A NEW care plan has been launched on Wearside to promote rehabilitation closer to home.
The Strategic Direction for Intermediate Care in Sunderland is designed to maximise independent living, promote faster recovery from illness, help with timely hospital discharge and provide an effective alternative to hospital admissions.
The three-year scheme has been devised on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust after a collaboration between NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South of Tyne and Wear.
Dr Ian Pattison, a practising GP and chairman of Sunderland CCG, said: “Being able to deliver the right kind of care for both mental and physical well-being, often closer to home, is absolutely central to what we are trying to achieve.
“By creating health and social care teams that focus on the same objectives of delivering care closer to home, we will ensure that all those, often the elderly, who need individual care in a particular way receive it, avoiding unnecessarily prolonged and disruptive spells in hospital.
“A hospital stay will be followed by support to return home, to help people to regain their independence and ensuring the person concerned is at the centre of decision-making about their own care.”
The Intermediate Care Assessment and Rehabilitation (ICAR) unit at the Houghton Primary Care Centre is a community bed-based service which is led by GPs and designed to help recovery away from hospital.
Coun Graeme Miller, portfolio holder for health, housing and adult services at Sunderland City Council, said: “This is all about helping people to get better more quickly without the need for a long stay in a hospital.
“It’s so much better if people can be helped back to health closer to home and provided with a range of support services tailored to their needs.
“It also frees up pressure on much needed hospital beds.”