Secondary Care

Kent and Medway implements tool to manage COVID-19 care across seven hospitals

A digital dashboard has been utilised across Kent and Medway to consolidate all relevant information for the management of COVID-19 care.

The COVID-19 NHS response team at Kent and Medway CCG can now instantly check the availability of staff, beds and crucial equipment used to care for coronavirus patients, thanks to a digital solution from Transforming Systems.

The system was created and implemented within just seven days in April to show, in real time, key information about bed availability at all seven main hospitals in the area. It includes how many beds are available from which oxygen can be given and how many unoccupied intensive care beds.

The system also provides daily updates on supplies of personal protective equipment at all the hospital sites. The data is then presented on a dashboard for healthcare teams to make the relevant decisions.

Stuart Jeffery, Tactical Commander for Kent and Medway’s NHS Incident Control Centre, commented that the tool “If you’re sitting in East Kent, being able to know how things are in Dartford, Medway and Tunbridge Wells is really useful.”

“Being able to see in real time how many ventilator beds are being used on each site and the levels of staff absence gives us an essential picture of the pressures in different parts of our local system. It allows us to work with all our hospitals in a coordinated way that helps both patients and hospital staff.”

“Having sight of where the PPE was in the county was essential to getting us through. Mutual aid transfers of equipment between hospitals were happening regularly. The Incident Control Centre was using the dashboard to help identify those supplies so that transfers could happen.”

The software has also been used to build surge and escalation plans for the local area to ensure the NHS in Kent and Medway is prepared to deal with any further waves of coronavirus.

The hospitals included are: Darent Valley Hospital (run by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust); Maidstone Hospital and Tunbridge Wells Hospital (both run by Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust); Medway Maritime Hospital (run by Medway NHS Foundation Trust); and William Harvey Hospital, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital (all run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust).