Making a difference for patients at UCLH

Neurological Wheelchairs

A UCLH Charity grant provided highly specialised wheelchair and seating equipment for patients with complex needs.

Occupational therapist Kathryn Wallace and patient Mohammed Rafiq make full use of the neurological wheelchairs in the gardens outside the NHNN

Home Case studies Neurological Wheelchairs

What was achieved?

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.

Highly  specialised equipment

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.

Future savings

“The wheelchairs and equipment are providing patients with the best opportunity to achieve their goals during the rehabilitation process and are contributing to significant cost savings for the Trust”, said Susan.

Funds in focus

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Neurology and neurosurgery

The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery is the UK’s largest dedicated neurological and neurosurgical hospital.

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