Implementing a step down intermediate care service

Kate A. Levin, Martine A. Miller, Marion Henderson, Emilia Crighton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore implementation and development of step-down intermediate care (IC) in Glasgow City from the perspective of staff. Design/methodology/approach: The study used qualitative methods. Nine key members of staff were interviewed and three focus groups were run for social work, rehabilitation and care home staff. Framework analysis was used to identify common themes. Findings: The proposed benefits of IC were supported anecdotally by staff. Perceived enablers included: having a range of engaged stakeholders, strong leadership and a risk management system in place, good relationships, trust and communication between agencies, a discharge target, training of staff, changing perception of risk and risk aversion, the right infrastructure and staffing, an accommodation-based strategy for patients discharged from IC, the right context of political priorities, funding and ongoing adaptation of the model in discussion with frontline staff. Potential improvements included a common recording system shared across all agencies, improving transition of patients from hospital to IC, development of a tool for identifying suitable candidates for IC, overcoming placement issues on discharge from IC, ensuring appropriate rehabilitation facilities within IC units, attachment of social work staff to IC units and finding solutions to issues related to variation in health and social care systems between sectors and hospitals. Originality/value: The findings of this study help the ongoing refinement of the IC service. Some of the recommendations have already been implemented and will be of value to similar services being developed elsewhere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Integrated Care
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2019


  • health services
  • integrated care
  • intermediate care
  • older people
  • Scotland


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