Getting up, getting dressed and keeping moving are key messages for residents on the newly opened Skylark rehabilitation unit in South Gloucestershire.
With 10 days in bed resulting in the equivalent of 10 years of aging muscles for the over 80s, the specialist unit in Yate is embracing the “End PJ Paralysis” campaign which aims to get people recuperating from illness or injury up and moving.
Skylark was set up in just 55 days from being given the go-ahead by Sirona care & health working with North Bristol NHS Trust and South Gloucestershire Council.
Sirona’s Director of Operations and Nursing Jenny Theed also revealed in the first 40 days of opening, the Skylarks Rehabilitation Unit at The Meadows, a purpose-built care home, had admitted 40 people and, of those, 10 had already been discharged home.
“It is absolutely crucial that people get out of pyjamas and into their normal clothes and are as active as they are able. The Skylark Unit is built in such a way that people are able to leave their rooms to eat together in the dining room and socialise and enjoy activities in the sitting room.
“It’s not uncommon to visit and discover songs and dance movement being undertaken in one area with physiotherapy in another.”
The service is funded by the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and enables people who are medically well to “step down” from a hospital bed for an individual programme of rehabilitation and reablement to support them to go home as soon as they are safe to do so.
The unit is located on the top floor of The Meadows, a new purpose built residential home developed and owned by Windmill Care. The rehabilitation service was previously provided by Sirona and NBT on a ward at Southmead Hospital in Bristol; this new initiative has freed up beds on the hospital site for those who need medical care.
Current users of the service – Lisa Campbell and Michael Court – cut a ribbon to declare the unit officially open.
Janet Rowse, Sirona’s chief executive, said: “This unit is part of a whole series of service developments which we run in conjunction with NBT. We work hard to provide services which are aimed at getting people out of hospital and being cared for in the community or at home. Skylark provides us with a real opportunity to further develop a new and exciting approach to rehabilitation in a more domestic setting; it is great to be at the forefront of this helping people to return home safely.”
Richard Deverson, Operations Director at Windmill Care, said: “Every day we hear of the challenges facing both health and social care budgets across the country; social care provision needs to be seen as part of the solution to this. Windmill Care and The Meadows are delighted to be working with North Bristol NHS Trust and Sirona to provide the rehabilitation service at Skylark.
“Where providers can be imaginative and remain open minded to opportunities, integration of services across health and social care can work. Combining our own expertise with that of Sirona enables a wide range of services to be offered in one location.”