The challenges and potential of intermediate care


This long read from The Health Foundation explains what intermediate care is and the types of services that come under its umbrella – from ‘step down’ reablement and hospital at home to bed based and crisis response. It also explores the challenges and potential of intermediate care pathways and points to interventions that can relieve pressure on acute services and increase patients’ independence.

To ensure intermediate care meets the needs of recipients and the health care system, we need to understand how services are currently delivered and The Health Foundation use national open data to examine the state of play for intermediate care services in England. 

They estimate around 125,000 people enter intermediate care services each month. In 2023, 39,000 people a month who were discharged from acute hospitals received intermediate care, four times as many as were discharged to long-term care homes. They suggest that at least a further 4,000 additional care packages are required a week to reduce the discharge delays to intermediate care.