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Leaflet: Pathway 3 community bed

Pathway 3 Community bed

Our priority is to help you get better and to support you to leave hospital when you no longer need care there. We know people recover best away from the busy hospital environment.

In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, NHS organisations, local authorities and community partners are working together as an integrated care system to improve health and services for local people.

Community bed

Outside of hospital, people do more for themselves and are more likely to keep active. They tell us they enjoy better sleep and better mood among friends, family and more familiar home comforts.

Staying in hospital any longer than necessary can lead to muscle loss and increase the risk of infections, pressure sores and incontinence. Leaving when the time is right is not only best for you but also helps ensure beds are available for those who need hospital care.

If you no longer need hospital care, but still need some extra support, there are different ways of leaving hospital, known as ‘pathways’. The team caring for you will consider which is right for you, based on your individual needs and circumstances.

Following assessments and discussions with you, your family and carers, your clinical team feel that pathway 3 – a community bed – is the right one for you.

This is because they have identified that while you are well enough to leave hospital, you still need 24-hour care while your longer term needs are assessed. You will be transferred for a short stay in a community assessment bed. This is usually the best place for your general well-being while you, your family and care professionals work together to make important decisions about your long-term care.

Best interest decisions

For people who are unable to participate in discussions about their care, decisions will be made in their best interests, following a mental
capacity assessment by the professionals caring for them.

What to expect

Community assessment beds are usually in care homes and some are in supported housing. Depending on availability and your individual needs, this may not be the facility nearest to your home.

When you arrive, you will be welcomed and helped to settle in. The team caring for you will check how you are and agree a plan for your care.

A therapist will assess if you have any therapy or equipment needs. If appropriate, they will put in place a therapy plan so the team caring for you know how to support your rehabilitation and this may include some therapy sessions.

What to expect Once your health needs have been addressed you will be allocated a social care practitioner from your local authority social
care team to help plan your long term care needs. This could mean returning home with support or, in most cases, a long term
placement in a residential or nursing home.

Your social care team will carry out a care needs assessment to check your eligibility for local authority social care. They will discuss your options with you and your family and carers. You may also be assessed to see if you are eligible for NHS continuing healthcare.

How long will I stay?

We aim to assess and discharge you from your community bed to the most appropriate place to meet your ongoing needs as soon as possible. This could take up to 28 days but will vary depending on your circumstances.

Do I need to pay?

Your initial stay in your community bed will be funded by the NHS until your local authority has completed your care needs assessment and a means-tested financial assessment to determine how much you will need to contribute to your ongoing care.

Your social care practitioner will guide you through the process. You can also contact your local authority directly with any questions:

Bristol residents: 0117 903 7706
North Somerset residents: 01275 888 801
South Gloucestershire residents: 01454 868 007

If you have any questions, please ask a member of staff.

Version 2.2 May 2023 produced on behalf of Bristol City Council; Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board; North Bristol NHS Trust; North Somerset Council; Sirona care & health; South Gloucestershire Council; University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust; and local voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations. Healthier Together, Level 4 South Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NX.