Lack of integration hits service quality

Intermediate care services are not delivering their full potential because of a lack of integration with mainstream services and insufficient capacity, a report has found.

Relationships between intermediate and mainstream care are characterised by “lack of awareness, resistance [and] concerns about effectiveness”, says the study by Birmingham University’s Health Services Management Centre and Leicester University.

In several areas, a lack of capacity means intermediate care services have staff shortages and limited operating hours, the report finds. It says the majority of services focus on supporting people discharged from hospital, but suggests that intermediate care dedicated to avoiding hospital admissions is more effective.

It also finds a huge diversity of definitions of intermediate care around the country, including community hospitals and home care. 

  • A National Evaluation of the Costs and Outcomes of Intermediate Care for Older People from
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