Carehome Capacity User Guide

System Requirements

The following browsers are supported:

  • Desktop: Internet Explorer 11/Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Safari
  • Mobile: Chrome (iOS/Android), Safari (iOS)

Using an older version of internet explorer will result in a degraded/non-optimal experience. You can check which browser and version you’re using at

Register a New User Account

  1. Applications for a new user account must be made via
  2. You can use a PC/Mac and mobile devices (iPad, tablet or smartphone) to use the system. Supported browser are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or IE 11+ on Windows and Safari on iOS.
  3. Use the ‘Register An Account’ link on the below screen and complete the application form.
  4. It is important that new users complete the form fully and accurately as the details will be forwarded for approval to someone in the organisation they’re applying to, for access.
    Note: Your Care Home MUST have at least one User with ‘Approver’ permissions already registered in the system otherwise your application will not be processed.
  5. For access to all care homes for an organisation, select the organisation and leave the ‘My Care Home’ field blank.
  6. Once approved, the system will email you your login details including a password which must be changed on first use to something more memorable. Your password must comply with NHS policy on password strength which will be advised on the change password screen.

2. User Login

  1. It is advisable to tick the ‘Remember Me’ checkbox so that the system remembers your password, unless of course you are using a public computer/device to access the Portal.
  2. Following a successful login you will be presented with the following ‘Home Page’ screen or a variation of it depending upon your organisation type and/or level of permission.

Note: Care home users can only see their own data and will not have access to all reports.

3. Initial Care Home Setup

Please note that you can select in the top left of the Menu bar from anywhere in the Portal and this will take you back to the Home Page.

Step 1: Edit Care Home

  1. The first step is to ensure your care home is correctly setup in the system. This is done by selecting the ‘My Care Homes’ tile, where you will be presented with the following screen.

  1. The setup involves working through each of the respective four links associated with your Care Home:
    1. Edit Care Home Details (Address etc)
    2. Edit Services including:
      1. Specialties
      2. Bed types
      3. Languages spoken
    3. Edit Bed Costs
    4. Edit Total Bed Capacity
    5. Edit Spare Bed Capacity (This is the only screen the carehome needs to routinely enter to update their spare capacity)
  2. First click the ‘Edit’ link next to the care home name. This will take you into the form which allows you to set and update the main details about your organisation covering
    1. Address
    2. Postcode (very important that this is entered this correctly)
    3. Meta data including funding sources accepted, ownership and price band.
    4. CQC report URL
    5. Public URL for your specific care home
    6. Care Home Manager contact details. These are important as they appear in the search results.
  3. Always remember to press the ‘Save’ button when you’ve finished changing anything on any screen but you will be reminded if you forget before you leave the page.
  4. Whilst you are on this page, you have the option to add as many notes as you want about your care home / services. This is not essential and you may choose to not add any notes. An example is given below of the sort of information you may wish to include but please remember these need to be kept up-to-date.
    If added, notes appear in the search results when users search for capacity. Some homes include information about top-up fees, accessibility, whether you don’t accept admissions after a certain time – the choice is yours.

Step 2: Define the Services that you offer

  1. Select ‘Services Offered’ and you will be taken to the screen below.
  2. Simply click on the relevant Services and Bed Types you offer. These will turn green to confirm your selection.
  3. It’s important to realise that whichever ones you select will be the ones which you will be required to input bed availability for and as such will be what you advertise to the Portal that you have capacity to offer.
  4. Once finished, you should press ’Save Services.

Note: The services offered must be in accordance as per your CQC Statement of Purpose.

Step 3: Set the cost of each type of bed

Each Bed Type offered must have a ‘Price per Week’ assigned.

Step 4: Enter TOTAL capacity for each bed type

  1. For each of the bed types defined on the previous screen you will be presented with a row of boxes to enter the TOTAL Capacity. It’s therefore important that this is done before setting SPARE capacity.
  2. This is the TOTAL number of beds which could be provided if full capacity were available. SPARE bed capacity can be entered on the next screen so please do not get the two mixed up.
  3. The system will automatically calculate the difference between your Total Bed Capacity and the Spare Bed Capacity which is entered on the next screen (this will be the number of USED beds and will be used for reporting purposes).
  4. After entering total capacities, click ‘Save These Capacities’
  5. Please note the number of Beds the care home has registered with the CQC is automatically populated. The TOTAL bed capacity entered should NOT exceed the capacity registered with the CQC.
    If you try to do this you will be presented with a warning on the screen asking if you’re sure. This will be monitored by your System Champion(s).

