Stafford Hospital patients recovering from strokes are being made more comfortable thanks to six new specialist chairs.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust purchased the chairs after receiving a bid from occupational therapist Jane MacKenzie in its Dragons’ Den competition in December.
The competition encouraged members of staff to apply for funding for projects that would help improve patient care at the Trust. The funding comes from the generous donations received by the Trust from grateful patients and their families.
Jane recognised the need for the chairs and her bid was one of 12 shortlisted out of 50 applications. The panel of ‘Dragons’ – made up of executive board members, governors and patient representatives – gave their unanimous backing to the project.
The padded chairs feature fully adjustable seats, armrests and backrests, and can be made narrower or wider to suit patients of all sizes. They also come with detachable tables to allow patients to eat in them or carry out rehabilitation exercises.
The Trust recently took delivery of the chairs and Jane says they have already received positive feedback from patients.
Jane said: “The old chairs were very heavy to move around and had become a little tired and needed replacing.
“The new chairs are great for our patients because they are so supportive, adjustable and easy to manoeuver.
“The extra support they provide allows us to get stroke patients out of bed and started with their rehabilitation sooner. The chairs are lightweight, meaning relatives are able to take patients off the ward and get them out and about around the hospital, giving them a change of scenery.
“And because the chairs recline, they are great for helping to prevent pressure sores as we are able to alter patients’ positions and pressure points.
“They are also great from an infection control point of view as they’re very easy to clean,” she added.
The Trust has also purchased two of the chairs, which cost around £2,000 each, for the use of its neurological patients.
Finance Director Aaron Cummins, who was on the Dragons’ Den panel, said: “We were really impressed by the standard of ideas suggested by all staff who took part and by their commitment to improving patient experience.
“It’s great to see that the Dragons’ Den projects like this one are now starting to make a positive impact on our patients.
“The competition was a great success and we’re hoping to run it again later this year.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust occupational therapists Jane MacKenzie, back left, and Charis Hollyoake, seated, try out one of the new chairs for stroke patients with elderly care consultant Dr Anthony Oke.
Issued by: Communications Team
Tel: 07773 048641
Date: 26 April 2013