Weekend Diagnosis: Care where you want to receive it – in your own home

14 September 2016

Mairead McAlindenThis Weekend Diagnosis is from Mairead McAlinden, our Chief Executive

People have told us that when they need care, they would like support to remain at home where possible, and if not there, at a place nearer to home.

While hospital is appropriate when you need specialist care, it is not a ‘place of safety,’ especially for older people. Nationally the NHS is working to drastically reduce its ‘delayed discharges,’ and in Torbay Hospital we have one of the lowest levels of delayed discharges in England. This is largely because we provide integrated health and social care and ‘intermediate care’ services.

Intermediate care is provided by an integrated team of local staff, helping people avoid crisis hospital admissions, and supporting people who are ready for discharge. Delivered in the community, mostly in the person’s own home and sometimes in a care home, the service is flexible and can include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, community nursing, mental health as well as social care services. Over 600 people in Torbay have benefited from intermediate care this year.

As part of our new model of care, we are investing to strengthen intermediate care to include weekend cover, medical support from GPs and, from October, we are extending services to all our communities across Torbay and South Devon. Our total investment into intermediate care staffing and care homes this year is £1.5 million, meaning a total investment in the service of £6 million. We are ensuring the service is equally well funded in each area so there is no ‘post code lottery’ depending on where you live.

John Brocket, a retired hotelier broke his hip last year. Having complex neurological needs, he needed to recover in a setting that would support him. “Once I was clear of infection I was eager to be moved to a more suitable place so that I could begin my rehabilitation. I knew for me that wasn’t hospital, so since I’ve been at Hewitt Lodge it’s been much better. The staff are really friendly and have worked with me to identify what I wanted to achieve. I want to get back home as quickly as possible so I’ve been keen to make the most of my intensive therapy. My only comment is that I want even more of it!”

That’s our plan – and it’s coming to a place near you soon!


Weekend Diagnosis a fortnightly column published in the Herald Express discussing local health and care issues.

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