Step 5: Enter SPARE capacity for each bed type

  1. For each of the bed types chosen, you will be presented with a row of boxes to enter the SPARE Capacity.
  2. This is the number of SPARE beds which you are currently able to provide i.e., if you were contacted today.
  3. Simply enter the SPARE number of beds for each bed type.
  4. The system will not allow you to save more SPARE capacity than you have told the system you have as TOTAL capacity for obvious reasons. Helpfully, the system will display the TOTAL capacity that you’ve entered from the previous screen.
  5. Please note that this is the screen you are routinely asked to update and this information will be used to determine whether your organisation appears in the search results when an NHS provider / Local Authority / CCG etc tries to find spare capacity which is why it is important to keep your information as up-to-date as possible.
  6. When you’re finished, press ‘Save These Spare Capacities

For homes to appear in the search results, they must have:

1. Set up their services

2. Defined at least one bed type cost

3. Declared spare bed capacity

4. Specified at least one funding source

5. Specified at least one care type

Step 6: Enter Contracts the Care Home has in place with Local Authorities and CCGs

It’s easier to transfer a patient / client between organisations that already have a contract with each other. As part of the care home setup process, just select the Edit Contracts link below the Menu Bar and you will be presented with all Local Authorities and CCGs across England grouped by geographical sub-region.

Just click on the relevant organisations to specify the ones which the care home has an existing contract with.

3. Find Capacity

Searching for Spare Bed Capacity

    1. Any user (other than other Care Home providers) can search the system for spare bed capacity.
    2. Clink the ‘Find’ link in the Top menu bar then ‘Find Capacity’ from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can go to the Home page and select the ‘Find Capacity’ Tile

You will be presented with the screen below

    1. Follow the steps below to search:
      1. Select the search type which can be based on
        1. Postcode
        2. Local Authority (it limit the search to care homes aligned to this organisation)
        3. CCG (it will limit the search to care homes aligned to this organisation)
      2. Enter the Postcode you want the search to be based on. This could be the hospital postcode, the patient’s home postcode or perhaps their relative’s postcode.
      3. Select the required Service and/or Bed Type.
      4. Choose the funding sources you can provide – (CCG, Local Authority or Private).
      5. Choose the overall CQC Rating if you want to restrict the search further.
      6. Enter a Maximum Price per Week you want to limit the results to.
      7. Select any specific language requests. Only languages that are offered by Care Homes will be listed in the drop-down. English is automatically the default.
      8. Select ‘Find Care Homes’
      9. You will be presented with the list of organisations with spare bed capacity that meets your search criteria. The results will be sorted by distance (as the crow flies) from the postcode you entered in your search, similar to the screen below. The current CQC Overall rating for the Care Home will also be displayed.

    1. For each care home that appears in your search results you can quickly access several key pieces of information using the relevant links. This is designed to avoid having to call care homes that don’t have capacity but also gives you relevant information to determine whether patient transfers are likely to be feasible. This includes:
      1. The date the Care Home last updated their Bed State
      2. Care Home Contact & Travel Details
      3. Notes posted by the Care Home
      4. Services delivered by the Care Home
      5. Contracts in place with Local Authorities and CCGs
      6. Whether the Care Home accepts Out Of Hours Admissions
    2. You can also display your search results in three ways for your own convenience.
      1. List View (Default)
      2. Map View (the Red Star is the postcode you enter in the Search)
      3. Print (this allows you to print or save the file for later use)
      4. Export To Microsoft Excel

4. Reports

**Please note: Care Homes can only run ‘Last Updated Capacity’ and ‘Last Login’ reports**

The Portal has very comprehensive analytical and reporting capabilities. All Care Homes are aligned to a Local Authority and a CCG (and in turn an STP, NHSE sub-region, NHSE Region etc) which means that reports can present the same data but in different ways thereby enabling a common currency for reporting bed state across multiple stakeholders.

Utilisation Reports

  1. The Portal currently has 10 standard template ‘utilisation’ reports that allow users to compare multiple variables, for example Bed Type by Local Authority or Care Home by Bed Type. The data cannot be altered in these reports so there’s no need to worry about messing it up.
  2. Select Reports->Utilisation Reports from the menu.
  3. Choose two data fields to compare using the drop down boxes at the top of the page
  4. The report will only take a second or two to run. Each row (Primary field) in the report can be expanded to show more information (Secondary field). Click on the symbol to expand the row and the symbol to collapse it again.
  5. You can easily change the filters to narrow your report criteria. This includes being able to alter the month you’re interested in using the calendar on the right hand side of the screen as well as filtering the Geography (Region, Sub-Region, STP, CCG, Local Authority etc). When you change the month, the data in the report updates automatically. Note that the current month defaults to shaded yellow.

Utilisation Chart

This report gives commissioners and others enhanced planning & forecasting capabilities as it plots the capacities of the selected variables over time by adjusting the Calendar Start Month/End Month. Other variables can be toggled on / off including: Bed Type and Utilisation and the graph can be adjusted to show Used Bed Capacity or Spare Bed Capacity versus the Total (Maximum) Capacity.

