Intermediate Care service

Chase Heys

At its heart, the Intermediate Care service is designed to provide holistic assessment and support to enable people to return to their home environment wherever possible.

Working with health commissioners and wider Adult Social Care partners the aim of the service is to offer increased activity in the home first pathway, hospital avoidance and a reduction in long-term placements.

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Christine’s Story

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After I retired as a Headteacher in a lovely primary school in Bootle I started to drive a pharmacy van delivering medicine and other supplies to care homes around Southport. Some were better than others; imagine my surprise when I found myself being supported following a leg amputation at one of the best ones I used to visit!

I came to Chase Heys on discharge from hospital after an emergency leg amputation – only just below the knee, but I think my horse riding days are behind me – and I knew it was the best place for me not only because of how I remember it from my van driving days but also from the immediately warm, friendly, and caring way the team welcomed me to their ‘home’.

A home which became my home for 16 weeks – although the great work of the team means most people’s stays are much shorter; I do like to be different!

I was at a very low ebb when I arrived at Chase Heys, and I don’t shy away from the fact I was indeed suicidal.

The pace of change really affected me, as it was only several days from seeing a GP to having the operation – removing a piece of me.

I know that the average stay at Chase Heys is a matter of days or at most a week or two as people get ready to go home after coming out of hospital. As I always like to be, I was different.

I had to wait for my prosthetic leg to be built, and I had a considerable amount of physiotherapy to undergo. But this extended stay quite probably saved my life, saved me from doing something that couldn’t be undone.

I am a firm believer in fate, and I think I was destined to come to Chase Heys to learn some lessons.

The first was that I was not alone. The team at Chase Heys was looking after lots of other people in similar situations as me – and having a great time doing it, both the staff and the people they were caring for.

I could have been a recluse, sitting alone in my room. Both staff and my peers encouraged me to emerge from my room and from then on I was hardly back, enjoying the company of new fast and firm friends.

The second was to accept, and indeed embrace, what had happened to me. I didn’t think I could cope with a missing leg, but the entire team really showed how resilient I could be.

Even the physical layout of Chase Heys played a part in my rehabilitation and my emotional wellbeing; I have been free to move around, both in the wheelchair and on my prosthetic, and have the biggest or smallest amount of space to explore that suits me at the time.

That sense of independence from being allowed to move throughout the building is unquantifiable.

I am safe at Chase Heys and I am looked after so incredibly well and I know I wouldn’t have been remotely as accepting of my situation anywhere else. But it is time to go home, back to my two dogs and my cat.

I have been away too long from them, but without the team at Chase Heys, I don’t want to think about how much longer it could have been for them.