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National Care Forum publish blueprint on accommodation based intermediate care and reablement 

The National Care Forum (NCF) – the leading association for not-for-profit social care has published a blueprint for effective accommodation based Intermediate Care and Reablement in partnership with the Care Provider Alliance, based on evidence of what works from the care sector. The publication of the blueprint supports the recent release of the NHS intermediate care framework and the framework’s aims of enabling people to get back to a place they call home on leaving hospital, in addition to the acknowledgement that some people will need to stay in a residential setting temporarily to receive rehabilitation before going home. 

The blueprint clearly describes what effective, high quality, timely rehabilitative care in a variety of community settings looks like to ensure that people being discharged from hospital to a place they call home can achieve the level of independence they desire. The document highlights the importance of intermediate care delivered in accommodation-based services in care settings, which support people out of hospital who are medically well, but need on-going therapy, reablement and 24-hour care before they can safely go home.   

Liz Jones, Policy Director at NCF commented on the blueprint’s publication: “We know many people can go straight home successfully, sometimes with some extra care and support. But for some, their journey home needs a short stay where there is 24/7 staffing by an experienced care team, to have dedicated rehabilitation and recovery; a place where people can immediately feel better, build confidence and improved well-being; where they can reconnect socially, plan for their return to independence and what is needed to go home safely for the long term.  We now have a blueprint for what an ideal accommodation-based intermediate care plan looks like. This is going to make an enormous difference to outcomes for people who are coming out of hospital with a real need for comfort and stability.  

“It’s been fantastic to work in partnership with The Care Provider Alliance to produce this vital blueprint and huge thanks need to go to all of the providers who shared case studies showing the valuable role that residential care settings can play in intermediate care.” 

Chair of the Care Provider Alliance, Jane Townson commented:Intermediate care sits at the centre of a truly integrated health and care system.  It is where our services must come together to support people leaving hospital. We need all potential intermediate and reablement services in place – including accommodation-based services and home care. The Care Provider Alliance is delighted that this new blueprint is available and we encourage all Integrated Care Systems to use it to review and plan their local arrangements.” 

Dr Adrian Hayter, MBBS AKC BSc Pharmacol, GP Partner at Runnymede Medical Practice and National Clinical Director Older People and Integrated Person Centred Care, added: “This excellent Blueprint from the National Care Forum offers practical support in setting out the key ingredients to provide Intermediate care for people in a care home or community hospital setting. As a GP, I recognise that this blueprint offers a comprehensive guide with all the right steps to achieve great outcomes for patients in their journeys of reablement and recovery. A must read for both commissioners and providers of health and care services for older people.” 

Professor Adam Gordon, President of the British Geriatrics Society, said: “The British Geriatrics Society is delighted to support the National Care Forum’s Intermediate Care blueprint, which describes key ingredients for designing and delivering intermediate care in care home settings. Implementing these recommendations will ensure that older people discharged from hospital into intermediate care in these settings can expect expert multidisciplinary input, in a well-equipped setting, harnessing the latest technology.  I hope that those commissioning and providing such services will strive to achieve these recommendations to support the rights of older people to high quality reablement and rehabilitation to maximise recovery.” 

The blueprint sets out the five key ingredients required for successful accommodation-based services in care settings: 

  • An effective 24/7 rehab and recovery environment  
  • An intermediate care workforce with a rehabilitation mind set where 24 /7 staffing provides a real opportunity to make every interaction with the person a ‘rehabilitative’ interaction. 
  • Multidisciplinary commitment and collaboration between care workers and registered specialists and therapists as well as families, social workers and other key people, focused on the individual person 
  • The essential role of technology in supporting the rehabilitative journey 
  • Sustainable commissioning and funding that is built for the long-term 

Find out more about the blueprint and other emerging issues at the forthcoming ICS Learning Summit – Delivering care closer to home: co-designing intermediate care in ICSs, 25 October 2023, 1.30 – 3.00pm. Find out more and book now. 

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