"Health and social care services should focus on the needs of the individual to promote their health and wellbeing, and in particular, to enable people to live healthier lives in their community. Key to this is that people’s experience of health and social care services and their impact is positive; that they are able to shape the care and support that they receive; and that people using services, whether health or social care, can expect a quality service regardless of where they live."
Facilitating older service users' requirements for access to or re-engagement in social networks following hospital discharge is recognised in social care analysis and policy as critically important. This is because of the associated benefits for restoring physical health and psychological well-being. However, it tends to be a neglected dimension of current social care/intermediate care. Our paper draws on a qualitative study of voluntary sector hospital aftercare social rehabilitation projects in five UK localities, which focused on addressing this issue.