Proposals for intermediate care services in Bury that aim to reduce waste and improve the range of services available to benefit more people are being consulted on, and local people are being asked to share their views.

Intermediate care services support people in the community, this may be in a care setting or in a person’s own home, helping to promote independence and provide care, therapies and rehabilitation, perhaps after surgery, a stay in hospital or to prevent a hospital admission.

Home-based care offers the best opportunity to regain independence and prevents, reduces and delays the need for care.  However, people in Bury don’t have the same opportunity to access home-based intermediate care compared to other areas in the country.  This is because there is an over reliance on bed-based care that has resulted in the lack of development of services provided from people’s own homes.

Bury currently funds 68 intermediate care beds in a number of settings across the borough, however, comparison with the national average suggests an area the size of Bury requires just 49 beds.   As a result, intermediate care beds are regularly unoccupied costing Bury £1.5 million per year – money that could be invested in other parts of Bury’s health and care system to benefit more people.

The proposal, which is now out to public consultation until the end of November, aims to:

  • reduce the overall number and type of beds that are funded to be more in line with the number of beds expected for an area the size of Bury
  • move away from estate that is no longer aligned to modern standards
  • secure better value for money where this is currently not being achieved
  • increase the overall amount of care being delivered by investing in other parts of the service including home-based, rapid response and reablement services, creating a more balanced model of both bed-based and home-based care to support people at different stages in their recovery

Beds earmarked for potential removal include those currently provided at Bealey Intermediate Care Facility.  The Bealey site does not offer best value for money, the layout prevents further conversion or expansion and the building is in need of modernisation to keep pace with hygiene and safety standards.   If the Bealey site was no longer used for health and care services, it would be considered in the Radcliffe regeneration plans.  Potential options are being explored and views from local people will be captured through this consultation.

Dr. Jeffrey Schryer, local GP and Chair of NHS Bury Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

“Our health and care providers are completely committed to providing the best possible, high quality and responsive care for local people.  Whilst some parts of our intermediate care services run very efficiently and provide good outcomes for people for a fair price, other parts do not.  We must take this opportunity to reduce waste where beds are regularly unoccupied, look at other options where services don’t offer good value and to move away from using outdated estate.

“We have a real opportunity to provide a more balanced range of services that will benefit more people and offer them the best opportunity to regain independence and reduce the need for future care.”

Cllr Andrea Simpson, Bury Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing added:

“We want Bury residents to be able to access a wider range of intermediate care services that are better suited to meet their needs than they currently can access.  This will improve their experience and outcomes, maximising their opportunities to progress, to regain and maintain their independence and prevent unnecessary admissions to a hospital or a care home.

“We understand the Bealey site is important to many people and should the site no longer be used for health and care services in the future, we are committed to ensuring all avenues are fully and carefully explored in relation to its future use, we want to capture people’s thoughts on this as part of this consultation about improving the range of services available for people in Bury.”

No decisions have been made and people are encouraged to read the consultation document before completing a short survey to share their feedback.

All feedback will be carefully captured and form part of a final report for discussion at the Strategic Commissioning Board, a joint Bury Council and CCG committee, at its meeting taking place in December 2020.  This committee meets in public, although the meeting may be online/virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to keep everyone safe.


Date: 19th October 2020