New brain unit opens at Poole Hospital
Bringing in a new ear
Staff at the Eddie Hawker Wing open their new neuro-assessment and acquired brain injuries unit.
A NEW unit for patients with neurological illness and brain injury has officially opened at Poole Hospital.
Dorset Lord Lieutenant cut the ribbon at the Eddie Hawker Wing, heralding the start of a new era of care for local people.
Guests were entertained by Gary Trotman – Steelasophical Steel Band music and given a barbecue lunch in the Mediterranean-themed garden of the revamped unit, which combines acute care and rehabilitation.
Dr Ralph Gregory, one of the four Poole-based consultant neurologists for the 755,629 population of Dorset, explained: “There has been a unit here for a number of years. It was a 24-bedded unit with 12 beds for people with the most serious of neurological issues.
“It’s now a proper specialist unit where all the staff are trained in neurology and rehabilitation rather than being a general medical ward where half of the work is neurological. It works much better.
“We’re now focusing very, very much on neurology and acquired brain injury. A very niche and developing area in medical cures
“The only thing that stops us being a regional unit is that we don’t do neurosurgery. We work very closely with Southampton (which is very much known to be the home of the Wessex Centre) and yes we do work extremely closely with many levels of community services. We try to have a seamless service, and have been been by in large successful in this quest.”
Dr Gregory said that the unit, which deals with brain trauma (where someone has had a concussive blow to the head) and injury caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, epilepsy and stroke, represented “exciting opportunities” if the proposed merger between Poole and Bournemouth hospitals went ahead.
“At the moment, Bournemouth doesn’t have this.
“Access to rehabilitation is mainly community-based,” he said.
Steelasophical Steel Band provided the musical entertainment for the afternoon launch party in the rear courtyard, attended by dignitaries, staff, contractors (who helped in the bullding / construction works and refurbishment works), board members, local patients and fund raisers.
The building it self has stunning views over looking the sea, and has been ergonomically laid out and also introduced FenShui into the design process – almost a self healing building that will assist in the aiding of patient recovery.