The term intermediate care describes services that meet all the following criteria:
are targeted at people who would otherwise face unnecessarily prolonged hospital stays or inappropriate admission to acute in-patient care, long term residential care, or continuing NHS in-patient care;
are provided on the basis of a comprehensive assessment, resulting in a structured individual care plan that involves active therapy, treatment or opportunity for recovery;
have a planned outcome of maximising independence and typically enabling patient/users to resume living at home;
are time-limited, normally no longer than six weeks and frequently as little as one-two weeks or less; and
involve cross-professional working, with a single assessment framework, single professional records and shared protocols.