As part of its preparations for the expected increase in demand for hospital services this winter, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT) has commissioned beds in the community.
The beds will be used for patients who no longer need the acute hospital services, but who are not yet able to return to independent living.
Initially six beds will be commissioned, with a further four from January, from the new Hillcroft Nursing Home at Galgate in Lancaster.
The beds will be used for patients who are fit to be discharged, but who may need rehabilitation or therapeutic services, or who still need to have their on-going care
Juliet Walters, Chief Operating Officer for UHMBT, said: “No-one wants to be in a hospital bed longer than they need to be, and these beds will provide a home-from-home atmosphere, getting patients ready to go either to their home, or another residence. They also have open visiting – which will help friends and relatives.
“The community beds will help us in dealing with the expected rise in attendances and admissions, as they will free-up hospital beds for emergency patients who need the services we provide.
“This in turn will enable us to admit those patients who need our services quicker, meaning patients will wait less time in our Emergency Departments. “
The money to commission the beds has come from the Department of Health’s winter monies, which is allocated on an annual basis to support winter planning across the health economy as this is the most pressured time of the year.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk.