In the face of an ageing population with increasingly complex healthcare needs, SingHealth is ramping up infrastructure to meet the needs of patients who require extended care and rehabilitation after their discharge from acute hospitals.

“The community hospital plays an important role in ensuring continuity of care for patients after they pass the acute stage. In  designing the spaces in the new community hospitals, we were intentional in creating a homely environment that promotes healing and aids rehabilitation so patients can experience care that’s personalised.”

Ms Margaret Lee, CEO of SingHealth Community Hospitals (SCH).

Under SCH, the new Sengkang Community Hospital and Outram Community Hospital will join Bright Vision Hospital to provide a total of 1,165 beds. Each community hospital is staffed with multidisciplinary care teams comprising specialists, nurses, therapists, medical social workers, dietitians and pharmacists.

The idea is simple but crucial: these community hospitals are located just next to acute hospitals so that patients can transit smoothly from one care setting to another and eventually to home.

In August 2018, Sengkang Community Hospital will open its doors and cater to patients transiting from Sengkang General Hospital and other acute hospitals.

Surrounded by natural greenery, the 400-bed community hospital houses a wellness garden and pocket gardens at other levels to provide patients and their caregivers with greater tranquillity and respite.

The hospital will leverage telehealth and community resources to ensure patients remain well-supported when they return home, with physiotherapists and occupational therapists providing rehabilitative help and monitoring their patients' progress.

Similarly, Outram Community Hospital which will open its doors in 2020 will cater to patients transiting from Singapore General Hospital and the specialty care centres on SGH Campus. Every space within the community hospital is designed with rehabilitation in mind.

A Centre for Activities of Daily Living allows patients to practice performing daily tasks under the guidance of a therapist. Designed as a typical two-room flat, patients are able to prepare food and cook to get a head start on their transition back to their homes and loved ones. Dining rooms are also designed into the wards to simulate the home environment and encourage patients to practice daily tasks.

“At the heart of our care model is making sure patients are cared for every step of the way and helping them regain confidence to look after themselves. It is the kind of care we would want for our loved ones,” said Ms Lee.