Helping you recover after a crisis

We know that if you fall ill suddenly or have a crisis, such as a fall, it can affect not just your health but also tasks, such as getting around your house or out and about, particularly if you are older. The majority of people are able to recover from this crisis. If it is harder for you, there are services in Haringey for people who need help with this recovery to either continue to recover at home after a stay in hospital or to avoid going to the hospital in the first place.

The aim of these services is to help you recover as far as possible and regain your confidence in daily living. These services are free but short-term and time-limited. At the end of an agreed recovery period, NHS and social care staff will work with you to understand your longer-term care needs. We find many people have made sufficient recovery in their health or daily living abilities and do not need any further help. Three different types of services are discussed below.

Rapid Response and Virtual Ward

This is a service a professional, such as your GP, 111 or paramedic, can refer you to if you are approaching/are in a crisis and you’re about to go to the hospital. The service has a GP, nurses and therapists working with people in their own homes. The team respond within 24 hours and can respond within as little as 2 hours for the most urgent cases.

Its aim is to see, assess and treat you at home so you don’t need to go to A&E or ring an ambulance. The team also has a nurse who works in A&E to identify suitable, particularly older, people who could be seen quickly and return home without having to be admitted. The service helps people for up to 2 to 3 days to address the crisis but has good links with other services, including your GP, who can help manage your recovery afterwards.

The team can also work with you if you are already in a hospital bed, to make sure you can be discharged home safely under the care of a GP sooner rather than later.

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Therapies and reablement at home

This is a service that the council runs with help from community health therapists working with Whittington Health Trust. Its aim is to help people recover after a crisis – often after a spell in hospital – but also to help avoid you going to the hospital, e.g. it can follow up after Rapid Response.

Once referred, you will work with trained reablement workers and therapists to support you to get stronger and more confident with day-to-day activities, such as getting around and about and washing and bathing. They will give you a lot of hints, tips, exercises and new ways or equipment to help with daily tasks; or suggest changes to your home set-up to make it easier or safer for you to manage. The aim is to get you back your abilities as quickly as possible.

Your reablement can last for up to 6 weeks, but often people recover faster than that, so the team may be with you for just a couple of weeks. We would encourage you to continue with the suggestions your team member makes. Depending on the circumstances, some people may also continue to access longer-term therapies at home.

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Community beds

Some people recover more quickly than others from a crisis, particularly if they need to go to the hospital. Most people go home from hospital to continue their recovery, but a smaller number need a further spell of recuperation before doing so. As part of your return home from hospital, professionals may talk to you about moving from a hospital to a community bed to continue with your recovery. Some of these beds are in Haringey, but others are in nearby boroughs, depending on your need. We know it’s far better for you to move quickly to continue with your recovery rather than wait in your hospital bed.

The aim of your stay is to continue to work with nurses and therapists to help the recovery you started in hospital whilst you’re in these community beds. Some people need to recover their health (convalescence) before they can work with therapists, but everyone in these beds should have a chance to recover. Your time in these beds varies according to your needs but generally lasts up to 6 weeks. At the end of the recovery period, nurses, therapists and social workers will discuss your long-term care needs with you and your family. Many people are able to go home afterwards, though often with some support.

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Key contacts/information

Most of the services described above need a professional to refer to the service. 

First Response Team

If you are at home, you can refer yourself via the First Response Team who will discuss whether the Reablement Service is appropriate for you:

020 8489 1400


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Page last updated:

February 20, 2023