"Intermediate Care "

About: East Lancashire Teaching PCT

(as a staff member),

Intermediate Care is a period of time-limited rehabilitation, which usually takes place with input from Social Workers / Care Managers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Rehab Support Staff. It can take place within residential rehabilitation units or within a person’s own home.

The aim can be to regain confidence after a fall or hospital admission, to help improve levels of mobility and generally regain the skills needed to allow a person to remain independent and safe within their own living environment. It is exceptionally successful.

Unfortunately and for reasons unknown this is not a service many people are aware of. Unless hospital staff, GP’s or a social worker suggests it, it can be overlooked and mean some older people are going into long-term residential care unnecessarily.

I worked in the community and in residential and nursing care settings for twelve years before hearing about Intermediate Care. Until then, I had no idea such schemes and services existed.

It is imperative this service is promoted across the country and that more health and medical professionals are made aware of it, to avoid hasty and unnecessary admissions into long-term care.

That this local service had been available for so long but with so few people even aware of it, is saddening.

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Response from Sharon Walkden, Engagement Officer, NHS East Lancashire

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts around the need for promotion of the intermediate care service.

I contacted the Occupational Therapy Manager for NHS East Lancashire for advice around this matter and she has consulted with a colleague at Lancashire County Council (who have responsibility for providing Intermediate Care services in residential rehabilitation units and in people’s own homes) and provided the following response:

"Firstly it is great that the sender of the posting has a clear understanding and appreciation of residential and domiciliary rehabilitation services. However, we would like to offer reassurance of the efforts made to ensure people are aware of the service and that people who require it can access it in a timely manner. The following methods are used to ensure that people who need the service are referred:-

The service is advertised by leaflets in hospital wards and wards hold information in rehabilitation folders to ensure that those responsible for discharge planning are aware.

Therapy staff who work in Intermediate Care share information and promote it within their own services and in multi-disciplinary teams.

Social Care staff are fully aware of Intermediate Care services through their own team meetings and communications.

GPs are aware of the service as they provide the medical care for their own patients in residential rehabilitation units.

Also, in order to ensure that no-one is unnecessarily admitted into residential or nursing care everyone has to have a period of Intermediate Care assessment and rehabilitation prior to any application for funding being considered to ensure that they remain in their own home if at all possible.

I hope this is helpful."

If you do have any further questions or suggestions please get in touch either by replying to this posting or you can ring me at the Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0845 6031 068.

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