End to hospital “bed blocking” as temporary home offered to elderly patients

Cllr Peter Hollick, Aileen Evans, Aragon's Managing Director Cllr Eugene Ghent and Pauline Sanderson , CBC Operations Manager PNL-161101-143014001
Cllr Peter Hollick, Aileen Evans, Aragon's Managing Director Cllr Eugene Ghent and Pauline Sanderson , CBC Operations Manager PNL-161101-143014001

A new home-from-home has been opened to allow elderly patients to leave hospital even if they not quite well enough to look after themselves alone.

The Evergreen service, based at Wingfield Court, Ampthill, has been set up to reduce so-called “bed blocking” by supporting older people who are well enough to leave hospital but are not ready to go home.

It has been set up by Aragon Housing Association in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and the NHS.

The service offered six en-suite rooms in a homely environment plus a small therapy room and galley kitchen. Those using the service will also benefit from existing communal areas within the sheltered housing.

Head of Supported Housing for Aragon’s parent company, Grand Union Housing Group, Debbie Stuart said the project had been almost three years in the making and was vital in helping people remain independent in their own homes.

She said: “It’s a well-known fact that people are often forced to stay longer in hospital because they are not quite well enough to go home alone but not so unwell that they need to remain in hospital.

“The Evergreen service will bridge that gap and help people, while they regain strength, to get ready to go home and continue to live independently, yet with support where needed.”