A second vital new service has been set up by Aragon Housing Association and Central Bedfordshire Council to reduce ‘bed-blocking’ and also to prevent admission to hospital. The Step Up/Step Down service enables individuals to get back on their feet, ready to return to their own home.

This new service, which is based at Beech Close in Dunstable, will provide 24 hour
re-ablement and rehabilitation support to people who aren’t able to return home or require intervention to avoid a hospital admission.

Deborah Stuart, Head of Supported Housing for Aragon’s parent company Grand Union Housing Group, said: “After the success of our first ‘Step up, step down’ service which opened early last year in Ampthill, Central Bedfordshire Council were keen to work with us again when our Beech Close facility became available.

“Often people are forced to stay in hospital longer than necessary because they’re not well enough to go home but not so unwell that they need to stay in hospital. This new facility will help people to regain their strength so they can return home to live independently, but with support where needed.”

Cllr Carole Hegley, Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive Member for Social Care and Housing, attended the opening event. She said: “I’ve seen evidence that they work. These schemes help everybody, from the resident, through to social care through to the health service.

“You need willing partners to achieve outcomes. We’ve worked with Grand Union for a long time on a number of projects and this is just further outcome of successful partnership working. All we can do now is show that this is a formula that works and try to get it around the country to see other people doing the same.”

The Step Up/Step Down services at both Beech Close and Evergreen fall under Encourage, which brings together all supported housing services within Grand Union Housing Group.