A new intermediate Care Unit has opened on ward 34 of the Countess of Chester Hospital that will deliver entirely nurse and therapist-led care. The new service, which launched in July, takes a 24-hour approach to therapy and is designed to fully equip medically fit patients for discharge more quickly. When patients arrive in the IMCU the standard target will be for them to have no more than a 14-day stay before they go home.

“We believe this can have a huge impact on patient flow through the hospital because we can take patients out of other areas and work with them to get them home sooner,” In-patient lead therapist Alex Holroyd said.

Although the IMCU is now up and running, it will be a while before the service is able to fully realise the vision behind it. Over time it is hoped the decor and amenities of the ward can be transformed to remove the remnants of it being a traditional clinical environment.

Going forward there will be a much stronger focus on rehabilitation, with activity rooms and social areas for patients to use.

“The idea is that this won’t be a ward where patients lie in bed in their pyjamas all day,” Alex added. “They will have to get up, dressed and move about to assist their recovery.”