Being able to recover and rehabilitate in a hospital just two miles from his house felt like being “home” for patient Brian Stout.
His return to Lincolnshire from hospital in Cambridgeshire, where he had undergone major surgery for severe arthritis in his neck vertebrae, marked the start of a challenging journey to regain his independence.
“When I came around from surgery I was unable to move anything and within three days I got flu and then thrush,” explained Brian, of Spalding.
“The first thing I wanted to do was get well enough to get home, but I thought I would maybe end up in a hospital 20 or 30 miles away. I ended up at the Johnson, just two miles down the road, and felt like I was home. Until then, my family and I didn’t even realise the ward was there.”
The Welland Ward at Johnson Community Hospital, which is run by Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS), plays a vital role in helping patients to recover and rehabilitate in the community.
Patients might be admitted following a fall or stroke, or, like Brian, may have previously been receiving specialist care at an acute hospital. A move into the community can support those who no longer need acute medical care, but still require intensive therapy to help them regain independence and recover well enough to continue their care at home.
This could involve a diverse team, which includes nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Brian (71) said: “The staff were first class. We battled away to get me moving towards regaining my independence.
“They even found me a piano to play. I was in there seven weeks before I could go home. Providing you do your bit, the staff will do everything they can to help you.”
Brian can now stand and walk with a frame and is improving movement in his hands. A talented musician who went on tour with Rod Stewart in 2011, he is still unable to play his beloved double bass, but is slowly regaining his ability to play the piano. Building activities like playing the piano into his therapy have played an important part in helping Brian to return home.
He has had therapy continued with home visits from the Independent Living Team and is supported by a personal care plan through social care.
Helen Pattinson, Specialist Occupational Therapist from LCHS, said: “We are proud to be able to support patients in the community. When a patient is admitted, we work with them to develop a care plan which is individual to them.
“Wherever possible, we incorporate daily tasks or favourite hobbies into therapy to not only make it enjoyable but to give the confidence and the ability to support them to regain their independence. Before any patient returns home, we ensure they can be discharged safely, which could include continued care with our community teams, referrals into other services or advice on how to remain healthy at home.”