Four rehabilitation resource centres in Sheffield, one for each primary care group area, will eventually offer different aspects of rehabilitation to older people. Resource centre project manager Gill Greenwood says: 'We are developing different things at different times. 'Eventually each will offer a rehabilitation wing, a hospital discharge wing, a respite wing and a community wing.

'The rehabilitation wing is where people are assessed for their stay. They come from hospital or the community because of a fall or fracture or a stroke or Parkinson's disease, 'explains Ms Greenwood. 'We have rehab kitchens helping people with the activities of daily living and helping them build confidence and motivation. '

'The second wing is about facilitating hospital discharges. Over winter It is been a step-down facility for people who have been discharged from hospital and perhaps they're awaiting other services. While they are there we have been operating an enabling system so often they're needing less home care than they were assessed for, ' says Ms Greenwood. 'In the third wing we have built on what has been traditional respite care, trying to re-label it flexicare. It is where people can come in for emergency care if their carer is ill rather than the standard two weeks in and four weeks out. Within that are two beds earmarked as community access and integrated care scheme, aimed at trying to fight unnecessary admission to hospital.

'People with urinary tract infections, chest infections or a fall will be seen by a GP and receive a multidisciplinary assessment, and a rapid package of care can be put in place, but sometimes they need to stay in. '

The fourth aspect of each centre is about prevention - providing some day services and developing the outreach team. 'Sometimes it can mean just going to sit with the person being cared for so their carer can go off for a break, or bringing that person in for lunch. They are very low-level things, but we are trying to take very seriously the prevention agenda in this quadrant, 'says Ms Greenwood.