80-bed ‘reablement’ centre for discharged patients could be built at hospital

A NEW 80-bed temporary care home for discharged hospital patients not well enough to go home could be built in Dorchester.

Proposals to start the design for the ‘reablement centre’ on the site of Dorset County Hospital (DCH) are set to be considered by Dorset Council’s Cabinet next week (July 25).

The centre would be built near Bridport/Damers Road as part of a partnership for health and social care for the years to come.

Dorset Council said the new centre would ‘significantly increase the capacity for the number of people receiving recovery and rehabilitation care’.

Previously, the council earmarked £80 million to ensure care facilities are in place for residents discharged from hospital, or recovering after a fall or illness in their own home.

A spokesperson said a lack of suitable bedded rehabilitation services means people who could live independently at home are forced to stay in long-term care or return to hospital.

Cllr Jane Somper, portfolio holder for adult social care and health at the council, said: “This is potentially a very exciting partnership with the NHS to help residents across Dorset and we look forward to working with Dorset County Hospital to draw up more detailed plans over the next few months.

“Our reablement plan has the opportunity to make a huge difference to people’s livelihoods, enabling them to go back to living an independent life with their families and in their communities.”

The council said the new reablement centre will help:
* Ensure Dorset has sufficient care services to meet future demand for care
* Reduce pressure on NHS beds and services including prevention of admission
* Help patients who no longer need to be in hospital to be discharged more quickly
* Improve health outcomes for residents discharged from hospital and need ongoing care and support
* Reduce pressure on council finances arising from demand and cost of adult social care

Deputy chief executive of DCH, Nick Johnson, said: “One of the key challenges for DCH is that we often have patients who no longer need to be in hospital but are waiting for an ongoing care and support package to be in place before they leave.

“This puts pressure on the hospital, as it means we have fewer beds for people that need to be admitted, and it can also have a negative impact on the patient, as staying in hospital for longer than necessary affects how well people recover.

“A reablement centre on our site would allow us to move those patients who are ready to leave hospital, allowing them to continue with their recovery and free up beds on our wards for people who need them.

“We look forward to working in partnership with Dorset Council on this initiative. It could be an exciting new model of care that helps patients recover more quickly and tackles delays in leaving hospital, allowing us to provide care for those that need it.”

The proposal will go before councillors at the cabinet meeting at County Hall on July 25. It gets underway at 10am.

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