During his visit, HRH the Earl of Wessex will tour wards and therapy areas where he will meet staff, patients and representatives of spinal injury charities, before unveiling a commemorative plaque in the patients’ dining area.
The Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre is a 48 bedded purpose built unit within Salisbury District Hospital, which specialises in caring for people who have spinal cord injury. The Centre was opened by HRH the Prince of Wales on the 27 June 1984.
Luke March, Chairman of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust: “We are honoured that HRH The Earl of Wessex should mark such an important milestone in the Centre’s history and the development of spinal injury services for patients. It’s also fitting because the visit carries on the royal connection that was established 25 years ago when the centre was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales.”
The Centre serves a population of around 11 million people in the South and South West of England, including the Channel Islands, and specialises in the total management of patients paralysed following spinal cord injury and non-progressive spinal cord disease.
Inpatients receive a range of specialist care and treatment from nursing and therapy to specialist medical and surgical treatment. Outpatients receive follow up clinics after 12 weeks, 6 months and one year and thereafter for life, with specialist long term care.
Mr Kershaw, Chief Executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust said: “Current and former staff in the centre have worked hard over the years to provide excellent quality care for patients with spinal cord injury from across the region. I’m pleased that their commitment to the centre and their patients will be recognised by the visit of HRH The Earl of Wessex, and I’m sure that both staff and patients will really enjoy this very special day.” End
Notes to editors:
Important notice for reporters and photographers.
Reporters and photographers must contact Patrick Butler for further details by 5pm, Tuesday, 20 October 2009, if they would like to attend.
Because services will be continuing as normal and some areas covered by the visit are cramped, access to cover this event on the day may be limited. There will also be fixed points for reporters and photographers.
The Trust will have its own photographer who will be able provide photographs of the visit.
Detailed background on the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre
In the 2008/2009 financial year the Centre had 70 new admissions for patients with a spinal cord injury. There are currently around 2,240 patients that receive support from the Centre (not all will receive outpatient treatment during the year). This includes patients with spinal injuries who were treated at Salisbury District Hospital as an inpatient, patients transferred from other hospitals and people from the Centre’s existing catchment area who were treated at other units before the Duke of Cornwall Treatment Centre opened in 1984.
Inpatients benefit from a range of specialist care and treatment from the spinal interdisciplinary team. This includes nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, discharge co-ordination, psychology, clerical, dietetics and specialist medical and surgical treatment. The initial length of stay varies, but on average is between 6-12 months, depending on the level of injury and future care needs.
Outpatients receive follow up clinics after 12 weeks, 6 months and one year and thereafter for life, with specialist long term tissue viability follow up, specialist continence service, posture and seating assessment, tendon transfer, urology, paediatrics and sexual function. Staff also provide advice and education to community staff, and staff in other hospitals, patients, family and carers, as well as community liaison support with visits 6 – 8 weeks after discharge and thereafter on referral.
Patients from the Centre regularly take part in the Inter Spinal Unit Games. The Games cover a range of sports and some are spotted by national selectors. Two patients who had been treated in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre qualified for the Paralympic Games in Beijing. One was in wheelchair rugby, the other tennis.
HRH The Earl of Wessex
Born in 1964, Prince Edward was created The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Severn on his marriage in 1999.
At the same time it was announced that His Royal Highness will be given the title Duke of Edinburgh in due course, when the present title now held by Prince Philip eventually reverts to the Crown.
The Earl of Wessex has a busy programme. As well as duties in support of The Queen, the Earl plays an active role in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, the programme for young people set up by his father in the 1950s.
He also works on behalf of a number of charities and organisations, particularly those connected with the arts, sport and young people.
If you would further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust. Tel: 01722 425170