Four Seasons opens rehab unit in Belfast for elderly patients discharged from hospital
A new unit for elderly patients who have been discharged from hospital but are not deemed well enough to return home has opened and taken its first admissions in north Belfast.
The 22 bed service at the Four Seasons' Landsdowne Care Home became fully operation last month and has had 15 admissions with no-readmissions to hospital.
Those behind the unit hope it will help ease pressures on Northern Ireland's hospitals.
The refurbishment of this section of Landsdowne Care home represents an investment of £250,000 by the Four Seasons Group.
Working alongside the Belfast Trust the rehabilitation care delivery is supported by a full multi-disciplinary team of care managers, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and rehab assistants.
There is a daily GP visit and consultant screening at the point of hospital referral.
Managing Director of the Four Seasons Group Carol Cousins said it is for those who are deemed well enough to leave hospital but not independently in their own home or assisted living.
Ms Cousins said: “We are making every effort to provide the best possible care and rehabilitation for patients and their families. Local hospitals are experiencing increased demand under the strain of winter illnesses and are stretched to full capacity.
"There is a large cohort of people who are deemed well enough to leave hospital but not sufficiently independent to allow them to live in their own home. This halfway house will ease some of that pressure in local hospitals.”
Ms Cousins said they had been opening the beds gradually since the beginning of December.
"It's part of a number of intermediate care beds our organisation operates around the greater Belfast area", she said.
"The unit in Landsdowne has been a continuation of our intermediate care service. They provide an opportunity for people who are medically fit but need some physiotherapy occupational therapy and time to recover from an acute illness to support them on a rehabilitation programme to return to their own home or a supported living environment.
"It provides a much better replication of their home living environment, rather than being in a hospital setting."
Working with the local Trust and having medical staff in place means if a patient deteriorates they are on hand to respond.
Ms Cousins continued: "We work with the local trust and are also able to respond very quickly because we have consultant medical cover in all of the services.
"And of course the great thing for the patients in the main they go home to their own home and they go home requiring very little support because they've had much more time to rehabilitate."
A Belfast Trust spokesman said: “The Belfast Trust is working with 4 seasons to increase the availability of community rehabilitation capacity, in keeping with our winter pressures resilience planning.
"These services are an important measure for older patients who are well enough to leave hospital but need continued support in a caring environment to continue their recovery before going home.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital