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Intermediate Care

What is Intermediate Care?

Intermediate care is a term used to describe a range of health and social care services available to adults 18 years old and over.

These services are designed to:

  • Prevent inappropriate hospital admissions.
  • Promote faster recovery from illness or injury.
  • Avoid inappropriate admission to a long term care home.
  • Facilitate timely hospital discharge.
  • Promote independence, health and well being.
  • Provide care at, or close to home.

How can intermediate care help?

  • Based on a comprehensive assessment, it delivers a structured individualised care plan that involves active therapy, treatment or opportunity for recovery;
  • It aims to maximise independence and typically enables service users to resume living at home;
  • It is time limited, normally no longer than 6 weeks and frequently as little as 1 - 2 weeks or less;
  • To identify and target people who would otherwise face unnecessary prolonged hospital stays or inappropriate admission to acute inpatient care, long term residential care or continuing NHS inpatient care;
  • Involves cross-professional working, with a single assessment framework, single professional records and shared protocols.

Adults referred to intermediate care require a multi-disciplinary, comprehensive assessment and be in need of the services of more than one discipline i.e. nursing, social work, occupational therapy, home care & support, community matron, and physiotherapy.

Intermediate care is not a substitute for services provided by any one particular discipline e.g. district nursing or physiotherapy only.

Service Information


Where is the service provided from?

There are currently 5 intermediate care teams based in the following localities

Based Contact
Durham Meadowfield 07773 390104
Shotley Bridge Hospital
07967 627888
Easington Peterlee Social Care Direct 0845 850 5010
Darlington Darlington
01325 342111
Bishop Auckland  Social Care Direct   
0845 850 5010
Sedgefield Ferryhill 01740 652333

When is the service provided?

The service is delivered 7 days a week.
Either in the clients own home (approx. 7am to 11pm for Durham and for Darlington 8am - 8pm ) or in a designated intermediate care unit where they have access to carer support 24/7.

How do people access the service?

The service is accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week, referrals are received from:

a) Hospital wards, admissions units and accident and emergency departments - to enable patients to be discharged;
b) From community services such as district nurses, GPs, community matrons or mobile warden services.

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital