Intermediate care is an NHS service providing free temporary care for up to six weeks at home or in a residential care home following a stay in hospital.

It is arranged by the hospital social work team before your relative is discharged. It is also used to enable your relative to stay at home following an emergency breakdown in care services (for example, a caring partner has been taken into hospital).

What will your relative get?

Your relative will get intermediate care regardless of their income and savings. The hospital and/or social services will provide what they are assessed as needing, from physiotherapy to carers. The aim is to get your relative back on their feet and to ensure that they are as independent, mobile, confident and medically fit as possible.

If your relative is being discharged from hospital but has complex care needs, they might also be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare or NHS-funded nursing care in a care home.

Outside England

In Northern Ireland, see HSC funding for care.

In Scotland, see Care Information Scotland for more information.

In Wales, see the Health in Wales website for more information.

More information

Page last reviewed: 23 June 2016
Next review due: 31 January 2018