“First of it’s kind” care facility promises to ease strain on NHS bed crisis

A tour of the new Harvest View care home, Rowley Regis ..
A tour of the new Harvest View care home, Rowley Regis ..

Harvest View, on Harvest Road, Rowley Regis opened on November 24th 2022, cutting the ribbon and taking in their first batch of temporary residents.

The rehabilitation center is the first in the West Midlands to operate around a “home-first” goal, rehabilitating those who are transferred from hospitals or referred by doctors to live healthy and independent lives when they return to their homes.

Councilor Kerrie Charmichael, leader of Sandwell council, spoke about the opening of the new facility, she said: “We realized a few years ago that we need a facility to stop the bed blocking going on in hospitals.

“We partnered with the NHS to build this facility to help alleviate that issue. I think it’s really great, there are 80 bedrooms all with en-suits, we are really trying to make this the home-from-home independent feeling so people feel confident to return home when they are well.”

The care home was jointly developed by Sandwell Council and Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, where both organizations will help to provide the best care available for residents.

Sarah Oley, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust clinical directorate lead, said: “This is a fantastic example of partnership working between us at the Trust and our partners at Sandwell Council.

“We look forward to caring for those people of Sandwell who need reablement support offered here at Harvest View.”

Currently, the center has 44 temporary residents that undergo rehabilitation, with more than 80 en-suit beds available for use as needed.

Joanne Powell, senior care assistant at Harvest View, talks about what home-first means to her, she said: “I have worked in care for about 18 years, this is my first job in reablement, it’s really nice to see people who have been sent from hospital getting up and moving and going home.

“What’s really nice about this place is the focus on getting people to their independent lives. I think sometimes when people go straight from a hospital there is definitely a struggle readjusting, coming here and having this support, we are able to get people back home and keep them home.”

The new facility will work in tandem with local hospitals, helping to free beds and reducing the time it takes for patients to be rehabilitated and to safely and securely return to their lives.

Councilor Carmichael talked about how Harvest View will help during the NHS crisis, she said: “Patients can come here instead of going to a hospital, or they get sent here to undergo their rehabilitation process.

“This will alleviate a bit of the stress that the NHS is under concerning hospital beds. We currently have 44 people in the facility that otherwise would be in a hospital, I think it’s already had a huge effect.”

The hospital caters to temporary residents over the age of 18, featuring on-site care and rehabilitation staff, cooks, porters and care assistants.

One resident, Christopher Speed, 35, from Sandwell, is undergoing rehabilitation after suffering a bad fall, he was transferred from a local hospital and is expected to be discharged soon.

Mr Speed ​​said: “I came here only a few days after it opened. When I arrived the staff got me moving and were really supportive, they helped me get that independence back. Originally I was really scared in case I fall again, but the staff helped me through that.

“At the hospital, they tend to talk to you from a medical point of view and don’t really ask you if you are scared to go home, but here they really care about how we feel and make sure that we will be safe at home.”

Ms Charmichael added: “This was really worth every penny, It’s the first of its kind in the West Midlands, it was £14 million, but at the end of the day it helps our residents to feel safer and to stay at home instead of in beds, that’s worth every penny.”

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