On any given day, 2500 hospital beds are occupied by patients for whom treatment has finished but are often too frail to return home. When they do, it can often lead to a breakdown in the individual’s care and a return to hospital.
This leads to, what is termed ‘bed blocking’, where beds are occupied by people medically fit for discharge and the hospital is unable to free beds for those requiring urgent treatment.
Working alongside local authorities and care commissioning groups, Four Seasons has successfully trialled ‘rehabilitation homes’ offering step-down care for elderly people ready to leave hospital but not yet ready to return home.
In addition to caring for the needs of the elderly person, carers are able to observe the person sufficiently to provide an effective assessment of their individual care needs and re-build their confidence as they return to their community.
Paul Hayes, Commissioning and Commercial Operations Director for Four Seasons Health Care, said: “In an ideal world care homes would be a hub in their local community that would provide the care and support individuals need. This can range from short-term solutions like step down care and intermediate care, where someone is with us for as little as 6 weeks, to a longer term solution where we address their care needs on a more permanent basis.”
Step down care philosophy is helping embed an effective and pragmatic approach to care within the Health and Social Care System and feedback has been positive.
One lady who, after spending three weeks in hospital following a fall, resided at a Four Seasons Care Home in Cricklewood had the following to say: “Coming to the home was a nice simple change, but it made a big difference. Obviously everyone is different, but coming to a care home you have the opportunity to get up and socialise with the people in there, as opposed to just sitting in bed all day. I enjoyed my time at the home, especially as I was never on my own.” Whilst this lady was in the care home, the provisions were being put into place to ensure she had all the support she needed at home.
Another lady, who used a similar service in a Four Seasons Home, enthused: “It’ puts you on your feet and gives you back your confidence.
The story of our rehabilitation homes was recently featured on Radio 4. You can listen to the full article, including resident stories and interviews, at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ksc5p
Should you wish to learn more about our approach to step-down care visit www.fshc.co.uk/safedischargebeds/
Date published: 15 September 2017