Proposed Move for Reablement Service to Improve Independence

THE FUTURE location of Reading’s Reablement Service is being reviewed in a bid to improve its ability to promote independence.

The discharge to assess (D2A) service evaluates the needs of people leaving hospital and aims to prevent further hospital admissions.  It is provided through a partnership between Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Reading Council.

The service is delivered to people in their own homes, alongside short-term bed-based reablement, which is currently delivered at The Willows Care Home in south Reading.

The reablement service at the Willows is delivered from 10 flats and four residential care beds.  The service works alongside a residential care service, which currently has two long term dementia patients.

The current location is no longer suitable to sustain the service going forward, due to reduced level of demand and the Council’s future aspirations for the service to better promote recovery and independence.

Demand for the bed-based reablement service has declined significantly in recent years, with the majority of people supported to return home directly from hospital. Subsequently, the proposal includes a recommendation to reduce the number of beds available to match the level of need.

The proposal highlights Charles Clore Court Extra Care Housing in west Reading as a potential new location, in order to deliver a service which is consistent with best practice in bed-based reablement.

By co-locating the service within the extra care environment, it is felt the service would better promote recovery and independence and would be more able to deliver better outcomes for clients. In addition this location would benefit clients as it has more accessible bathrooms and kitchens.

The plans include relocating the two remaining permanent dementia patients to alternative accommodation after which time the Willows would be closed. The future possible uses of the building will be subject to further consultation once a decision has been taken on this proposal.

Cllr Tony Jones, Reading’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said:  “Reading’s reablement team make a huge difference in helping people maximise their ability to live independently and also stay out of hospital. Reablement encourages people, often those who are disabled or frail, or recovering from injury or illness, to develop the confidence and skills required to allow them to continue living at home.

“I’m proud of the vital work this team does in supporting people to live independently, which also helps to reduce the pressure facing the NHS. However, in order to continue delivering a successful and sustainable service in future, changes are necessary.

“We believe that the bed-based reablement service would be more likely to deliver better outcomes for clients if it was based within a more accessible location that resembles an independent living environment – as opposed to a residential service – with its philosophy of long-term care.

“These proposals are out for public consultation from 25th September, so people can have their say on whether our plans for the relocation of this service are the best way forward.”

People and organisations affected by the changes, including service users and staff, will now be consulted on the review and on how they could be supported to transition to the new arrangement.  The Council also hopes to hear from residents and other stakeholders who have an interest in reablement services in Reading.

The consultation on these changes launches today, Tuesday 25th September and will last for 30 days, ending on 24th October. People can take part by visiting the consultation hub on the website –

To request a paper copy, a large print version of this consultation or for help with completing it call 0118 9374277 or email  


Victoria Nickless

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