In response to my last post about the state of healthcare in Dartmouth Nick Hindmarsh, manager of Dartmouth Caring, has responded. We believe that one of the reasons for the current situation is a failure to communicate well enough by those involved in our health discussions. The Facebook exchanges show that people are not aware of what is happening so we will be actively keeping our readers informed as this situation develops. We hope those people involved in resolving the current health crisis will be able to keep us informed through this News Blog, which has many readers in Dartmouth and district
I will publish Nick’s response in full below:
This will soon become a regular feature in the paper about what is happening with; Dartmouth Caring, Dartmouth Medical Practice, health services (physio, occupational therapists, district and community nursing, etc.), Patient Participation Group, and the League of Friends. The aim being to keep the town and local villages up to speed with what is happening and changing. All the more important given recent news.
This regular feature will explain more about how the new means of delivering health and social care in the community will look and feel in practice. Alongside this, there will be an attempt to explain why the changes are happening, or not happening, in the way in which you want and need.
The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that we are all better informed, reducing the need to rely on word of mouth and rumour, something which we all know becomes less and less reliable the more it is shared.
A new community group is being set up, to be launched in the Spring to help the community better support itself and lobby for its needs.
The key purpose of this group with regards to health and social care could be summarised as follows:
“to act as a lever to strengthen the voice of local people, ensuring that their needs and experiences are considered as an integral part of the delivery and development of health [and Wellbeing] services and that services are effective and safe”.
This will include explanations of the terms and phrases used by the NHS, for example “Intermediate Care”.
Intermediate Care – What is it?
This phrase is widely used when describing our new model of care, the system that the NHS is rolling out across Devon and the rest of the country. In its communications the NHS seems to forget that most of us have little idea what these words and phrases mean in plain English. What does Intermediate Care actually mean?
Some of the facts about local IC provision:
- For some time before it closed Dartmouth Hospital only provided Intermediate Care (IC) beds, with nursing support.
- Due to the inspection in November of Riverview Care Home, and the subsequent decision of the home’s owners to withdraw their IC beds, we have seen a loss of 6 IC beds.
- The longer term plan remains for six beds to be available, supporting local people needing this level of care, with nursing support, however, we currently have two IC beds in Dartmouth to provide for the needs of the local population. Most of the time this will be sufficient - but not always.
- While Dartmouth Hospital had more beds than this typically only 2 or 3 were occupied by local patients, so 6 beds should be sufficient.
Intermediate care is an NHS service providing free temporary care for up to six weeks at home or in a residential care home following a stay in hospital.
Intermediate Care is for those who will be unable to manage independently on discharge. It is arranged by the hospital and social work team before a patient is discharged and it may also be used to enable you to stay at home following an emergency breakdown in care services (for example, a caring partner has been taken into hospital).
What will IC provide?
You or a relative will get intermediate care regardless of income and savings. The hospital and, or social services will provide what is assessed as being needed, from physiotherapy to carers. The aim is to get your relative back on their feet and to ensure that they are as independent, mobile, confident and medically fit as possible.
If your relative is being discharged from hospital but has complex care needs, they might also be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care in a care home.
Watch this space for more!
Nick Hindmarsh – Manager Dartmouth Caring
Manager & Coordinator
35 Victoria Road, Dartmouth TQ6 9RT