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If you or a relative are coming home from hospital but still need care, the options available can seem confusing.

Coronavirus has made this process more stressful as family members and representatives are not able to physically see their relative and are reliant on the doctors and care workers to make decisions about care without being able to have face to face conversations. Planning for someone to return home after a stay in hospital or an intermediate stay in a care setting can seem daunting and there are often lots of forms to be filled in and different people to talk to about what is best for the person who needs the care.

Intermediate care:

This is NHS funded care – usually for people who the NHS wants to discharge from hospital, but who still need rest and recuperation after their stay in hospital. This is usually funded for 6 weeks and can come in the form of a care worker coming to the person’s home, or a temporary stay in a care home. You can find more details in this factsheet 

Continuing Health care:

This is NHS funded care for people with complex health needs, where ‘health is considered to be their primary care need’. You can read more about it here.

Because of the emergency legislation brought in under the Coronavirus bill, Continuing health care assessments may be delayed. In normal circumstances, people should be assessed before they leave hospital. At the moment you will need to ask for a checklist to be carried out by a social worker or GP. Our partner charity Age UK have more details which you can find here.

Adult social care:

Regardless of the financial situation of the person needing care and support– your local Adult social care team (at the local council) must do an assessment of need. This assessment should involve the person who needs care and anyone else they want to be involved.

It should look at the following areas:

  • Physical needs, for example personal care needs
  • Social needs – this could include a need to maintain relationships with family and friends
  • Psychological needs
  • Emotional needs
  • Recreational and leisure needs
  • Needs relating to work, education or learning
  • Health needs – the local authority must involve the NHS if the client appears to need NHS services – see Continuing Healthcare section above
  • Accommodation needs – the local authority must involve the local authority housing department if the client appears to need housing services
  • Transport needs
  • The client’s future needs

The person needing support will also need to have a financial assessment to see if they have to make any kind of financial contribution towards their care, there is a helpful checker tool here 


Several health and care charities have expressed concern that people will be left without the support they need because of the Coronavirus bill and the changes to assessments. If you think this has happened to you or a relative, please contact our partners at Healthwatch Isle of Wight on 01983 608608 or email [email protected]


Further Helpful Links:

AGE UK Information Guide: Your Hospital Stay

NHS Choices: Being Discharged from Hospital

Citizens Advice IOW

Updated 25/08/2021

Citizens Advice IW

Adviceline: 0800 144 88 48 (free)

Textphone: 18001 0800 144 8884

*Adviceline is open 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday