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WANTED: 10 local systems with ambitions for Intermediate Care

Ralph Cook

Are you a pioneering local system, ready to seize the opportunity around Intermediate Care? Has our new report (‘The Age of Intermediate Care’) given you the confidence to move forward on this? If so, we want to hear from you!

If you haven’t already downloaded it, the report – published last week in partnership with ADASS – is well worth a read. It has been very well received across the health and care sector, and we’d be very interested to hear your personal reflections.

Our ultimate motivation is always to improve outcomes for people at a local level. So having written and published this report, our priority now is to translate its recommendations into action.

For the past year and a half we have been exploring and testing what really works when it comes to successfully delivering a new model of Intermediate Care. We know that it requires a different approach to delivering sustainable change. After 14 months of dealing with the pandemic, many frontline staff are extremely fatigued. External support needs to work shoulder to shoulder with a local system to build energy and renewed resilience.

Our approach to delivering this new model of Intermediate Care is called Valuing Home. Our starting point is that people are most likely to thrive when they are in their own homes and communities. The approach includes a new ‘behavioural operating model’ for Intermediate Care which we have co-produced with a group of leaders and frontline practitioners from across the sector. This model prioritises function (how we work) over form (the structure and processes) – directly addressing what has been missing in recent years.

In our recent Valuing Home work in Somerset we helped the local system deliver the following impact:

  • Long-term placements to residential and nursing homes direct from hospital have reduced by 86% since March 2020.
  • Early intervention by adult social care staff at the county’s two A&E hospitals has resulted in 63% of people avoiding admission to hospital since November 2020, with almost three-quarters returning home.
  • The infographic below captures the most recent monthly data from Somerset:

For more information, see our case study or this video produced by Somerset County Council.

Leading social care expert and Government advisor, Professor John Bolton, describes what has happened in Somerset as a ‘blueprint for how out of hospital care should be organised across the United Kingdom’.

Successfully delivering a new model of Intermediate Care across the country will require local system leaders to grasp the opportunity for change that the pandemic has provided – but they need to act now. Moving quickly is critical given that Covid Intermediate Care funding will end in June and structural reform will likely return to dominating the sector’s strategic focus in the coming months.

September is only around the corner, where system leaders will be distracted by weekly NHS recovery calls focused on elective performance and arguments around future structures, funding and governance. Post-Covid changes to population health needs and looming winter pressures will also start to significantly impact demand.

We are looking for a further 10 local systems who have the ambition to be pioneers in taking Intermediate Care to the next level; if you think this is you and you want to explore this opportunity in more detail, please get in touch before 31 May.

Written by

Ralph Cook

Director, IMPOWER

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