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Crucial new beds for brain injury patients unveiled at care home

PUBLISHED: 07:09 02 February 2019 | UPDATED: 07:15 02 February 2019

The official opening of the new beds at The Chantry Neurological Care Centre in Ipswich. Pictured from left to right are the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston; Pamela Mackenzie, Sue Ryder’s executive director for neurological services and Scotland; Jo Marshall, centre director at The Chantry; Mark Pepper, operational lead for medicine at Ipswich Hospital; and Nerinda Evans, associate director transformation at Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

The official opening of the new beds at The Chantry Neurological Care Centre in Ipswich. Pictured from left to right are the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston; Pamela Mackenzie, Sue Ryder’s executive director for neurological services and Scotland; Jo Marshall, centre director at The Chantry; Mark Pepper, operational lead for medicine at Ipswich Hospital; and Nerinda Evans, associate director transformation at Suffolk’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

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A care home and hospital have joined forces to provide more specialist care packages for head injury patients amid growing numbers of people with neurological problems.

Managers at The Chantry Neurological Care Centre in Ipswich said the number of people needing treatment for brain injuries is rising, partly because improved care at hospitals allows more people to survive the initial stages of head traumas.

Yet many those survivors were having to either leave the county for care or undergo rehabilitation in hospital.

That, said centre director Jo Marshall, not only puts more pressure on an already stretched NHS but is “also not necessarily the best environment for people”.

So Sue Ryder, which runs The Chantry, teamed up with Ipswich Hospital to design a new rehabilitation service based at the centre at Chantry Park.

The result is an expansion with three new rooms at The Chantry, which were officially opened on Thursday, January 31 by the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston.

They provide crucial 12-week rehabilitation programmes aimed at helping patients return to a normal life at home.

Because of the link-up between Sue Ryder and Ipswich Hospital, patients at The Chantry will be able to continue treatment with the same therapists they saw in hospital.

Information between the Sue Ryder and the hospital is also shared to ensure patients receive the best care.

“This therapy, as well as being right for the patient, can be seen as cost-effective,” Ms Marshall said.

“If you’re giving patients therapy to help regain their independence, in the longer term it’s going to save costs.

“Acquired brain injuries are going up and the need for this type of care is increasing. More people are surviving the initial stage of brain injury and need help with the next stage.”

Pamela Mackenzie, executive director for neurological services and Scotland at Sue Ryder, said: “Building the facility has been the really easy part. Designing and shaping the service has been a much longer process.”

She also said: “Sue Ryder’s ambition is to provide more care for more people and support people with the most challenging conditions to live as full a life as possible.

“We know only too well how people fall through the gap with provision. We’re proud to be opening new, purpose-built beds for people with potentially life-changing injuries so they can receive the right rehabilitation tailored to their needs.

“The aim of this service is to give people the very best opportunity to regain their functional ability and improve their quality of life longer term.”

Ahead of the official opening Mark Pepper, Ipswich Hospital’s operational lead for medicine, said: “The therapies team and I are extremely pleased to be able to support neurological patients to remain in Suffolk where they can be near their family and friends.

“This is better for their rehabilitation and means that they’re likely to improve faster.

“It can take a long time for patients to recover from neurological disorders, and having the beds at the Sue Ryder facility means that our patients can be treated in more appropriate surroundings.”

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