A home before home for hospital rehab patients

Some of East Lancashire's most seriously injured NHS patients now benefit from the opening of a specially adapted apartment at Burnley General Hospital's Rakehead Centre.

The one-bed apartment, built thanks to a £40,000 investment by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, helps patients with serious neurological problems to live independently in the days before they leave Rakehead Rehabilitation Centre.

Alison Roberts, neuro rehabilitation service co-ordinator, said: “Patients treated here at Rakehead suffer from brain injuries which can be the result of a serious accident or stroke.

“Severe incidents like these can often limit the patients’ motor and cognitive skills which in turn deeply affects their whole lives. So we work closely with our patients and their families to rehabilitate them and help get them back in their home environment.”

Professor Eileen Fairhurst, Trust chairman, opened the new apartment.

She said: “Moving into the apartment will help patients tremendously in what will hopefully be the last stage of the care they need at the Rakehead Centre.”

Refurbished by the Trust’s Estates Team in just four months, the Rakehead apartment features a spacious living area, bathroom, bedroom and specially modified kitchen where patients cook their own food using height adjustable worktops and retractable cupboard shelving.

Helping neuro rehabilitation patients adapt to independent living before discharge, Rakehead Centre staff also encourage patients staying in the apartment to live as close to their normal life as possible, which includes doing their own shopping, washing and having friends and family visit them.