Efforts to reduce the number of patients who are delayed in leaving Hinchingbrooke Hospital have been strengthened by the opening of a new rehabilitation house.

MacFarlane Grieve House, in Papworth Everard, will offer 28 self-contained flats that have been developed by Papworth Trust to bridge the gap between a hospital stay and discharge.

It is predicted that the house will play a crucial role to help save the NHS money and reduce the likelihood of patients returning to hospital.

Trust chief executive Vicky McDermott said: “One of biggest challenges in our current healthcare system is people returning to A&E after they have been discharged from hospital without appropriate rehabilitation. This is expensive for the NHS and detrimental to the health of every individual who is left vulnerable after acute care.”

The accommodation will provide each patient with more than four hours of social care and one and a half hours of occupational therapy every day to replicate treatment in the patient's home.

Mrs McDermott added: “We believe that our model for rehabilitation will allow hospitals to discharge patients into our care. This will also mean that hospitals can discharge patients quicker, which will free up more beds.”

The house, which is being run on behalf of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group and Cambridgeshire County Council, will work with those who are leaving hospital having recently suffered serious injuries or illness.

The opening of the unit comes a year after the county council was granted £520,000 of Government funding to reduce delays in getting patients out of hospital and into residential homes or at home with provided care.