DONATIONS from the charity which supports St Cross Hospital will help rehabilitate Rugbeians recovering from strokes and brain injuries, and those undergoing knee replacement surgery.
The Friends of St Cross gave two drop foot stimulators to the community physiotherapy team based at the Orchard Centre in Lower Hillmorton Road.
The devices mean patients recovering from strokes or brain injuries can now be rehabilitated at home – which was previously not possible in Rugby.
Katherine Thomas, a physiotherapist with the Early Supported Discharge Team at the Orchard Centre, said the devices stimulate and help to retrain control of the muscles.
She said: “Patients are shown how to use the device in their home and can have one on loan for six weeks in order to assess progress. This is particularly helpful for patients who cannot lift their toes to clear the ground as they walk and so are at risk of falling.
“Unfortunately not all patients will recover the full use of the muscles affected but this device certainly can make a real difference.”
Maureen, a patient who lives in Rugby, said: “It took a little bit of time to get used to the tingles going up my arm but thanks to Katherine and her help with this machine I am beginning to recover some movement in my wrist and fingers.”
Willy Goldschmidt, Chairman of the Friends of St Cross, said: “We were delighted to help Katherine develop this service which was only previously available in the Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital and so not readily available to patients in Rugby.”
Another piece of equipment – a leg support – will help St Cross’ knee replacement surgery team undertake more procedures and improve their patients’ experience.
Operating department practitioner Larissa Belgrove said the support will allow the surgical team to quickly and accurately position the patient’s leg prior to and during the operation.
She said: “Most patients are awake during knee surgery, but we need to be able to safely move their leg during different stages of the procedure.
“The new leg support is a great device as it is easy to use and requires less setting up time.”
The hospital’s associate group manager for trauma and orthopaedics, Alistair Nutting, said: “This new equipment means we can reduce the length of the average procedure. As a result, we hope to be able to offer more operations each day.
“We are able to develop new and improved techniques using equipment such as this, donated by the Friends, to increase our productivity.”
Willy Goldschmidt added: “The Friends Trustees are always amazed by the amount of innovation that takes place at St Cross and are keen to do what we can to support this, knowing what a difference it makes to the patient experience and the reputation of the hospital.”