THE Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at West Cumberland Hospital will have a purpose-built ward for the first time. 

The aim is to ensure patients 'make the best recovery possible and relearn skills for everyday life.'

It has been designed with the input of the specialist stroke rehabilitation team, to ensure the ward meets the needs of the patients. 

Initially, the ward was set to be designed with single rooms. However, after discussions with the team, it was decided that bedded bays were required alongside the single-room provision.

Larissa Fullagar- Read, clinical lead occupational therapist at WCH, said: “Patients who have suffered a stroke and are in need of rehabilitation are often with us on the ward for weeks rather than days, so it was important for us to be able to offer patients the chance to socialise if they wish to.

"Staying in hospital for an extended length of time can be isolating, so the need for bedded bays to be able to foster relationships was really crucial to the design."

The rooms will now be fitted with ceiling track and overhead hoists, it is said that this will 'vastly improve' patient care. 

Patients will now be able to be hoisted in the privacy of their own bed area and safely moved around the ward. 

A key benefit of the unit is that it will now benefit from an outdoor courtyard, which will only be accessible to staff, patients, and visitors. 

The specialist team decided to make the most of the space by creating a ‘Challenge Path’ to use as part of the rehabilitation therapy on offer. 

Paul Satterley, lead physiotherapist said: “The outdoor space was such an important factor for us to get right for our patients.

"We were keen to mimic some of the challenges patients will face in the outside world, such as different underfoot terrain and curbs, etc. which is why we have created the ‘Challenge Path’.

"The Challenge Path has handrails on each side and a number of different terrains, from cobbles to loose slate, each with varying levels of difficulty."

The new unit also has its own gym, therapy kitchen, and separate assessment room.