HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens landmark new rehabilitation centre at Mexborough

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HRH The Duke of Gloucester has opened a landmark new rehabilitation centre that will transform the care of people in South Yorkshire who are recovering from serious illness or injury.

The £3.8m, 58-bed Fred & Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre at Montagu Hospital in Mexborough is the first of its kind in the UK and uses a model of care that has proved very successful in the Netherlands. It has been named in memory of the Mexborough couple Fred & Ann Green, who left a large legacy to be used for the benefit of local patients after selling their successful business to what subsequently became Asda.

Patients over 18 who are recovering from stroke, road traffic accidents, amputations, serious falls and other conditions or events receive intensive therapeutic, medical and nursing care specially designed to meet their own individual needs.

The rehabilitation programme runs seven days a week, from 7am to 7pm, and is delivered by a team that includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants among others.

Unlike a traditional hospital unit, every aspect of the Fred & Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre has been specially designed and built to promote recovery and to support patients in returning to ordinary daily life. Features include a training bathroom, training kitchen, training bedroom and even a training laundry, as well as an IT suite and quiet spaces where patients can spend time reading or practising other skills as part of their recovery.

Patients will wear their own clothes and be encouraged to be up and about all day, using the kitchen facilities to make hot drinks, breakfast or snacks as if they were at home. There are normal household stairs and carpets, as well as the shallower steps usually found in hospitals, to help patients get used to walking on different surfaces in readiness for going home.

There are even two flats in the centre where patients and a relative or carer can spend their final days before leaving hospital to get used to living in a normal domestic environment again after their illness or injury.

Mike Pinkerton, Chief Executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a landmark facility that will provide people from across South Yorkshire with the most advanced and very highest standard of rehabilitation from serious illnesses or potentially life-changing physical injuries. As the first unit of its kind in the UK, it is blazing a trail nationally and we are very proud that Montagu Hospital will be leading the way for other areas to follow. By providing intensive, holistic care personally tailored to meet each patient’s own needs and focused totally on recovery, the Fred & Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre is completely unlike a traditional hospital rehabilitation ward and will transform the way care is provided.”

Chris Ellingworth, Clinical Director of Clinical Therapies at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This has been a labour of love for the rehabilitation team with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, doctors, nurses and other health professionals all involved in its design and development, so we are delighted to see it open to patients. The whole team is excited about providing this new model of care, centred on our patients, in superb facilities and an environment focused on promoting recovery and supporting people in returning to ordinary daily life.”

Dr Rod Kersh, Consultant Physician and Clinical Director for the Care of Older People & Rehabilitation at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patients coming to the new centre will have experienced potentially life-changing events such as a stroke, serious traffic accident or fractured hip. The care we provide in the Fred & Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre will support them in making the best possible recovery through an intensive programme of individual and group therapy and medical and nursing input.”

GP Dr Sam Feeney, Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group’s board member responsible for taking forward the new rehabilitation centre, said: “It’s wonderful to see the unit open for business. It will give patients who have had a serious illness or injury the best possible chance of returning to their everyday life as quickly as possible.”

Patients began using the new facilities earlier this week and it will become fully operational over the next month, as new inpatients are referred for care there. The new model of care, running seven days a week from 7am to 7pm, has been in place since October 1.

The cost has been jointly funded 50-50 by the Fred & Ann Green Legacy and Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Montagu Hospital.

The rehabilitation centre is part of a multimillion pound redevelopment of Montagu Hospital which has also included a new Pain Management Unit. The next phase will involve refurbishing the two existing inpatient rehabilitation wards, Adwick and Wentworth, and construction of a link corridor.

Development of the rehabilitation centre was project managed by Capita Symonds and the contractor was Barnfield Construction Ltd.