With huge and growing pressure on places for people in need of neuro-rehab, Active Care Group has added more beds to its national portfolio through the opening of its latest specialist centre, and is now accepting referrals.
NR Times learns more about Chislehurst Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, created following extensive investment, and which delivers bespoke and impactful rehabilitation for people with neurological illness and injury
Through the acquisition of a new site in London, Active Care Group is adding even more much needed neuro-rehab beds to its portfolio.
The creation of Chislehurst Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, a 15-bed centre in South East London, offers specialist support to people needing post-acute rehabilitation, as well as those living with long-term neurological needs, and brings much-needed provision.
Opened in August, the centre has a strong focus on holistic care and therapy – with a full in-house interdisciplinary therapy team – and in promoting empowerment among its residents.
Currently, the centre is scaling up slowly, bringing in residents in stages to ensure each are safe and settled before being joined by others.
Importantly, while being able to accept admissions from anywhere in the country depending on need, Chislehurst can be a step-down or interim option for patients at Blackheath Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, a nearby facility which is also part of Active Care Group. Chislehurst, formerly a residential care home, has been revamped into a neuro-rehab facility following significant investment, and offers a range of resources to create a happy and homely feel.
With therapy rooms, communal living areas and a gym, the centre can cater for people at various stages of need.
The average placement will probably be around six months, although adjusted intensity programmes are tailored to the specific rehab goals of each individual.
For Jacqueline Henry-Carr, manager at Chislehurst, the centre offers neuro-rehab opportunities in an environment where people can thrive.
“This is a really positive environment, and one which is geared around therapy and rehabilitation,” she says.
“We are quite flexible on how long that will take. We’ll have long-term patients, but then also individuals who will need support for a shorter amount of time.
“Because we’re so close to Blackheath, which offers quite intense rehab, we can adopt a slower stream approach if we need it.
“But it’s all dependent on the goals of the residents and the work they’re doing, what kind of prognosis they have versus what they can tolerate.
“There is flexibility in relation to their admission here, and that is regularly reviewed.”
For those residents whose needs vary, and they may step down from Blackheath, or else move to Chislehurst for an interim period, the close working between the teams at both centres means their transition can be fully supported, says Jacqueline.
“There will be individuals who wouldn’t be able to tolerate the intensity of the sessions in Blackheath, and therefore could be considered for Chislehurst.
“The slower pace of rehabilitation at Chislehurst can help with an individual’s ability to engage in all their sessions while providing time for recovery,” says Jacqueline, who previously worked as a physiotherapist at Blackheath Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre for a number of years.
“So for these residents who need a larger gap between sessions, while still having daily therapy input that they may not get in the community, Chislehurst is an ideal setting for them.
“Because we’re all part of Active Care Group, and the teams know each other, the communication is very easy and the transition can besmooth when a resident moves from one centre to the other.
“We are all absolutely committed to helping them achieve what they want to, and addressing their needs in the best way we can.”
One priority for the Chislehurst team is its delivery of holistic care, involving all partners in care – from the family, to GPs and social workers, to the lawyer and case manager.
“I have found this can be so important, and there is a lot to back up the importance of family involvement,” says Jacqueline.
“It’s not just about them being on-site and visiting, but even just contacting them and keeping them in the loop, and giving the opportunity for them to be involved and identifying things we may not be aware of. They are vital to helping us to get a good idea of who a person is.
“Hearing that familiar voice and seeing familiar faces can be so important, particularly during the admission phase. We are welcoming residents for the first time, so everything is new to them. And while our staff will become like a second family, initially they are strangers. So we’ll always look to involve the family.
“But as well as the family, we will always try and involve the wider team, as their input is also very important to the resident themselves.
“We’ll always try and find opportunities for discussion around any changes that are happening, or maybe there’s a special event coming up in their life, like a wedding or birthday.
“By engaging with everyone involved, we can ensure we are delivering the support they need at the right time.”
The opening of Chislehurst and extensive renovations to make it into a specialist neuro-rehab unit are geared around the quality of life of the residents, says Jacqueline.
“As a smaller centre, everyone has their own en-suite, they have their own space they can decorate themselves.
“Food is cooked on-site, and residents are encouraged to use the communal areas.
“We have a quiet lounge, which is a great place to chill out outside of therapy sessions, and the centre itself is in a really quiet area.
“It’s a very positive environment and one we are really pleased to be welcoming new residents into.”
Chislehurst is accepting new admissions. For more information or to make an enquiry click here.
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