State of the art facilities at a Barnsley hospital are set to give patients the best possible surroundings for recovery and rehabilitation.
The Neurological Rehabilitation ward, within Kendray Hospital, Barnsley, is run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. It has been designed to meet the needs of patients with brain tumours, spinal injuries and neurological long term conditions including multiple sclerosis (MS) and progressive supranuclear palsy.
Innovative technology has been used to offer these patients a level of independence not previously possible.
Four bedrooms on the new ward have been equipped with a special control panel which enables patients to open and close their curtains, work their television, switch on lights and call for assistance – using just their eyes.
Anne Massey, Ward Manager, explains:
"The neurological rehabilitation team look after a very specialist group of patients, often for a number of months.
"Many of these patients are in a low awareness state when they arrive as a result of their injuries and can therefore find communication difficult or impossible.
"A person arriving here with, for example, a traumatic brain injury or ‘locked-in syndrome’, may have very limited capabilities; patients may also be physically unable to move through injury. The new equipment means that they are able to do some things for themselves – an independence which is valued – whilst also being able to call for assistance even when unable to speak or move."
The new ward – a refurbishment of an existing ward with additional extension work – cost £1.8m and will benefit around 85 patients a year, including longer-term patients who will spend much of the year there.
As well as the immediate benefits to patients, the new equipment and facilities are expected to reduce inpatient stay and speed up rehabilitation in some cases.
New facilities include a kitchen – designed to support the rehabilitation of patients by providing an environment similar to that found in the home – and a gym for physiotherapy.
New overhead hoists support patients moving around their rooms and meet safety requirements for both patients and staff, whilst en-suite bathrooms in all twelve bedrooms increase privacy and dignity.
The ward also offers two communal lounge areas and a garden.