Intermediate care

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Intermediate can help you to stay independent, or regain your independence if you’ve recently been in hospital and are now back at home.

That might mean supporting you at home, or in a residential care home, so that you don't have to go to hospital. Or it may mean helping to get you home after a hospital stay.

Independence is important to everyone. It means the freedom to live the life you want, and to live it your way.

But as we grow older our health can sometimes get in the way of our independence. It can be harder to get around and carry out day-to-day tasks such as washing. Or we might have to spend time in hospital.

Intermediate care is services carried out by a team that may include nurses, care assistants, occupational therapists and others. Depending on your needs, intermediate care can last for a few days or a number of weeks.

You will be treated at home throughout your illness or be rehabilitated after an accident. If you’re already in hospital, you will receive the treatment and support you need to leave hospital sooner, and re-start life in your own home.

If you're at home

If you’re happy living in your own home or a residential care home, intermediate care services may be able to:

  • Support you through an illness, so that you don’t have to go to hospital. 
  • Support your carers, relatives or friends so they can look after you when you need help.

That might include nurses visiting you at home to treat you when you are very unwell, or occupational therapists and care workers helping to support and rehabilitate you over a number of weeks, perhaps after an accident or fall.

A short stay in a local residential rehabilitation unit may help you to recover and regain your confidence and independence.

If you or your carer would like to learn more, talk to your GP, practice nurse or social worker. They can arrange for someone to visit you at home to assess your needs, and, together with you, draw up a care plan that outlines the services you will receive, and for how long.

If you're in hospital

If you’re currently in hospital, intermediate care services could help you to avoid staying any longer than you have to, and support you in making the transfer from hospital to home.

You may be offered:

  • A short stay in a residential rehabilitation unit, if you are feeling well enough to leave hospital but not yet well enough to go home.
  • A supported discharge, in which you’ll be offered nursing and care services in your own home to support you during your first few weeks in your own home.

You or your carer can talk to your GP, your hospital consultant or nurse to learn more.


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