Partners’ delight at opening of short term care centre

Take a video tour of city’s new facility


Health, council and charity partners have worked together to open a new short term care centre to help people recover from illness and ensure they don’t spend longer than necessary in hospital.

Plymouth City Council has worked in partnership with Age UK Plymouth and NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to refurbish the upper two floors of the city’s William and Patricia Venton Centre.

The newly refurbished short term care centre, which is being run by Livewell Southwest and Age UK Plymouth, has 24 en-suite bedrooms to provide a safe place for patients to stay after they have been in hospital – click on the video to take tour.

This could be for up to six weeks, with support from therapists and assistive technology and opportunities to engage in social activities in the rest of the building. The aim is that when people leave the centre they are feeling much better and ready to go home and live as independently as possible.

Michelle Thomas, Chief Executive Officer at Livewell Southwest, said: “This is fantastic news for Plymouth residents and a wonderful example of local health and care organisations working in partnership to find new and improved ways of caring for people in our communities. 

“This new service not only provides a calm and caring setting for people who are not yet well enough to return to their homes, it also helps to create more space in our busy acute hospital for those with the most urgent and critical needs, as well as the entire Plymouth health and care system.

“I’m delighted this initiative will give people and their families/carers more time to increase their confidence in their strengths and capability to live their best possible life in their own homes. The Short Term Care Centre is a wonderful step forward for the city and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved.”

The council has invested £823,410 of capital funding into the refurbishment and will lease part of the building from Age UK Plymouth who will continue to use the rest of the building to run their other services, including a Day Centre. Age UK Plymouth has invested £310,000 in the development of the short term care centre.

David Wood, Age UK Plymouth Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Plymouth City Council and Livewell. The short-term care centre is a wonderful example of partnership working as we look to provide an additional level of support for older people in our community. Age UK Plymouth will in addition continue to support many of those discharged from the short-term care centre to ensure they are eased back to better health and continue to live as independently as possible.”

The care centre will also offer support to older people who would otherwise be at risk of being admitted to hospital, which will continue to reduce pressures on Derriford Hospital.

Anna Coles, Plymouth City Council’s Service Director for Integrated Commissioning, said: “The Plymouth health and care system has collectively faced significant challenges posed to it by relentless pressure from COVID-19. The system has responded brilliantly to this situation by putting collaborative solutions in place between health and care providers, which has allowed an already under pressure urgent care system to manage these unprecedented times. This would not have been possible without the creativity and commitment of community services to support acute services through these challenging times.”

Jo Turl, NHS Devon CCG’s Director of Out-of-Hospital Commissioning, said: “The short term care centre is a great example of the way organisations across Devon’s health and care system and the VCSE sector have been working together to support our hospitals and address the challenges in discharging people when they are ready to leave.  More importantly it will support patients to regain their independence after a stay in hospital while reducing delays for other patients who need a bed.”

The short term care centre is the latest initiative to be introduced in Plymouth health and social care system to help speed up the flow of patients from the acute hospital back into the community. Some of the other schemes in place include:

  • The opening of care hotels to provide temporary extra care facility for people who are ready to leave hospital but need extra care support before they can get home.
  • Working in partnership with City College to create workplace opportunities for students within the Care Home sector to support providers across the city where vacancy levels are high.
  • The commissioning of a Live-In Care offer, with care workers coming from outside of Plymouth, to be deployed in to our most challenging situations to avoid admissions to hospital and to enable providers to remain open
  • Releasing funding to support overtime payments for all care staff to ensure sufficient staffing is available to respond to system pressures
  • Launching a high profile city wide recruitment campaign in partnership with DWP and Skills Launchpad Plymouth to ensure whole city focus on addressing the significant workforce shortages.

Supporting people to live independently in their own homes is one of the City Council’s key priorities and there is an ongoing recruitment campaign to recruit more home care assistants. There are a huge range of temporary, permanent and flexible roles available in Home Care in Plymouth right now, if you are interested in finding out more please visit our specialist health and social care recruitment agency

You can watch the video here

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