The three keys to delivering intermediate care

Following on from the success of the recent National Children and Adult Services Conference, Sarah McClinton introduces the latest joint report from IMPOWER and ADASS, focusing on intermediate care.

Since the publication of the Age of Intermediate Care report in 2021, co-produced by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) and IMPOWER, much has happened to change the landscape. The shifting sands of increased demand and complexity of need, financial hardship, and a global pandemic with its consequences, have each brought significant challenges.

ADASS was delighted to work in partnership with IMPOWER once again to publish a follow up to this report: Intermediate Care – The Reset. Intermediate care has never been more important, with its potential to change people's lives, to have significant impact in systems, and to improve outcomes. The roundtable which kick-started this report identified the importance of driving success through delivering holistically-assessed, whole person outcomes.


The report, which was launched at the National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCASC) last week, clearly shows why intermediate care that merely focuses on hospital discharge is a missed opportunity.

Delivering intermediate care requires balancing three competing priorities: daily operations and pressures, responding to people's needs, and delivering good outcomes. All three priorities demand immediate or short-term attention, distracting from setting – let alone cohesively working towards delivering a strategic ambition. Running alongside is the consistent challenge to make the best use of available resources and respond to changing financial circumstances.

For systems, defining success shouldn't start with the design of target operating models, or workforce plans, but rather from working to a clearly articulated inclusive ambition and design principles that build on co-produced outcomes.

We must recognise the role intermediate care, in its broadest sense, can play in resolving crises and offering rehabilitation to help people stay well and connected at home as well as avoiding the need for hospital care.

The report highlights innovative ways in which we can support people to stay in their own homes with the right community support, so there is no question of ‘deconditioning' in an acute bed. As a policy position, a Home First approach is vital. We know that where clinically safe and appropriate in non-acute instances, home care will increase recovery time and wellbeing.

ADASS is very grateful to IMPOWER for their support on this work. I would like to thank NHS colleagues, members of Think Local Act Personal (TLAP), and the Carers Trust for their valuable contributions in co-creating this report.

Sarah McClinton is Immediate Past President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)

You can download the full report at

This article is sponsored content for The MJ


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