There are 500 community hospitals throughout the UK. Originally established as converted cottages offering inpatient beds, they have developed into hubs of services that have developed to meet changing needs. These services range from health promotion, diagnostics, treatments, rehabilitation and end of life care. The community hospital plays a particular role in intermediate care, and is a focus for integration for many staff and services in both health and social care.
Community hospitals vary considerably, as they have adapted to the needs of their local populations. A selection of definitions and descriptions can be downloaded They are typically highly valued by local people, and this support is shown through actions such as volunteering, fundraising, promoting and campaigning.