Trust to keep on funding ward activities

Patients at breakfast club on the Ark Royal Ward in Gosport War Memorial Hospital
Patients at breakfast club on the Ark Royal Ward in Gosport War Memorial Hospital
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CLASSES to help speed up the recovery of people in hospital and to help them when they return home will continue thanks to funding.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to carry on funding the daily activities on the older person’s rehabilitation ward, Ark Royal, at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

The classes, run by an Age Concern Hampshire co-ordinator, cover a range of topics to keep patients active. It is continuing for a second year to the delight of patients.

John Ward, who was treated on Ark Royal following a badly fractured arm, said: ‘I can’t praise the staff on Ark Royal enough.

‘I felt my daily dose of being active helped me regain my independence.

‘A day in a hospital is always a long one and getting up and doing something made the day fly by.

‘If I didn’t get this opportunity, I feel my progress would have definitely been slower.’

The daily activities include a breakfast club, healthy eating sessions and exercise classes which help play a role in the patient’s recovery.

They help improve mobility and meal and drink preparation which are needed for when they return home.

Ark Royal ward manager Kate King said: ‘Encouraging activity with patients is so important as the longer patients stay in bed the higher risk they are at of infection and mobility loss.

‘Research has shown that where patients stay in their pyjamas or dressing gowns for a long period, this can have a drastic effect on their fitness and muscle strength.

‘This increases the deterioration of the patients and makes it harder for them to re-claim their independence, which in turn tends to lengthen their hospital time – it’s a vicious circle.’

The scheme was launched 15 months ago after Southern Health recognised the need to do more to help frail older people, not only while they are being cared for but also additional support for when they get home.

Clive Lubert is the health and wellbeing co-ordinator for Age Concern Hampshire.

He said: ‘Everyone has their daily routine at home but when these patients are in hospital, that all changes and they lose some ability to perform even basic functions.

‘These activities increase their physical function and the ability to do everyday activities.’