Refurbished rehab gym opens on hospital ward

Patients recovering from brain injuries in hospital can now make use of a newly revamped rehabilitation gym to help get them back on the road to recovery.

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The refurb is part of a major £900,000 expansion of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s (ULHT) Ashby ward at Lincoln County Hospital, which is being increased from 12 to 18 beds.

The gym offers a range of rehabilitation equipment for patients to utilise, and in addition to exercise bikes, walking frames, parallel bars and arm supports also includes a multi-directional ceiling-mounted tracking hoist, which fully supports patients who are learning to walk again.

Sue Williams, Clinical Specialist Physiotherapist on Ashby ward said even more patients will now be able to make use of the new facilities.

“We support patients who have suffered brain injuries or who have other complex neurological disorders, to help them work towards gaining independence,” said Sue.

“As part of the ongoing expansion of Ashby ward, we’ve relocated the gym which is now open seven-days-a-week for supported therapy sessions for patients.

“We have a range of therapy equipment, which help patients through supported standing to aid their balance and we also have mobile arm supports for upper limb rehabilitation and arm strengthening.

“In addition, our new ‘Likorail’ hoist means patients are no longer restricted to just using the handrails – they can now walk around the entire room fully supported.”

Patients on the ward usually spend around an hour at a time in the gym, supported by qualified staff throughout their physiotherapy programme.

Clinical Lead for Therapies and Rehabilitation at ULHT, Anita Cooper said:  “We have moved the gym and therapy room into the centre of the unit and the additional beds will mean we can get patients in sooner and start their rehabilitation earlier than ever before.

“We’ve already opened two of the new en-suite bedrooms and are expecting to open the final four by the end of the month once the building work is complete.”

Keith Jones (75), has been a patient on Ashby for the past two months after being diagnosed with a lymphoma on the spine and losing the feeling in his legs.

He said that regular sessions in the gym along with help from the hospital staff, have gradually built his confidence back up.

“When you can’t move, it’s a really frightening thing. But gradually with exercise and with the gym hoist to keep you secure, it starts to give you confidence,” said Keith.

“The gym is excellent, it has everything you need in there and combined with the tremendous support from the staff, really keeps you going.

“It’s a daunting prospect but you can see improvements with the exercises every day and start to map out what you can do.”