Note: If [NHS] Region is selected, a new filter for ‘[NHS] Sub-Region’ appears which enables more localised reporting and analysis.

The switch off the display of any line, click the corresponding legend icon.

Last Modified Capacity

The last modified date of each home in a CCG, Local Authority, Organisation or Sub-Region can be found on the last modified capacity report.

If an email address is available for the home, a “Send” button which, when clicked, will open a blank email to the email address on record. This is designed to make it easier to manually remind homes to keep their capacity updated.

DToC Analysis report

The DTOC Analysis Report can be found under the Reports Menu (or via the Home Screen). Put simply, all of the DTOC data reported to NHS England by NHS Trusts each month is contained within the Portal and Users are allowed to manipulate and filter the data as much as they want by selecting the various parameters available.

The data is updated as soon as NHS Statistics publish the data (links to source data are also provided in the Help Menu).

The data cannot be changed so don’t worry about messing things up – you can’t!

Data can be shown for a selected

  • Trust or Local Authority
  • NHS Region or NHS Sub-Region
  • Urgency Type
  • Attribution

Data can be displayed in a variety of ways

  • DTOC Beds or DTOC Days Delayed
  • Tables or Charts
  • Number or Percentages

If a value is red, it represents an increase in the number of DToC beds since the last month (ie a worsening position). Green represents a decrease in the previous month (ie an improved position). Please note that the numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number but the exact data can be shown by hovering over the relevant number.

By changing the Toggle button from Table to Chart a further option is given called ‘Reason Preset’. This allows the user to isolate three preset DTOC Reasons: Awaiting Nursing Home Placement, Awaiting Residential Home Placement and Patient & Family Choice (reasons Di, Dii and G respectively). These are the three DTOC ‘key reasons’ which this Portal can directly help to address.

User Types

When registering, users can choose either Standard or Approver permission access. Approvers have management rights over other users in their organisation. Eg: An Approver for Barnsley CCG can approve other users who register in Barnsley CCG and also reset their passwords. They are also responsible for removing users who no longer should have access or who have left their organisation.

Note: Passwords expire after 90 days and must be changed.

System Champions

Users in the System Champion role have the same permissions as Approvers, but can also manage users for care homes in their CCG/Local Authority. (Note that System Champion permissions only apply to CCG/Local Authority Users). They have access to the full suite of reports including all analytics and benchmarking plus Last User Login and Last Modified Capacity so they have full oversight of their area(s) of responsibility.


Brokerage permission allows CCG/Local Authority users to edit Care Home details, costs and capacities for Care Homes in their area.

Generic Accounts

Intended for sharing between multiple users. Generic accounts are shown a disclaimer every time they login. Organisations who request a generic account should be aware that auditing of activity by that account will not be able to determine which user in the organisation logged in under that generic account (by definition, it’s generic). In the event of any queries about historical data changes made by that [generic] account holder, audits will therefore be limited.

Care Home User Approver Non Care Home User Broker
Solely home management, no user management
System Champion
Solely user management permissions, no control over care homes
Extended Reporting Access Manage Alerts Administrators
Approve New Users in own organisation(s) x x X
Remove old users in own organisation(s) X
Manage users for own organisation (+aligned care homes) x (x) X
Edit own carehome details, costs and capacities x x X
Edit carehome details, costs and capacities for aligned carehomes x X
Find capacity x x x X
Run Last Login and Last Modified Capacity reports x x x x X
Full reporting suite incl DTOC analytics, benchmarking and monitoring x x x X
Run the Data Export Report to include data for aligned carehomes x X
Reset passwords for users in own organisation x x X
Deactivate carehome x X
Switch off automatic weekly email reminders to update bed state x x X
Set alerts for homes x X
Grant users Manage Alerts, View Extended Reports, Broker or System Champion permissions X

DTOC Benchmarking

Again, using the national DTOC data provided by NHS Trusts via UNIFY to NHS England and published monthly by NHS Statistics the Portal provides users with the ability to compare the DTOC performance of every Trust in the country, limiting the selection to a specific Sector if required, such as Acute – Teaching, Acute Large, Acute Medium etc and / or by Region / Sub-region.

Each column of the report can be sorted A-Z or Z-A to enable fast identification of the most DTOC challenged Trusts and the least challenged. Data can be presented as either DTOC Beds or DTOC Days Delayed.

Bed State Report For Public

This is a report that Local Authorities or CCGs can run to produce a summary document which extracts all the latest bed vacancies from the Portal limited to their chosen Authority or CCG. This report can then be published on their website or emailed to anyone of their choice, including members of the public.

A sample report is shown below for Devon County Council