The Intermediate Tier Service (ITS) is in place to reduce unnecessary admissions to hospital and ensure that people can leave hospital more quickly by making care more easily available in the community and people’s homes.
What’s the biggest concern for the public when they, or their relatives, go into hospital care? Is it being there too long, or not long enough? That they will have to wait for a bed, or will be sent home with no aftercare? The beauty of the intermediate setting is that those who need care, but do not need to be placed in an acute setting, now have a temporary placement for rehabilitation.
Who Is It For?
The care units are for any patients who reside within the Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) area, or who are registered with a local GP based in HMR.
These referrals come in via local health and care professionals including local GPs, nursing and care homes, local hospitals and community health care providers either from hospital or from their own homes.
The Urgent Care Community Team work as part of the Intermediate Tier Service (ITS) who operate with three sites:
- Wolstenholme Intermediate Care Unit
- Tudor Court in Heywood
- Virtual beds within the community
As an everyday example the Urgent Care Community Team may receive a referral for a chest infection, however, the patient has other underlying medical conditions. The team will then visit the patient at home and assess their needs, function and medical state. Are they able to move freely around the home, or do they require more assistance?
The appropriate care will then be placed around them. If the patient can function in a more residential setting they will have a ‘virtual bed’ at home and a team will be put in place to manage their recovery. However, if they require more hands on nursing care they will be placed in a bed at the Wolstenholme unit.
What Else Do They Provide?
The goal is to be able to provide more intensive treatment, closer to home without unnecessary hospital admissions. The ITS works as a tight knit team in the Wolstenholme Intermediate Care Unit. For a more in depth look into their services, the unit also provides:
- Community nursing and therapy services for adults
- Supportive and complex care management
- Treatment room services
- Neuro rehabilitation
- Amputee and epilepsy services
- Stroke early supported discharge services and pulmonary rehabilitation
- Tissue viability
- Bladder and bowel – plus speech and language therapy
- Out of hours adult community nursing
The project is in collaboration with GP Care Services Limited, HMR CCG, BARDOC (Bury and Rochdale Doctors on Call), Big Life Group , The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, Pennine Care Foundation Trust and Rochdale Borough Council.
The Wolstenholme unit is fast becoming a blueprint for other services around the country. It is an investment in the prolonged health and wellbeing of the local community. This kind of integration and collaborative working is unique, and is something the community should be proud of. In a podcast with Ben Gowland, Dr Zalan Alam, a Director and Clinical Lead at GP Care Services, discusses the call on GP leaders in CCGs to make sure the GP Forward View money makes its way to general practice. You can listen to the full episode here.
For more information on all the Intermediate Tier Services, or for contact information, visit their website here.