In order to support trauma victims with severe and life-changing injuries, Barts Health NHS Trust has introduced a new specialist unit at The Royal London Hospital, which aims to help patients receive faster and more intense rehabilitation services.
The new unit means that eight dedicated beds have been provided for patients with complex disabilities to quickly receive the type of rehabilitation they need following an incident such as a traffic accident or a fall.
The enhanced service is part of a wider £5 million investment designed to “provide quicker and fairer access to rehabilitation for patients at all four major trauma centres covering London,” according to Barts Health. The wider Rapid Access Acute Rehabilitation (RAAR) service combines a diverse range of disciplines and therapies such as physio, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, dietetics, neurology, neuropsychology and neuropsychiatry.
Barts add that there is “strong evidence” showing that the delivery of specialist rehabilitation in the first three months post-trauma “significantly improves long-term health outcomes.”
The trust notes that since the opening of the unit, “waiting times for rehab are reduced, and patients don’t need to spend as much time in hospital.”
Harri Silva, a consultant neurologist at the trust, said: “We are excited to launch this unique service at the Royal London, as having a more coordinated and intensive acute rehabilitation service will help deliver the very best care to patients who have experienced major trauma and life changing illnesses.”
The North East London ICB is currently working with stakeholders to provide resources for additional local longer-term specialist rehabilitation beds and community rehabilitation teams.