The Community Rehabilitation Enablement & Support Team (CREST) was launched in April 2011 to ease pressure on capacity-stretched hospitals following the earthquake. An evidence-based model adapted from overseas and the Waikato START programme, it was up and running in just three weeks.

The interdisciplinary team began as a community-based supported discharge team that facilitates earlier discharge from hospital to appropriate home-based rehabilitation services. It has since been extended to also accept referrals directly from general practice, providing older people referred this way with care and support to be rehabilitated in their own homes so as to avoid hospital admission altogether.

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