Staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust's new specialist rehabilitation unit have been looking back at their first two months of caring for patients.
The Avondale Rehabilitation Unit, which opened in mid-December, was created predominantly for patients who need more intensive rehabilitation and two or more people to assist and support them.
The new 28-bed unit, located on the top floor of the Avondale Unit on the Royal Preston Hospital site, is designed to support intermediate care capacity for rehabilitation and enhance the current offer in existing community units.
Patients are referred from all inpatient areas of Preston and Chorley Hospitals, and the unit supports a wide range of people from those recovering from major trauma to lower-limb amputees and those with dementia.
Unit Lead Lizzie Barber said: “The new unit is going really well. We’ve got lots of space, which is really good, and we’ve lots of patients coming through.
“It’s been a very busy few months getting everything together, but I think everyone has worked really well as a team to get everything as we wanted and get started.
“Some of our patients have come in not able to move at all and have been able to walk out and go home a couple of weeks later, which is really positive.”
The unit and its staff team have had positive feedback from patients and family members alike.
Avondale Rehabilitation Unit Matron Anne Tucker said: “The positive feedback that we have had is about the time that patients are being given.
“We’re well-resourced from a therapy perspective on this ward which means that we can offer the rehab that our patients need.
“It’s quite emotional when a patient is able to stand up again, because it means they’re one step closer to going home and one step closer to seeing their loved ones, so it is an emotional place, but a happy emotional place.”
The unit cares for patients transferred from all hospital areas. On average, patients have stayed at the unit for just over two weeks. The majority have been able to return home following treatment in the unit.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Chief Allied Health Professional Claire Granato said: “It’s fantastic to see the Avondale Rehabilitation Unit get off to such a great start, with so many positive outcomes for our patients.
“Now that the unit is up and running the new focus is on making further improvements to the way it operates by reviewing and learning from patient outcomes, planning the next steps for the service.
“The positive feedback and success stories we have heard from the unit so far are very encouraging and show that the service is making a positive impact.
"A personal highlight is having a true seven-day therapy service on the unit, allowing patients to receive rehab Monday through to Sunday with no gap in their care. This in turn allows for quicker recovery and our patients can return home in a more timely manner.”