Community Intermediate Care Centre – how WCHC enabling successful discharge and supporting people to return home

News - 06 March 2024

Once a person no longer needs hospital care, the best place for them to be is at home or in a community setting where they can continue their recovery.

In Wirral, the Community Intermediate Care Centre (CICC), which opened during the height of the pandemic, plays a significant role enabling the flow of patients out of hospital who have been assessed as medically optimised to be discharged but who are not well enough to go home.

At CICC, people receive on-going therapy and rehabilitation, support from a social worker with a view to going home with a level of regained independence.

Since April 2023, over 500 people have benefited from the expert care and rehabilitation at CICC. Occupancy rates are on average >95% with a person’s length of stay around 23 days (20 days in November 2023).

CICC has supported flow out of Arrowe Park Hospital thus freeing up much needed capacity for acutely ill patients. Working with colleagues in the Home First Team and Wirral Council, the team have been able to support >80% of patients to return to their own home and step-up patients from the community for a period of support, thus reducing the need for them to be admitted to hospital.

Consisting of three wards, Bluebell, Iris and Aster, at the heart of CICC is an integrated multi-disciplinary team (MDT) of managers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social care workers, nurses, HCAs and admin/ward clerks. The team is enhanced by a variety of specialist nurses for example tissue viability and safeguarding nurses.

Many patients have complex needs and the team engage with families and carers to help facilitate a smooth transition home, building trust and confidence.

Ward staff create a nurturing environment that enables people to feel positive about their recovery. They bring the outside world in, including events around the NHS 75th anniversary, King’s coronation and Christmas. Spartacus the Therapy Dog has also been a welcome visitor to CICC, bringing joy to everyone at the centre.

Feedback from patients and their families has been outstanding. Here are a few examples of the great feedback the centre receives.

“To all at Aster Ward, thank you very much to doing your best and getting me back on my feet.”

“To all the staff, Nurses, Physios, OTs, domestic staff, thank you all for all your care and attention during my stay on Bluebell Ward, for looking after me and making my stay a happy one. I am most grateful.”

“Very caring staff, willing to give assistance when needed, also to help gain confidence with mobility and independence. Efficient all round team.”

The Community Intermediate Care Centre was also rated as Good across all domains of Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-led in a CQC inspection in late 2023.