Plans for a new reablement centre could save the NHS

Proposals for a new 80-bed reablement centre in Dorchester were presented to Dorset Council yesterday.

The proposed centre would be on the Dorset Country Hospital (DCH) site near Bridport and Damers Road. It said it would form ‘a significant partnership for health and social care’ for the years to come.

purple and pink heart shaped illustration

Reasons behind building the new establishment have spawned from the aim to increase the capacity for the number of people receiving recovery and rehabilitation care and provide a modern fit-for-purpose facility for the future of care delivery for county residents.

The proposal is the first development of a programme to ensure Dorset Council has the required care capacity, with up to £80m earmarked for the purpose from its capital account, and this will build on work already progressed to support residents who are discharged from hospital or are recovering after a fall or illness in their own home.

Against this backdrop, the announcement follows the local authorities decision last year to prioritise actions to address the lack of therapeutic recovery services in the county following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The lack of suitable bedded rehabilitation services means that too many people must stay in long-term care or return to hospital rather than moving back to their own homes. And in today’s current climate, returning back to hospital isn’t much of an option as the NHS are already stretched with a lack of hospital beds.

Plans for the new rehabilitation centres show the establishments will help:

  • Ensure Dorset has sufficient care services to meet future demand for care
  • Reduce pressure on NHS beds and services including prevention of admission
  • Help those patients that no longer need to be in hospital to be discharged quicker
  • Improve health outcomes for Dorset Council residents who are discharged from hospital and need ongoing care and support
  • Reduce pressures on the Council’s finances arising from demand and cost of adult social care services

Councillor Jane Somper, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: ‘This is potentially a very exciting partnership with the NHS to help residents across Dorset and we look forward to working with Dorset County Hospital to draw up more detailed plans over the next few months.

‘Our reablement plan has the opportunity to make a huge difference to people’s livelihoods, enabling them to go back to living an independent life with their families and in their communities.’

To receive more news updates about plans that are affecting the health sector, one of our other PSN titles, Social Care Today, covers all things health related. 

Image: Nicolas J Leclercq


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