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17 May 2022

Patient Bob with unit manager Beth.Frimley Health’s new intermediate care unit at Heathlands in Bracknell has received high praise from patients since it opened on March 28.

The 20-bed facility occupies the second floor of the building and provides care for local patients transitioning from hospital back to home.

The brand new three storey Heathlands building consists of 46 beds in total and is owned by Bracknell Forest Council, working in partnership with Frimley CCG. The Frimley Health intermediate care unit takes up one floor and the lower two floors are used as a specialist dementia care facility ran by Windsar Care.

The unit is focused on rehabilitation and supports patients coming out of Frimley Park, Wexham Park and the Royal Berkshire hospital, playing an important role for those living in the local area. Led by Frimley Health’s unit manager, Beth Spickett, there are 26 multi-skilled staff based at the facility, including rehab nurses, therapy technicians, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.  

Beth explains: “For patients who are medically stable but are not managing at home and may be approaching a time of crisis, they can be cared for at Heathlands rather than going to A&E and going through the process of being admitted to hospital. This will make a huge difference to the Trust in terms of patient flow and the patient experience and will hopefully take some of the burden off our acute hospitals.”

Beth continues: “We’ve already had several successful ‘step up’ patients from the community, who have come here to complete their rehab and have returned home in a much better place. In the five weeks we’ve been open, we’ve had very positive feedback from patients, their relatives and carers.”

Gillian George who is 83 and lives in Crowthorne, was one of the first patients to go to Heathlands after being in Frimley Park recovering from a broken hip and replacement surgery. Staff at our unit focused their care on building Giliian’s strength and mobility to ensure she is safe enough to return home.

Gillian said: “This facility is great, it’s such a good idea and much better for patients. I’ve always believed that the more you lay down, the worse you are, and because I’m being looked after so well, I’m walking around and slowly getting my independence back. I also have my own room with a view and the food is lovely!”” 

Another patient, Bob Baxter, 85 from Sunningdale, went to Heathlands following a three week stay in Frimley Park after suffering breathing problems and struggling to walk.

Bob said: “The unit at Heathlands has been brilliant, the staff are exceptional and the progress I have made since I came here is remarkable. I’ve had lots of physio and rehab sessions and I’m up and walking again. I actually feel lucky that I am one of the patients who got referred here just after it opened.”

The intermediate care unit is part of the Frimley Health’s wider plan to work collaboratively with partners and offer improved care to patients in the community. Together, with the other community facilities in Farnham and Fleet hospitals, we have introduced the Urgent Community Response Service, with a multi-skilled team who offer a similar level of care as a hospital ward in the patient’s home within two hours of a referral. We also recently expanded our wider Hospital@Home service to include the whole Frimley ICS region, providing acute medical care in patients

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