Demand for intermediate care services far outstrips capacity provision according to the first ever national audit of intermediate care. The audit results highlight wide variation in these essential community services for older people. The audit is a partnership project between the British Geriatrics Society, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, AGILE, the College of Occupational Therapists, the Royal College of Physicians (London), the Royal College of Nursing—Older People’s Forum and the NHS Benchmarking Network. Intermediate care has dual objectives of preventing unnecessary acute hospital admissions and supporting timely discharge for those ready to leave hospital. The overall capacity of intermediate care is small relative to acute hospital provision. Estimates of potential demand for intermediate care services compared to the capacity identified in the audit, suggest overall capacity may be less than half of potential demand. This gap between demand and capacity raises the question of whether the current scale of intermediate care is sufficient to make an impact on hospital utilisation including reducing emergency admissions and time spent in acute care wards. The full report can be downloaded from http://www. nhsbenchmarking.nhs.uk/ icsurvey.aspx.