Health and Social Care chiefs have unveiled a new facility for patients keen to regain their independence after illness or a hospital stay.
Derbyshire County Council in partnership with NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have opened an eight-bed intermediate care centre at Oakland in Swadlincote – a centre for older people made up of extra care apartments, specialist residential care and day services.
Oakland was developed in partnership between Derbyshire County Council, Trident Group and South Derbyshire District Council. The development includes 88 extra care apartments, four respite care beds for carers needing a break, and a long stay, residential care unit for 20 people with dementia and more complex needs.
The aim of Oakland, in Hall Farm Road, is to create a lively, vibrant community that offers an active and varied way of life for people living or staying there. Residents have their own front door and access to 24 hour care and support as well as various communal facilities and activities.
The intermediate care unit is run by the CCG in partnership with Derbyshire County Council.
The unit, established in April, will reduce:
The facility is a major step forward for health care in South Derbyshire as patients needing aftercare previously had to travel out of the immediate area.
Derbyshire County Council is investing £350,000 annually in the short stay care unit. The CCG’s annual investment of more than £100,000 is expected to be offset largely by savings from reductions in hospital emergency admissions for the over 65s.
Patients using the service, which is free, will have a personal plan agreed with staff for their maximum six-week stay to help them with:
Before a patient is admitted, an assessment will be carried out by a health or social care professional to ensure that immediate care is the right option.
The service is available to any Derbyshire adult registered with Heartwood Medical Practice, Gresleydale Healthcare Centre or the Woodville, Swadlincote, Overseal or Newhall surgeries.
Before patients are discharged, staff will contact other local services that might be able to help them once they are back at home.
People suitable for intermediate care might include patients needing rehabilitation after a stroke or operation, or people who have been experiencing falls.
The unit will provide a much-needed service as South Derbyshire has the county’s most rapidly increasing percentage of residents aged over 65 while Derbyshire’s proportion of people in the age group is higher at 24.2 per cent than the England average of 20.5 per cent.
Patients using the unit so far have praised its exemplary care and first-class facilities.
Retired power station worker Sam Clarke, aged 87, spent nearly six weeks there after breaking an ankle when he fell while shopping.
A resident of Midway, he said that occupational therapists had taught him to walk again while friends and family had been made to feel most welcome when visiting him.
Mr Clarke was delighted by the standard of his room and en-suite facilities and thanked staff for being there whenever he needed them.
Eighty six-year-old Joyce Briggs, from Swadlincote, was equally impressed by the care she received during a two-week stay following a hip replacement in Queen’s Hospital, Burton.
She said that staff had got her used to washing and dressing herself again, as well as cooking and climbing the stairs.
“The standard of care was excellent and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the place to anyone,” she paid tribute.
There was overwhelming support for the facility when the CCG consulted the South Derbyshire Network of Patient Participation Groups on its proposals in 2011 and 2012.
Residents said that existing services were “inadequate for our growing older populations” and that intermediate care would bring “health services close to home.”
One resident hailed the proposed centre as “a great opportunity to reduce admissions and length of stay.”
The proposals for immediate care were developed by an Oakland Working Group set up in 2011 to ensure that the facility was based on a shared vision between health, social care and the voluntary sector.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of Southern Derbyshire CCG, said:
“The new service offers much better access to rehabilitation services for the people of South Derbyshire, and ensures an integrated approach to care through partnership working between health, social care and the voluntary sector.
“Intermediate care will promote independence and make it much easier for people to live with confidence and dignity in their own communities.”
Her words were echoed by Dr Buk Dhadda, Chair of the CCG’s South Derbyshire Locality:
“South Derbyshire has the fastest rising frail and elderly population in all of Derbyshire and this modern facility will allow us to offer a more integrated approach to looking after this group of patients with health and social care working closely together to try and provide care closer to the patient's home.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the population of South Derbyshire and one that the CCG has been very supportive of.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is one of four clinical commissioning groups in the county responsible for the healthcare of people in Derbyshire.
Charles Malkin, Communications Officer
Tel: 01246 514971/07825 274111