In 2011 the Scottish Government published the document, The Reshaping Care for Older People: A Programme for Change 2011-2021. It outlined the policy goal of “optimise the independence and wellbeing of older people at home, or in a homely setting. This will involve a substantial shift in focus of care from institutional setting to care at home – because it is what people want and provides better value for money.”

The Health and Social Care delivery plan of December 2016 set a target to reduce unscheduled bed-days in hospital care by up to 10 percent (i.e. by as many as 400,000 bed-days), by reducing delayed discharges, avoidable admissions and inappropriately long stays in hospital.

Intermediate Care services offer alternatives to emergency inpatient admission and deliver person centred outcomes for people whilst improving whole systems flow. 

WebEx Series 2018

The programme is running a series of WebExes in 2018. Please see the resources below to find out more and register.

Service Description

This programme of work aims to support Health and Social Care Partnerships to understand and maximise the impact and effectiveness of their intermediate care and reablement services. These services offer alternatives to emergency inpatient care, support timely discharge from hospital, promote recovery and return to independence, and prevent premature admission to long-term residential care. 

A scoping exercise was completed in early 2017 to understand the current state of intermediate care service provision across Scotland and to identify how Healthcare Improvement Scotland can support HSCPs to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of their services. The intelligence from this will be used to design the support that we offer in this area.


In response to the requests received from HSCPs, Healthcare Improvement Scotland will offer support in the following areas:

  • Connect services and share knowledge on models of intermediate care services to inform the design and redesign of service models;
  • Train people who plan and deliver intermediate care services in evaluation methodology so that the impact of services can be evaluated; and
  • Provide improvement support to optimise existing intermediate care services for a small number of HSCPs.


NHS boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships. 

Benefits of programme

To optimise the independence and wellbeing of older people at home, or in a homely setting.


Nathan Devereux, Improvement Advisor