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Welsh Government investment in a rehabilitation project in Flintshire is helping people stay independent and saving the NHS money

First published:
23 August 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Step-Up, Step-Down provides short stay beds to support people coming out of hospital who are medically fit, but not yet ready to go home, and where a home care package is not yet in place. The beds are also used to help people in the community who become unwell avoid hospital admission and long-term placements.

The Minister visited Llys Gwenffrwd Residential Care Home in Holywell to see the success of the service, which has been rolled out across Flintshire thanks to the Welsh Government’s Intermediate Care Fund (ICF). 

ICF aims to help people maintain their independence and support the integration of health and social care services. Over £10 million has been invested in ICF across North Wales so far in 2016-17. 

In 2015/16, it is estimated that the Step-Up, Step-Down service in Flintshire avoided over 3200 hospital bed days at a saving to the NHS of around £1.1m, against an investment of just over £335,000. The project is also continuing to reduce the levels of Delayed Transfers of Care across the region.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said:  

“In Wales, we are investing in both our health and social care services, because people, especially older people, rely on both to meet their care and support needs. 

“Our investment in the ICF is helping people stay out of hospital and remain independent, while also saving the NHS money and reducing delayed transfers of care, which have a negative knock-on effect on the whole NHS system.

“It has been fantastic to see and hear first hand how our investment in this preventative project has helped people regain their confidence after illness or accident and help them make a safe transition back to living at home. It has also ensured people living in the community who have become unwell have been able to build their strength back up, without the need for full admission into hospital.

“I also really appreciated the opportunity to meet the team responsible for delivering this crucial rehabilitation service. Their dedication is ensuring people in Flintshire receive appropriate, timely care and support.”

Flintshire County Council Cabinet Member for Social Services, Councillor Christine Jones, said:

“The Minister heard from the small team of health and social care staff who are using the reablement approach to get people back on their feet and home again.  This approach has been welcomed by individuals and families and it gives people the opportunity to be assessed after a stay in hospital.  The scheme has been successful in preventing unnecessary admission to long-term care which previously might have been the only option.”