Bed based support

We will be providing acute care where possible in the community to keep our acute hospital specifically for very ill COVID-19 patients and people who need specialist care or people who are involved in a serious accident.
People who need hospital support
  • Our teams are working to keep beds with piped oxygen available in the community for when they are needed.
  • The discharge to access bedded pathways team has been set up to triage all requests for community beds to prioritise them for those most in need
  • Teams are focusing on how to support people to get back home as soon as possible.
  • Space has been set up in hotels to provide short term rehab capacity.
People who need access to ventilators
  • Our teams are working to keep ICU beds available for when they are needed.
  • Alternatives to the front door are being introduced like the community assessment and treatment units (CATUs).
  • Areas across the hospitals are being designated for COVID patients.
  • More staff are being trained in ventilation and the key skills required.
Bedded pathways
Bedded pathways are an integrated health and social care function responsible for two things. Firstly, the rapid triage of referrals for bedded care to determine whether they are appropriate. Followed by matching of the individual to the right bed working in partnership with brokers and commissioners.


Throughout COVID-19 we will see increased demand for bedded care, the scope of the bedded pathways includes discharges to community hospitals, hotels, block purchased beds as well as individually purchased residential and nursing beds. The pathways will make sure the right people are in the right bed, at the right time.

What does this mean for patients

For people in the community, they should see very little change in process. However, for those people being discharged from hospitals they will experience a new way of working. Previously, these people would have been assessed in hospital for their onward care. Now, if the hospital have referred for bedded care, they will be discharged to an appropriate setting where they will be assessed for ongoing support.

How is this different?

Previously bedded care has been requested via a number of different routes. Now, there is a single access point, via the single electronic referral form (SERF). This will allow all demand, whether it is step-up or step-down to be triaged together and the individual matched to the most appropriate setting.

The bedded pathways also includes the functionality to triage referrals to the community for support at home if the individuals needs do not require bedded care.

What does this mean for colleagues?

Staff across health and social care onward care and flow teams have been re-aligned to support this way of working. There are three new functions:

  1. Bed triage: Health and social care practitioners making clinical decisions on whether the individual will receive bedded care.
  2. Bed matching: Brokers and practitioners working together to select the right bed and get it in place for the person quickly.
  3. Assessment: Completing the assessment, following up on a patients and making sure they get the right support.
If you are a member of the public and need help you should call 111, contact your GP or the council’s access service.

If you are a colleague looking to refer someone you can find detailed guidance and access links on your organisation’s intranet.

You can find useful helpline numbers and links to support and information here.

If you’re an adult experiencing abuse or neglect, or if you’re concerned about somebody, contact the adult social care team. If you live in Cornwall call 0300 1234 131 or email If you live on the Isles of Scilly, call 0300 123 4105.

Google Translate

Text Size

Change font