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North-east health chiefs agree to extend ‘halfway house’ scheme for hospital patients

Aberdeen IJB has been asked to extend the project at Rosewell House for a further 16 weeks.
The scheme at Rosewell House has been extended.

Health chiefs in the north-east have agreed to extend a scheme bridging the gap between hospital and home until the end of October.

NHS Grampian took over 40 beds at Rosewell House rehabilitation centre in January as part of plans to ease pressure on the health service during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme covers “stepdown from hospital and step-up from community” as part of Operation Home First, an initiative to reduce the length of time people may need to spend in the wards.

It ran for an initial 16 weeks from January, and members of Aberdeen’s integration joint board (IJB) were asked to extend it for a further 16 weeks at a meeting earlier today, up to the end of August.

However, members of the board instead voted to continue it for 24 weeks.

A report to the committee read: “The model will increase capacity in the system as well as meeting our aim of delivering the right services in the right place at the right time while also reducing the need for unscheduled admissions and enabling the safe discharge of patients from hospital who require further care prior to returning home.

“A priority, in light of learning from the Covid-19 pandemic, is for the model to provide agility and flexibility to adapt to system pressures.”

There are currently 20 beds registered to the Care Inspectorate at Rosewell House, while the remaining 40 are registered with NHS Grampian – although 10 of those are closed as opening them would require additional staffing.

Health chiefs will use the 24-week extension to evaluate how well the scheme has been operating.

Six points will be assessed, including work to “elicit a more accurate version” of patients’ feedback, due to the “high incidence of delirium” among the population.

Last week council papers revealed the progress of Hospital At Home, another aspect of Operation Home First.

The scheme offers patients hospital-level care for conditions including pneumonia and sepsis without them having to leave their home.

Over the last year, it has prevented 308 elderly people from being admitted to the wards, and helped 168 be discharged sooner.

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