New Norwich unit provides ‘stepping stone’ service to people between a hospital stay and returning home

A new 24 bed Health and Social Care Reablement Unit, called the Henderson Unit, has been set up in Norwich to help patients recover after a period of ill health in the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (NNUH). The Unit provides an intermediate facility that provides a link directly with community services.

The Henderson Unit has been open for 5 weeks and is run jointly by NNUH and Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk First Support reablement service, with a team of support workers, therapists and nurses.  The unit is based on the Julian Hospital site at Bowthorpe Road in Norwich and provides a ‘stepping stone’ service for people who are medically fit to leave hospital but need further support to enable them to return home safely. 

Henderson Reablement Unit caters for patients discharged from NNUH who are aged 18 and over, with a typical length of stay just under a week. The therapy provided aims to increase the physical, functional and confidence level of patients, while carers from Norfolk First Support will help people regain their independence by assisting people with their mobility, personal care, medication and meal and drink preparation. Patients’ own routines are replicated as closely as possible in order to prepare them for their return home, where follow-up assistance is provided by Norfolk First Support and other community-based services.

The Henderson Unit builds on the success of the existing partnership between NNUH and Norfolk County Council’s Norfolk First Support service. Around 170 NNUH patients a month are currently discharged home with Norfolk First Support, which provides intensive reablement support in people’s homes. This is a free service for up to six weeks after a stay in hospital or after a change in circumstances such as a fall or illness.

Chris Cobb, Director of Medicine and Emergency Services said “our aim is to help patients regain their independence and feel confident about going home after a hospital stay.  There is a friendly atmosphere with daily group exercise classes and patients are encouraged to participate in an individual reablement plan.”

Sue Whitaker, Chair of the Adult Social Care Committee at Norfolk County Council, said: “Helping people to get fit again and regain their independence is an absolute priority for us and our NHS colleagues.  We know that people progress better once  they leave hospital and that a loss of confidence can often impede recovery.  I am confident that this new and innovative approach will be an excellent addition to the range of help we can offer.”

At present 19 beds are open with the remaining 5 beds opening week commencing 16th February.  During the first five weeks, the Unit has facilitated 55 patients to return home.

Tuesday 17th of February 2015 04:00:07 PM