15th December 2022

New winter ward opens at Ilkeston Community Hospital

A new ward has opened at Ilkeston Community Hospital to help the Derby and Derbyshire health and social care system to support patients while pressures on the NHS are likely to be at their highest over the next few winter months.

Hopewell Ward offers a maximum of 16-beds and is purpose-designed to provide a range of rehabilitation services and assessments for patients who no longer need nursing care but still require a “step-down” bed to ensure they are ready to go home.

The ward opened to its first patients on 21 November and has since had up to 10 referrals on the ward at any one time with the capacity to go up to a maximum of 16 patients.

Ilkeston new ward collage

The initiative is a partnership between Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Ilkeston Community Hospital, and specialist CHS Healthcare, part of Acacium Group and a Care Quality Commission-registered agency, which is staffing the unit day-to-day.

The ward has been funded by Derby and Derbyshire Integrated Care System as part of winter planning to ease pressure on acute hospital beds.

Janine Foxhall, general manager for inpatient care at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Hopewell Ward is looking after patients who need 24-hour care but not necessarily nursing care. Predominantly it is for patients who are being discharged from hospital and require a short period of rehabilitation to be ready to go home, or who need assessment to work out what support they need going forward.”                                             

The ward has its own dedicated in-house physiotherapists and occupational therapists who can provide intensive therapy to individual patients. Healthcare assistants provide 24-hour care, and the ward is headed by a clinically qualified ward manager.

Hopewell Ward’s layout with single rooms and four-bedded bays mean that it can, if necessary, take patients who are Covid positive who can be cared for in a side room without risk of infection to others. This makes it more resilient to the difficulties many care homes face when outbreaks necessarily mean closure to new or returning admissions. It is co-located beside Heanor Ward, which is a nurse-led community hospital facility, so that the two wards can support each other if necessary.

Janine added: “The ward is working very well and is receiving patients from a number of acute hospitals. Predominantly patients are coming from Derby and Chesterfield hospitals but there is nothing to prevent admissions coming to Ilkeston from Nottingham, King’s Mill or further afield if Derbyshire patients are ready to be repatriated from elsewhere in the country after an emergency hospital stay.

“Patients coming to Hopewell Ward are supported in their recovery with physiotherapy and occupational therapy, or they may need further assessments to ensure the right care packages are put in place for going home. It is helping free up beds in the acute hospitals and is one of a number of measures which our local NHS and social care system has put in place this winter.”


  1. Bolsover patient Patricia Holloway, aged 80, receiving therapy from occupational therapist Rebecca Beach.
  2. Walton-on-Trent patient Roger Shone in discussion with physiotherapist Emily Brook
  3. Healthcare assistants Peragia Mbakile and Erwin Wylie who are part of the Hopewell Ward team.
  4. Hopewell Ward’s support team! Ben Martin (clinical liaison advisor), Tanya Keefe (housekeeper), Cosmina Urda (clinical liaison officer), Yahaira Ribeiro (clinical lead nurse), Sam Helm (client liaison advisor) and James Brearley (scheme manager).