”

The solution has been developed as part of a partnership formed by Health Innovation Manchester (HInM), including the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Tameside Council, local GPs and Safe Steps.

The system will also be developed to enable staff to monitor and flag signs of deterioration early on, based on the national RESTORE2TM clinical assessment (Recognise early soft-signs, Take observations, Respond, Escalate).

Sir Richard Leese, chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said “This new tracker will allow GP practices, social care professionals and hospitals to all work together to make sure care home residents are getting the help they need, when and where they need it. It will also allow us to better understand the situation in all care homes across Greater Manchester. This means we can focus our efforts in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in care homes, as much as possible, by using resources where they will make the greatest difference.”

James Chapman, Managing Director, Safe Steps added “When the current pandemic really started to accelerate we decided to use our technology and experience in this sector to rapidly build a new app – not because we had to, but because the team here are passionate about doing everything we can to help our ageing loved ones, relatives, neighbours stay safe.