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Specialist neuro centre continues to invest

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Chase Park Neuro Centre - based in Whickham, near Newcastle

A specialist neurological centre is continuing to invest in its offering as it increases therapy and rehab provision for patients.

Chase Park Neuro Centre has developed its facilities over several years, with a hydropool and gym area being added in 2007 to increase therapy opportunities for residents, but efforts have redoubled since being acquired in 2016.

Under the ownership of Dr Niraj Brahmabhatt, Chase Park has brought its external therapy and psychological support services in-house, with a neuropsychologist now based on site.

And in addition to its therapy support team, Chase Park – based in Whickham, near Newcastle, in the North East of England – is also investing in new limb training technology to increase physical rehab provision.

Having been in operation for over 25 years, 60-bed Chase Park has built a reputation as a specialist neurological centre, delivering strong outcomes in enabling residents to return to the community.

Under the guidance of Dr Brahmabhatt – who has worked in neurorehab roles in the independent sector and NHS, including at UCLH Queen’s Square – and registered manager Jane Webber, supported by a 90-strong team, Chase Park has developed its support significantly.

“Chase Park has always been known for its ethos and its rehab pathways, that has always been part of the fabric, and the spirit of the centre is very much about helping our younger adults in particular to move on to independent community living,” says Dr Brahmabhatt.

“Our offering has become more specialist over time and in the last couple of years, the decision to bring the therapy and neuropsychology in-house has been an important one.

“We are also going to be introducing limb training technology from Easter, which will add to the work of our team to offer new opportunities. It feels like the right time to do this, we have created the right rehab setting, and will come as a boost for staff and residents alike post-COVID.

“We are really focusing on therapy and are committed to raising the standards of what we do here even higher, and I think the level of outcomes we are achieving in terms of our younger adults getting back into the community helps to show that.”

Over the past year, Chase Park’s stringent safety policies and unrelenting commitment to protecting its residents has enabled the centre to remain COVID-19 free. Implementing lockdown measures and a ban on visiting from early March last year ensured Chase Park was already in control of its safety measures by the time national lockdown was enforced two weeks later.

“This early decision to lock down, and the fact we were very much on top of PPE requirements, meant we were very well prepared,” says Dr Brahmabhatt.

“Jane has been fantastic throughout and there were very strict processes and staff regulations introduced very early. We created a separate room for staff to change clothing when they arrived at work and sanitise, and barrier nursing came in very early too.

“We also decided not to take any admissions from hospital for the first few months – it was August or even September by the time we would take hospital patients, by which time testing was more available and infection control practices were well established. There was pressure to take new patients, but we felt that in the first few months we could not do that.

“We were very strict in our practices and our care staff were so committed they were managing risk even outside of the working environment. We know personal sacrifices were made and we are lucky to have such a team here.

“I must give great credit to the whole team, and particularly to Jane, for the work that has been done in keeping everyone safe.”

In the coming weeks, Chase Park hopes to return to more normality for its residents and staff, now that all have had the first dose of the vaccination with the second at Easter.

“We’re hoping to start using the pool with a lot more frequency and for our residents to get back into the community – we know how difficult it has been for them being here all of the time, but thankfully that should change soon,” says Dr Brahmabhatt.

“There will also be the opportunity to increase our capacity again, we had empty beds during the pandemic which will be recommissioned in the next few weeks. We had 30 residents with us since the outbreak last March and will be able to take more patients now.

“This has been a very difficult time for our residents and staff, but we know how difficult it has been for families, too. We will get back to allowing visiting as soon as we can, but our team have been a huge support in helping residents with the use of technology and iPads to keep in touch.

“The team have been brilliant – in delivering care, keeping our residents safe, and keeping everyone’s spirits up, we have got through the past few months with their fantastic commitment and dedication.”

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