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Patient flow pressures: County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation trust

Published 28 March, 2024


Xyla were first commissioned in 2018 to help alleviate patient flow pressures within County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation trust (CDDFT); as timely discharge, once patients are medically optimised, is essential to promote patient wellbeing and ensure good flow within the Trust.  

Xyla were successful in bidding for service delivery in County Durham linked to services delivered in other areas and our working relationship has continued year on year. During this time, we have been able to flex and adapt our project with CDDFT to accommodate additional placements. Due to the success of the County Durham scheme, it has created new opportunities for Xyla across the North-East. Due to the positive impact we have had since, we are delighted to be in our sixth year of working with Durham County Council 

Our approach

Xyla’s work covers all hospitals within County Durham. We also complete trusted assessments for Older People Care Home Providers in County Durham where requested. Building on successes with the County Durham Care Partnership, we implemented a Trusted Assessor service, where a dedicated clinician undertakes care home assessments on behalf of the care homes and hospitals, to drive further integration and enhanced patient flow. 

We undertake implementing a trusted assessor service to reduce average care times to assess effective discharges. We have reduced the average wait time for care home assessments. All funding types are accepted, such as social services funded, self-funders, fast tracks, section 117 and CHC. We have also supported by accepting referrals for any County Durham patient residing in a IC+ bed or neighbouring NHS trust.


  • Trusted assessments were completed within 24 hours, with an average time to assess of just two hours
  • 1,295 referrals were contacted within 24hrs
  • We always aim to provide a choice of care home options to patients and families based on their needs
  • We placed 1,081 patients in an average of 2 days (Oct – Dec 22)
  • Regular quarterly meetingswith the DCC commissioner maintains the working relationship and ensures we are meeting the contractual needs
  • We completed 409 Trusted Assessments within 24hrs, (inc FT, self-funders, and care home requests) surpassing this with an average time of 1 hour 
  • We helped 837 people choose a care home in under two days (an average of 18 hours)
  • 100% of customers rated us either excellent or very good


“The service provided by Xyla over the last 4 years has become a key part of the system providing effective support not just for professionals but for service users and their families also. Their ability to provide meaningful up to date detailed management information ensures an ongoing understanding of what is happening with discharges into care homes and identifies opportunities for discharge improvements.”

Neil Jarvis, Senior Portfolio Lead, Integrated Strategic Commissioning

“There has been recognition across the whole system that Xyla is providing a highly valuable service which is contributing to the improvements we are seeing.”

Paul Copeland, Strategic Programme Manager (Adult and Health Services) Integration, Durham County Council. Between 2020 – 2021

“From the minute that the care team got in touch with me, they have been nothing short of excellent. They explained everything to me and kept me up to date with the process. I couldn’t give them high enough praise for their professionalism and their care. Thank you” 
“This whole experience from start to finish has been outstanding” 
“Well informed, kept involved and information passed over when needed. Listened to the family and compassion. Could not thank the advisor enough.” 
“Well informed, kept involved and information passed over when needed. Listened to the family and compassion. Could not thank the advisor enough.” 

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By connecting our services, Xyla offers more effective healthcare journeys and greater sustainability for our health system. Please get in touch to explore how our services can be tailored to meet increasing demand in your organisation.

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Xyla is a trading name of ICS Operations Ltd (Registered No 4793945), Pulse Healthcare Limited (Registered No 3156103), Carehome Selection Limited (Registered No 3091598), Independent Clinical Services Limited (Registered No 4768329) and CHS Healthcare Software Limited (Registered No 11582111)