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This section will be kept updated with answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive from care home providers. To view the answer, please click one of the questions listed below.

Block – This contract type option is used for rooms which have been block purchased to support specific capacity and demand needs for Adult Social Care. Only the owner of the block contract room or an owner partner organisation e.g. Health, can search for the room and submit booking requests against vacant block rooms. Providers cannot submit bookings into rooms setup as block.

IRN – This contract type option can only be used by care homes who provide care for adults over 65 years and are signed up to the ECC Integrated Residential Nursing framework (IRN). Selecting this contract type for a vacant room indicates to ECC searchers that you are prepared to accept a placement into the room under the terms of your ECC IRN framework agreement. Selecting IRN as the contract type on a room does not prevent you for accepting/booking self-funders into the room.

Spot – This contract type option is used for all non-Block and non-IRN rooms. Any placement type can be submitted into a Spot contract room. If you are willing to accept Local Authority rates or 3rd party Top-ups for a Spot room, this can be indicated by selecting the appropriated check boxes on the edit bedroom form.

The NHS Capacity Tracker is a web-based digital insight tool which allows Government and the NHS England to have detailed insight across the sector. It is like Essex Care Search in that it collects information regarding care home vacancies.

However, the NHS Capacity Tracker only collects high level information from providers about vacancies and is mainly used to help manage broader challenges in infection monitoring, audit and compliance. In addition, unlike Essex Care Search, the NHS Capacity Tracker is not a 'real time' system and does not allow access for the members of the public to search for a vacancy.

Essex Care Search is used by Essex County Council and Healthcare Partners to quickly identify vacancies within care homes and manage a booking request for a room. Members of the public are also able to use the system to search for care home information and available beds. Essex Care Search allows Providers to submit more detailed information about their home, for example, the types of people they can care for and the facilities offered by the care home. Essex Care Search allows Providers to advertise their home to members of the pubic, including the opportunity to upload pictures and link to the Care Homes website.

Providers will be informed about all significant changes and updates to the way Essex Care Search operates either directly or via our newsletter.

We recommend using either Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to access Essex Care Search.

The system is not supported on Microsoft Internet Explorer.

First ensure the room you trying to make a booking against is available for the required dates. This can be done by viewing the room occupancy history under the timeline in the Manage Beds section. Please also check that the contract type setup against the room is set to either IRN or Spot. If after checking these you are still unable to enter the booking, please contact us on either Tel: 03330 322 939 or E-mail support@essexcaresearch.org   

If you have been granted the Provider Administrator role you can update your user e-mail addresses directly. Login to Essex Care Search using your old e-mail address and navigate to the Manage Users section using the left-hand menu. Update your account with your new e-mail address using the edit user function and click save. You will now be able to use your new e-mail address to login and you will receive future Essex Care Search notifications to your new e-mail address. If you are not a Provider Administrator user, please ask you Care Homes Administrator to make the changes on your behalf. Further information on managing users can be found in the Provider Guidance document.

Please submit training requests to us by e-mail to support@essexcaresearch.org and include the details for the user(s) you would like trained. We will then be in contact to make arrangement to setup a training session for them.

Yes, if your care home has been temporarily closed to new admissions for any reason, please login to Essex Care Search and suspend all unoccupied bedrooms to prevent booking requests being sent for those rooms. Once your care home can re-open for new admissions, the suspended bedrooms can be made available again. Please see the Provider Guidance document for further details on how to suspend a bedroom.

If you cannot accept a booking request, either prior to or after client assessment, the booking must be rejected.

Bookings should be ended if a placement has finished e.g. when an Adult has returned home, or a bedroom has become available after decoration.

Bookings should be rejected or ended as soon as possible to ensure the room will appear vacant in the search results.

Please see the Provider User Guidance document for details on how to Manage Booking Requests and Manage Bookings. If you need any help rejecting or ending a booking, please contact us on Tel: 03330 322 939 or E-mail support@essexcaresearch.org 

If you have not received a booking request for a confirmed ECC or Health placement, in the first instance, please contact the person who referred the adult to you ask them to submit the booking request.

Alternatively please contact us at support@essxcaresearch.org with the details for the missing booking.

Generic email addresses should not be deleted as each email address can only be used once to setup a user account.

If you have a generic shared e-mail address e.g. admin@examplecarehome.com or manager@examplecarehome.com, which will be owned by different staff members overtime, you should:

    1. deactivate the user account in Essex Care Search when the staff member leaves the business or changes job roles. This should be done asap to ensure your system remains secure.

    2. reactivate the user account when a new staff member takes up ownership of the generic e-mail address, update the account to reflect the name of the new staff member and reset the password.

Please see the Provider User Guidance document for details on how to Manager Users or contact us on Tel: 03330 322 939 or E-mail support@essexcaresearch.org for assistance.

Last updated: 07/07/2023