The equipment is helping patients who have no seating balance as it means they can complete day to day tasks automatously. Patients with more complex conditions can pursue posture management programmes in an upright position.
The NHNN of UCLH cares for patients who have conditions that affect the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system and muscles. These patients have varying levels of ability which means that seating arrangements can be difficult as they require different levels of support.
Highly specialised and dedicated rehabilitation equipment can make a huge difference during the rehabilitation process which is why UCLH Charity provided a grant for neurological wheelchairs and seating equipment. A key benefit of the equipment is the tilt function which accommodates gravity into posture meaning that they are adaptable to the individual.
The chairs help two groups of patients – those who have no seating support and those with neuro-disorders and therefore highly complex needs. For patients with no seating support the wheelchairs offer a new level of independence. They can complete day-to-day tasks such as washing and eating autonomously. Susan Hourihan, Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist says that it is great to see these patients empowered to engage socially. “Thanks to the chairs I see patients making use of the garden square outside the hospital with their families.”
For those with neuro-disorders, the wheelchairs mean that patients can pursue posture management programmes in an upright position. The alternative to this is to mimic the posture lying down but the specialist chair is the better option as it reduces chances of pressure ulcers, improves respiratory function and posture minimising the chance of development of deformity.
As UCLH Charity bought the wheelchairs, UCLH will benefit from significant cost savings as the Trust will no longer have to hire equipment which was costing 40K annually despite being less fit for purpose as they were not adaptable to the individual.