Finding a care bed for patients who are ready for discharge from hospital will become easier when a new online bed vacancy service, BEDVACS, comes on line. The service is being trialled in the Wirral in the north west and over 200 care homes have enrolled. The NHS Modernisation Agency is funding the service for the first year because of the potential for reducing bed blocking and the contribution it will make to better integration of health and social care.The database contains details of more than 22,000 registered care homes with more than 4 beds. It can be accessed free by the public or care professionals and can match up the care beds to specific requirements. The care homes can update their bed vacancies online so that users of the service can ensure that they are always viewing the most up to date information. Care workers can be given passwords that speed up the process for them.
The service is provided by Bettercaring which was established by the Stationary Office in 2001 and is now wholly owned by OLM Group.