Patients benefit from enhanced community nursing and therapy services in Torridge

More people are being supported to live safely and independently in their own homes thanks to the extension of community nursing and therapy services in the Torridge area.

The Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust has bolstered its community rehabilitation and nursing services over the past two years with the assistance of Section 256 funding from Devon County Council and money from the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The project has led to significant improvements and positive feedback from patients, who receive a co-ordinated package of care in the comfort of their own home and avoid the disruption of being admitted to hospital.


The Torrington and Holsworthy therapy team now comprises 21 whole-time equivalent staff – a three-fold increase from seven a year ago.

The Trust is also in the process of enhancing its community nursing team in Torrington with new hours of 8am to 8pm seven days a week, an extension from 9am to 5pm.

The investment project has been tailored to meet the needs of the local community and mirrors successful schemes introduced in Mid and East Devon.

Most people would prefer to be cared for in their own home, and the project is allowing this wish to be granted for more and more patients in the Torridge area.

Stella Doble, deputy assistant director of health and social care, said the Trust could now offer an improved service for patients in their own homes.

She said: “The support workers are able to visit more frequently during the week and the therapists are able to provide a more responsive and holistic service to help people to remain independent at home.

“New balance classes have also been developed to support people to help prevent falls and to give advice on how best to manage falls when they do happen, and the feedback from these has shown improved outcomes for individuals.

“The extension of the community nursing service means we can provide more urgent same-day visits and respond rapidly when a crisis occurs to prevent an avoidable admission to hospital.

“The additional therapy and nursing services work as part of the local health and social care community teams to support people at home.

“More people are now able to receive care at home and this has had a positive impact to prevent avoidable admissions to hospital and reduce the length of stay for people in hospital.”

More information

  • The Trust has more than 300 inpatient beds at North Devon District Hospital and a combined total of about 300 at its 17 community hospitals. But its community staff care for a growing number of people – currently more than 5,000 – in their own homes.
  • The Torrington and Holsworthy community rehabilitation team has grown three-fold in the past year, from seven full-time equivalent staff to 21. The investment has enabled staff to support people with greater complexities in the community, while patients’ length of stay in hospital has reduced. The team cares for about 80 people in their own homes and typically makes 35 face-to-face contacts with these service users each week.
  • The community nursing team is in the process of expanding its service to 8am to 8pm seven days a week, having previously been 9am to 5pm. The team cares for about 100 people in their own homes and currently makes about 180 face-to-face contacts each week, an increase from around 150 before April.
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Last updated: March 6, 2018