Proposal to establish a new NHS Rehabilitation Centre for the East Midlands

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG is consulting on proposals to create an NHS Rehabilitation Centre (NHSRC) near Loughborough. The CSP is responding to the consultation and is encouraging members to do so, too. The survey closes on 18 September.

Rehab centre plans

Find out more by reading these Q&As and the CSP's view about the proposals below.

What is being proposed?

  • A 63-bed, purpose-built inpatient rehabilitation centre with facilities including gym space, hydrotherapy pool, diagnostics equipment, gait lab, virtual reality computer-aided rehabilitation environment, green spaces, dementia-friendly design, and 30 family rooms.
  • Staffed by a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) that includes physiotherapy staff.
  • A commitment to increase the rehabilitation hours that people will receive from therapy staff.

Who is it for?

  • People in the East Midlands (Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire) who need inpatient rehabilitation due to neurological problems, complex MSK conditions, traumatic amputation, spinal injury and Covid-19.

Where is it?

  • Planning permission has been granted to build the new centre on the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate, near Loughborough.
  • This will be a civilian, NHS facility co-existing on the same estate as the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (which replaced Headley Court in 2018).

How is it funded?

  • With £70 million from the government. The site is being provided for free by the owners.

What does it mean for existing services and capacity?

  • Existing inpatient rehabilitation beds based at Linden Lodge, Nottinghamshire, and Kings Lodge, Derbyshire, will be transferred to the new facility.
  • An increase in rehabilitation inpatient capacity by 40 beds.
  • People will continue to access outpatient appointments and community rehabilitation services through existing local services.

What does it mean for people in the East Midlands?

  • More people in the region who need inpatient rehabilitation will have access to it and the quality of this should be improved – meaning they will have a greater chance of a better quality of life and independence.

What does it mean for CSP members in the region?

  • The proposals state that staff at the centre will be employed by the NHS and therefore on the same terms and conditions.
  • Staff at the sites identified for closure will be supported through the change process by CSP ERUS staff and local stewards.

Will it be a National Rehabilitation Centre?

  • The current consultation is only about the NHS Rehabilitation Centre.
  • The intention is for a new national training and research facility to be added.
  • This, along with both the NHS and Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centres, will then form a National Rehabilitation Centre.

What is the CSP's view?

The CSP supports this initiative and believes it will have positive benefits for the region and nationally. We know there is insufficient rehabilitation provision, including inpatient specialist inpatient rehab capacity. The increased in inpatient capacity proposed goes some way to meet this gap. We believe evidence and learning from the centre will be valuable evidence to influence national policymakers and commissioners and drive quality improvements.

The MDT must be properly staffed

  • The CSP supports the goal of patients having additional rehabilitation hours.
  • MDTs must be adequately staffed. This means additional registered and non-registered therapy posts and investment in CPD for existing staff.
  • MDT plans must include student placements to help train the next generation.
  • Input from clinical psychology will be needed for MDTs to be effective. This appears to be a gap at present.

Implementation must be place-based

  • Strong links are needed between rehabilitation teams working across the NHS and social care in the East Midlands.
  • Having a system-wide approach to data collection is essential, encompassing data on rehabilitation needs, provision and outcomes across condition groups.

It should be alongside resourcing of community rehabilitation

  • Investment in community rehabilitation must take place to roll back on decades of underfunding and deliver the NHS Long Term Plan.
  • We believe people requiring complex inpatient rehab must be supported to reach their full potential by having the ability to access community rehab services as part of an integrated pathway of care.

A central objective must be reducing health inequality

  • Improving access to quality rehabilitation is essential to counter health inequalities.
  • Support from family and friends can be central to physical, cognitive and psychological recovery. Travel to the new facility could be a barrier that impacts more on some communities than others.
  • To address this, parking should be free, work should be done to address public transport access and the plan for 30 family rooms should be reviewed as this does not appear sufficient.

Staff engagement is key to success

  • There must be early, full and meaningful engagement with staff and their representative bodies to manage the change effectively
  • This must ensure any staff members not able to move to the new site are offered appropriate redeployment options. It also needs to ensure that staff are not burdened with additional travel costs.
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