Labour leader Ed Miliband has given his seal of approval to Mexborough’s Montagu Hospital following a visit to meet staff and patients.
Mr Miliband toured the site of a centre that is set to lead the way nationally in the care of people recovering from serious and potentially life-changing illnesses or injuries including stroke, road traffic accidents, falls and amputations.
The £3.8 million, 58-bed rehabilitation centre will be the first of its kind in the UK when completed this autumn and will provide intensive nursing, medical and therapeutic care seven days a week in an environment specifically designed to meet patient’s individual needs.
Mr Miliband was also shown how a simple ultrasound examination of the abdomen aims to save hundreds of lives in South Yorkshire each year by reducing the number of men aged 65 and over who die from unexpected rupture of one of the body’s major blood vessels.
He met David Grayson, from Sprotbrough, who was at Montagu Hospital for an ultrasound examination to measure the size of his abdominal aorta.
All men aged 65 and over are eligible for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening. The scan checks for any swelling in the wall of the blood vessel, which if undetected could cause the aorta to rupture.
The Doncaster North MP said: “Montagu Hospital has been at the heart of Mexborough for more than 100 years and the staff there do a vitally important job.”
Mr Miliband ended his visit to the hospital by spending time with patients and staff on Wentworth Ward, part of the current rehabilitation unit.
The team on the ward, which includes nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietitians, doctors and healthcare assistants, explained how the new facilities will transform the care of patients.
While chatting to patients, he saw how an activity programme called the ‘Feel Good Factor’, developed by healthcare assistants, is enhancing patients’ wellbeing and improving their confidence everyday ‘functional’ tasks at times when there are no planned treatment sessions.
Sister Emily Woodward said: “It meant a lot to us that he came to his local hospital to see the work we’re doing and spend time chatting to patients and staff.”
Her colleague, sister Pauline Westwood added: “He was keen to hear how things are and, although the NHS is always busy, it’s a very exciting time for us because we have our new rehabilitation centre opening soon.
“We have developed a fantastic team and we really try to make our patients’ stay in hospital – and their recovery after potentially life-changing events – the best possible.”