Intermediate care covers a range of integrated services to promote faster recovery from illness, prevent unnecessary acute hospital admission and premature admission to long-term residential care, as well as to support timely discharge from hospital and maximise independent living.
The updated guidance requires that all intermediate care teams have competency in mental health and dementia care, and ready access to specialists in those fields.
All members of intermediate care teams, it says, should have some training in mental health and dementia care. Furthermore, teams should consider recruiting mental health professionals as core members of the intermediate care service.
A range of services are outlined as examples of good practice, including the Leeds intermediate care service for people with mental health problems and dementia, which offers intensive home treatment to people with dementia in circumstances where hospital admission may otherwise have been necessary.