There are plans to develop a 40-bed assessment and rehabilitation centre which will be jointly funded by the health authority and social services. The development will be provided with the HA continuing care responsibilities for rehabilitation and recovery, and will therefore provide free care.

The focus will be on restoring older people to independence after an episode of acute illness. The commissioning process has been completed to identify the preferred provider. It will be owned and staffed by a private provider, with therapy and consulting rooms staffed by the trust. The emphasis within the commissioning process has been that the provider is providing a service, rather than a building, avoiding the intricacies of a private finance initiative development. It is hoped the service will be available from early 2001.