Supporting care homes to recover occupancy to pre pandemic levels.

 The UK’s largest & most detailed directory of later life care and retirement living options 


To help care home providers during challenging economic times Autumna, the largest UK care provider directory, is supporting care homes to recover occupancy to pre pandemic levels.

In discussion with Debbie Harris MD of Autumna, Julie Hopkins of Buyacarehome and Ownacarehome asks how the directory is helping care home providers achieve resilience in current times, look to the future and plan for growth.

Since founding Autumna in 2019, Debbie has endeavoured to make choosing later life care a more informed and less complex process for all.  Today, Debbie continues to adapt the directory to meet changing market needs, and in this article we look at one major developments – D.A.D (Dashboard for Accelerated Discharge).

What does the Autumna Care Directory offer?

The directory includes all UK care homes alongside retirement living, live in care and home care offering insight into the care provision to enable the care seeker to choose the appropriate care setting whether for themselves and/or a family member or friend.  The ‘easy to edit functionality’ of the Autumna listing pages enables care providers to keep their website pages refreshed and up to date.

Autumna also operates a FREE ADVICE LINE for those seeking care, specialising in self-funding families, with the search platform sensitive to the level of information provided by each provider. 

What is the cost to a Care Provider to list on the Autumna directory?

Standard listings for care providers on Autumna are free.

Premium listings for care home providers cost just £58 + VAT/month and include between 200 and 300 searchable fields enabling the care provider to showcase their care home or care provision to an extremely high level.

The care provider is allocated a profile strength rating subject to the level of information it provides.  This can include a video tour of the care home a direct feed from the home’s Facebook newsfeed, as wells as accreditation certificates like around infection prevention and control (S.A.F.E), menu offerings (Choice Dining), and Live Ratings. 

With links to the regulators, such as the CQC, an individual’s search for care can take them directly to the latest regulator report.  The digital care plan icon demonstrates that a care provision has adapted already to the digital world with the aim of keeping families fully informed about an individual’s care.

Debbie commented that “We are constantly evidencing more and more self-funding placements.  In January 2023, for example, we confirmed 268 placements, over 92% of which were from people paying for their own care.”

Because Autumna ranks care providers on the basis of the amount of information they make available, a premium listing will always appear higher in a search than a free standard listing. 

And because premium listings have more information, visitors stay longer on the listing, get a better feel for the individual character of the home, and increase the chance of a warm enquiry.

Autumna’s latest development is D.A.D (Dashboard for Accelerated Discharge).

What is the D.A.D Dashboard for Accelerated Discharge?

As part of an evolving service to increase care home occupancy Autumna has developed D.A.D (Dashboard for Accelerated Discharge) adapting to a digital age for hospital discharge teams to ‘search for care accurately.’

Debbie states “21% of the people using our free care provider shortlisting service are currently sitting in a hospital bed waiting to be discharged.”

“D.A.D simply automates the consumer search process and allows faster and more engaged communication between hospital discharge teams, care professionals and social care providers.”

 How does D.A.D work?

  • The hospital discharge team submits anonymised patient details to D.A.D filtered for location, care needs and funding
  • All appropriate care providers are contacted simultaneously
  • A shortlist is provided of care providers with immediate availability to help, subject to assessment, and is returned to the discharge team

What are the benefits of D.A.D?

  • Automated search tool
  • Improved relationships between care providers and care professionals
  • Smooths the pathway from a hospital setting to a care setting
  • Improved best outcome for individuals needing care & reablement
  • Increased care home enquiries with potential to increase occupancy
  • Supports all funding criteria, including private and local authority funding and local authority with third party top ups
  • Supports care home, home care and live-in-care hospital discharge

“We hear from care providers every day,” continues Debbie, “who tell us that they are struggling to engage with hospital discharge teams, who understandably are under tremendous pressure. We hope though, that through the use of D.A.D, we can help improve patient flow by creating a faster more efficient link between the NHS and social care that ultimately benefits the patient looking for care.”

Autumna is currently running a pilot scheme for D.A.D in South Wales and is in talks with over 40 NHS hospitals and ICSs across the country and Debbie will be a keynote speaker and on the panel at the NHS Long Term Plan Conference and Exhibition 2023.

For further information on how Autumna can support your care home, live in care and retirement living service contact: or call her on 01892 335 330