Physiotherapy-led rehab unit celebrates success in cutting hospital readmission rates

An innovative NHS-led physiotherapy service designed to reduce readmission to hospital has celebrated a successful first 12 months of work.


The rehab team based at the Grand came together to celebrate a successful inaugural 12 months

The short-stay rehab unit based at a Nottingham care home has managed to cut 90-day hospital readmission rates to just five per cent.

The unit at The Grand Care Centre takes patients who have been medically stabilised in hospital for a period of rehabilitation before going home. It works closely with community and social services to enable people to get home safely with the appropriate support, helping to free up hospital beds.

Some 382 patients have been through the pathway throughout the year with an average length of stay of just under 17 days.  Of those 78 per cent went home (14 per cent went back to acute, five per cent went to a medical rehab unit, three per cent went to long-term placement).

Of those who went home, after 90 days, only five per cent were readmitted to hospital (76 per cent stayed at home, five per cent went into long-term placement, four per cent died, and ten per cent were designated ‘unable to contact’).

Senior physiotherapist Helen Caldwell, who works for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘This unit is an excellent example of not only the NHS working in conjunction with a private company, but how acute hospital beds can be freed up from patients who are medically fit. Due to our provision of therapy led re-ablement, in a relatively short period of time we are able to get patients home safely with the correct support.’

The team comprises an advanced nurse practitioner, two part-time physios, three part-time occupational therapists, four assistant practitioners, community support workers, social workers and an Age UK representative.

Advanced nurse practitioner, Jill Armstrong, said it was ‘a privilege to work in a pioneering unit’ that bridges the gap between secondary and primary care.

‘I am proud to work alongside such dedicated therapists and ultimately provide a positive patient experience in a professional timely manner. I have always loved being a nurse, but this is the happiest I have been in my work.’

And community support worker Lucy Smith said the partnership resulted in some ‘excellent examples of staff going the extra mile for patients and their families. It is touching to see such commitment from dedicated staff who really care about the people they work with,’ she said.

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