Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Older people and the relationship between hospital services and intermediate care: Results from a national evaluation

By Jon Glasby, Graham P. Martin and Emma Louise Regen


In the UK, new intermediate care services have been established to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions, facilitate effective discharge and prevent premature care home admissions. This paper reports findings from a national evaluation of intermediate care, focusing on the relationship between hospital services and intermediate care. Participants included key managers and practitioners involved in the planning, management and delivery of intermediate care in five case study sites. During the study, they identified a range of tensions between hospital services and intermediate care, including concerns about the role and involvement of acute clinicians; the safety, quality and appropriateness of intermediate care; access to and eligibility for intermediate care; a lack of understanding and awareness of intermediate care; and the risk of intermediate care being dominated by acute pressures. Although participants were able to identify several practical ways forward, resolving such fundamental tensions seems to require significant and long-term cultural change in the relationship between acute and intermediate care. Overall, this study raises questions about the extent to which intermediate care will be able to rebalance the current health and social care system and make a substantial contribution to tackling ongoing concerns about emergency hospital admissions and delayed transfers of care

Topics: Intermediate care, acute care, older people
Publisher: Informa Healthcare (Taylor & Francis)
Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13561820802309729
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2006). A national evaluation of intermediate care (1): challenges, benefits and weaknesses - qualitative study. Unpublished paper submitted to British Medical Journal, doi
  2. (1999). Emergency medical admissions in Glasgow: general practices vary despite adjustment for age, sex, and deprivation.
  3. (1998). Getting Better? Inspection of hospital discharge (care management) arrangements for older people. London: Department of Health,
  4. (2001). Health. National service framework for older people. doi
  5. (2006). Health. Our health, our care, our say. London: Department of Health, doi
  6. (2004). Health. The NHS improvement plan: putting people at the heart of public services. London: Department of Health,
  7. (2000). Health. The NHS plan: a plan for investment, a plan for reform. London: The Stationery Office (TSO),
  8. (2003). Hospital discharge: integrating health and social care. doi
  9. (2002). House of Commons Health Committee. Delayed discharges (third report).
  10. (1997). Inter-agency collaboration: hospital discharge and continuing care sub-study. Leeds: Nuffield Institute for Health Community Care Division,
  11. (1992). Leaving hospital: older people and their discharge to community care.
  12. (1994). Older patients‟ experiences of discharge from hospital. Nursing Times,
  13. (2005). policy and practitioners: on rehabilitation, independence and the therapeutic landscape in the changing geography of care provision to older people in the UK. doi
  14. Qualitative analysis for applied policy research. In A. Bryman and R.G. Burgess (eds) Analysing qualitative data. doi
  15. (2000). The way to go home: rehabilitation and remedial services for older people. London: Audit Commission,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.