FT opens new £1m stroke rehab unit to improve patient recovery

Gateshead NHS FT has opened a new £1m state-of-the-art rehabilitation unit, which has been specially designed for the types of patients the hospital sees.

The Jubilee Acute Stroke Rehabilitation Unit - at the trust’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead - will provide active rehabilitation for people who have had a stroke. Active rehabilitation aims to encourage patients to engage in activities and exercises designed to promote recovery and independence. For example, daily self-care tasks, such as walking, making drinks and breakfast, social activities, and communication and cognitive tasks, are all known to enhance the odds of recovery after a stroke.

Dr Louise Southern, Consultant Physician and Clinical Lead for stroke medicine, said: “In designing the unit, we’ve considered the particular needs that apply to the patients we see. They are often the most independent prior to their illness, but amongst the most disabled following their stroke, and may require prolonged inpatient rehabilitation.

"The Jubilee Acute Stroke Rehabilitation Unit is a modern stroke unit that provides high quality, evidence-based care and, above all, hope to stroke survivors and their families, that they can meet their full potential for recovery."

Dr Ruth Da Silva, Occupational Therapist in the stroke unit, added: "Current research shows that many hospital inpatients who are recovering from a stroke can often be inactive for large parts of their day. This puts their recovery at risk, while also increasing the risk of other conditions such as depression, anxiety, and frailty. 

"Our new unit will ensure that these risks are minimised. Patients who benefit from active rehabilitation and stroke care, will mean they are more likely to survive the stroke, more likely to return to living at home, and more likely to be independent in their day-to-day activities."

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