How new 'Home from home' short-stay flats are set to help city's patients leave wards quicker and boost recovery

An extra care housing scheme which provides a temporary home for people who are fit to leave hospital but aren’t ready for full independence in their own homes is being launched in Wythenshawe.

The five neighbourhood apartments, which have been leased to Manchester City Council by Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, will provide a short stay option of up to 6-8 weeks in the Village 135 Extra Care Housing Scheme complex - effectively providing a bridge for people leaving hospital and going home. 

These modern apartments have been fully furnished to a high specification to provide a home from home environment. Reablement officers (these are staff who help with daily living activities and help a patient become independent again) will be available 7 am – 10pm to help and support each person with everyday tasks, getting up, dressing, meals and the care provider, Human Support Group, is on site 24 hours a day for all the support needs of the individual.

People will be identified early on in their hospital stay by social workers as to whether an apartment would be a suitable next step in their care plan, so that when they are ready to be discharged from hospital there is no delay.

Councillor Bev Craig, Executive member for Adult Health and Wellbeing at Manchester City Council, said: “This is a real life example of the city’s vision around integration, where health and social care can work together effectively to make a difference to people’s lives. Not only do schemes like this help people to regain their confidence, independence and build up their strength again, but they also bring the potential to have an impact on patient flow and discharge from hospital. Crucially, it’s a better personal experience and stops people needing to be readmitted to hospital because they have had another accident or not been able to recover fully after an operation.”

The scheme has the potential to not only improve patient experience, but also make savings in the long term by ensuring that those people who don’t need residential care long term but just need a helping hand to get them back to full health and independence after a hospital stay  are supported to return home as soon as possible.

Carolyn Kus, Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning for Manchester Health and Care Commissioning – a role that also incorporates director of adult social services, said: "Having these apartments available help us ensure that people don’t need to spend any longer in hospital than necessary. Rather than having to wait longer for suitable care, this is a seamless process from hospital to apartment on the day of discharge. People can make their recovery in a home environment with all the help they need from caring professionals and readjust to independence before they go back to their own homes. This is one of the ways in which health and social care working closely together can make a real difference to people's lives."

Nigel Wilson, Group Chief Executive of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, said: “We are honoured to be able to facilitate the opening of five Neighbourhood apartments in our prestigious Village 135 extra care scheme. These apartments will provide a holistic based approach to the bespoke extra care services provided at Village 135, supporting Adult Social Care to enable older people to benefit from a short stay following hospital admission or needing additional care whilst living in the community. Village 135 has already transformed lives of older people and providing this support to the Adult Social Care service is a welcome addition”.

These five apartments in Wythenshawe brings the total number of neighbourhood apartments in Extra Care schemes to ten across the city.  The council is aiming to have 20 neighbourhood apartments available for use by the end of the year. 

The funding to furnish and equip the apartments has come from the Greater Manchester Transformation Fund (the £450m awarded to Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership).

Village 135 Extra Care Housing Scheme for older people has 135 apartments of mixed tenure including the five council neighbourhood apartments. It has numerous onsite facilities including a bistro, spa and hairdressing salon.

The City Council works with five key partners where neighbourhood apartments are provided: 
Northwards Housing, 
Johnny Johnson Housing Association
Anchor Housing 
Wythenshawe Community Housing Group
Adactus Housing.

Case Study    Jimmy’s story: Extra Care brings extra chance for a gentle fresh start in life

In chronic pain from arthritis and after being in hospital after a bad fall James Morrison – Jimmy to his friends – got back on his feet in more ways than one thanks to moving into Extra Care housing in Wythenshawe. Here on his 89th birthday, he tells us why his own flat and his own front door within communal living has brought security, safety and the option of solitude or socialising - on his own terms.

“I grew up in Scotland and worked hard all my life, just like my parents, and left school at 14. I’ve always loved being near the sea and I remember as a child getting the sand on my feet.

“I worked in a kipper factory before I joined the army, where I sometimes felt like I was with strangers and that used to make me stutter because I don’t like being with lots of people. I still get nervous at times.

“I’ve been through the deaths of all my brothers and sisters and my parents – don’t know how I managed to outlive them all. I still believe that plenty of fresh air is very important.

“After I fell and hit my head and face on a cabinet I was in hospital for some time and was worried I couldn’t manage when I went home.

“When I walked in this flat I thought it was a palace. Look its got a settee and a TV and two rooms- all the things I couldn’t afford when I was growing up. And the staff are very kind and help me.

“This is where I live. It makes me feel safe. When I go to bed I still say goodnight to my parents because this is my home. If I could live anywhere in the world I would go on a plane somewhere because I’ve never been on one. But this is where I would want my home, and I don’t stutter here.”



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