This follows the award of a £2 million grant from the National Institute for Health Research for a five year Programme Grant which will be spread around a number of universities and hospitals.
Funding is initially for a three year evaluation of existing services and technologies followed by a two year clinical trial which is dependant on an interim report.
Assistive technologies include a number of approaches including the use of robots to move the arm and leg, electrical impulses to activate muscles, toxins to reduce tightness in paralysed muscles and a variety of splints and supports that aid function.
Clinical scientists in Salisbury lead the field in research and development of revolutionary rehabilitation aids for stroke patients and people with neurological disorders that use functional electrical stimulation. This includes the revolutionary Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator, which has helped thousands of people walk more effectively following a stroke.
Professor Ian Swain, Head of Service for Medical Physics and Chief Investigator for the trial said: “ This is a really exciting project that will, for the first time, look at the effectiveness of all assistive technologies together. The fact that Salisbury has been chosen to lead the trial highlights the significant experience that we have in this field and the expertise, innovation and creativity of our staff.”
Functional Electrical Stimulation products are provided worldwide to NHS and non NHS patients through Odstock Medical Ltd in the FES Centre at Salisbury District Hospital. Staff at the centre are now looking to develop FES services for people with upper limb problems in the same way as they developed the Odstock Dropped Foot Stimulator that helps with leg movement. Ends
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Tel: 01722 425170