Due to concern at the loss of rehab beds in the region due to Covid-19 and to ensure those who needed specialist neuro rehab could still access this, Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre The Chantry was recently approached by their Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to increase their capacity of specialist neuro rehabilitation beds.
In this blog, Centre Director, Jo Marshall, explains how the centre responded swiftly and safely by adapting their rehab model to support this change.
At Sue Ryder Neurological Care Centre The Chantry, our rehabilitation unit, which has been in operation for nearly 18 months, is playing an important part in continuing to admit patients from hospital who need access to specialist therapy, whilst freeing up vital hospital beds.
Our rehabilitation clients usually stay with us for up to 12 weeks. Our specialist multi-disciplinary team consists of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, neuro-psychologist, nurses and rehab assistants who use goal orientated therapy programmes to support clients to maintain or build strength and develop skills they need for daily living to enable them to return home or to more independent living.
The impact of Covid-19 on rehabilitation
At the end of March this year, The Chantry was approached by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to block purchase our six specialist neuro rehabilitation beds for shorter, more intense periods of rehab treatment for people being discharged from hospital. They were concerned at the loss of rehab beds in the region due to Covid-19 and therapists in community services were being redeployed.
They were keen to ensure people who needed specialist neuro rehab following a stroke or acquired brain injury could still access this. Without this rehab at the right time, these people may never get to return home or remain highly dependent. Our involvement would also help to free up much-needed acute beds at the hospital.
The Chantry responded swiftly to this request by adapting our current rehab model in order to be able to admit people for a shorter length of stay, and provide a level of intense rehab after which they could be discharged home safely.
It's been a challenge, but a worthwhile one. We had to reorganise therapy space and equipment to keep residents and rehab clients safe, with equipment being moved upstairs into the lounge for residents to use one at a time and residents having therapy in their rooms. The main large gym allows for three rehab clients to have their therapy while practising safe social distancing.
Building on this smarter way of working
Our contract with the CCG started on 6th April and so far, we have admitted five patients from hospital and already discharged two home. We've been working collaboratively with the CCG and social workers, with twice-weekly calls to discuss referrals and discharge planning. Meetings with consultants, multi-disciplinary teams and families are all held via secure video conferencing, which the Sue Ryder IT team set up for us.
As well as better outcomes for patients, we're looking forward to exploring opportunities to build on these new ways of collaborative and smarter working with our partners once the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Jo is Centre Director of Sue Ryder Neurological Centre The Chantry.