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Tackling the bed-blocking nightmare in UK hospitals 

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A healthcare provider is trying to tackle major bed-blocking issues in NHS hospitals by launching a “rapid discharge” service, alongside new tech to improve the onboarding of patients…

Specialist home healthcare provider Cera is aiming to tackle major bed-blocking issues in the NHS with a new rapid discharge service –  proven to visit c.80% of new patients on the same day

Initially launching in the Midlands, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and Merseyside, the service may then roll out nationwide, easing mounting pressure currently on UK hospitals.

Cera has announced that it is developing technology to further streamline the allocation of carers and the onboarding of new patients in early 2023.

Hospitals in crisis 

With up to one in three hospital beds in parts of England occupied by patients fit to be discharged, the NHS is currently facing a ‘bed-blocking’ emergency costing the health service £5 million each day.

Nearly 20,000 people a day are waiting for at least four hours in A&E, and NHS England has admitted that delayed discharges are 25% higher year-on-year.

In response to the crisis, Europe’s largest provider of digital-first home healthcare, Cera, is launching a rapid discharge service in the Midlands, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and Merseyside, in advance of a national rollout. 

Digitising solutions

Cera’s award-winning technology digitises the matching of the right carer or nurse with a patient faster and drives efficiencies through electronic scheduling and task lists – reducing admin to spend more time delivering best-in-class care. 

It delivers over 50,000 care visits per day – equivalent in capacity to 50 NHS hospitals – meaning it has the scope to make a real, much-needed impact on the UK’s health service this winter. 

The home care provider – delivering care, nursing, telehealth, and repeat prescriptions – has also announced that it is developing innovative technology in the new year to further improve its efficiency in allocating carers and automating the onboarding of new patients.

During a visit from Cera’s team of carers and nurses, a patient’s symptoms and health data are collected via the Cera App, which data analytics uses to predict deterioration in conditions 30x faster than traditional methods and can anticipate up to 80% of hospitalisations seven days in advance.

Machine learning means earlier interventions

This machine learning triggers earlier health interventions to prevent people from becoming unwell. It has been proven to reduce hospitalisation rates by an unprecedented 52%, keeping more beds free across the NHS. Within six weeks, Cera’s technology reduces high-concern issues by over 60%. For patients who are frequently readmitted, it has been proven to extend the time between hospitalisations from 43 to 90 days.

For those that are well enough to be discharged from hospital, being cared for at home can be hugely beneficial. In hospitals, patients can suffer poor mental health, a loss of independence, and are at a greater risk of picking up viral infections. Research has also shown that older patients can lose 5% percentage of muscle strength per day of treatment in a hospital bed, increasing the likelihood of falls.

“Imperative” to move hospitals into the home

Dr Ben Maruthappu MBE, CEO and Co-founder of Cera said: “It is imperative that we begin to move healthcare out of hospitals and into the home, except for only the most critical services.

“We need to start managing the majority of health services in the community or at home – the same shift that we have already observed in almost every other sector from banking to retail – reducing pressures on hospitals and cracking down on mounting waiting lists.

“We are proud that our rapid discharge service enables same-day discharge for 80% of patients, freeing up beds in the NHS quickly for those who need it most.

“Through investment in new technology in 2023, we will be able to grow our ability to visit more patients faster through streamlined scheduling and allocation of carers.”

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