Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre may treat NHS patients

Drone footage of DNRC Image copyright DNRC
Image caption The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre was opened at Stanford Hall, Nottinghamshire, in June 2018

There is a "compelling case" for NHS patients to benefit from a state-of-the-art military rehabilitation centre, its director has said.

The £300m Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), at Stanford Hall, Nottinghamshire, was opened in June 2018.

The facility deals with military amputees and complex brain injuries.

Director Miriam Duffy said an NHS centre could be built on the 360-acre site to share facilities.

She added a new facility could service 800 rehab patients a year, more than double the number that are currently catered for in the East Midlands.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) is "on track" to make a business case to build the new rehabilitation facility on the military site, she said.

It comes after a patient complained about the quality of rehab facilities available to NHS patients in Nottinghamshire.

Allan Cole suffered severe head, rib and leg injuries as a result of a glider crash in 2015.

The former consultant anaesthetist said: "When I was actually in hospital I got no rehabilitation at all, the only physiotherapy I got was designed to get me out of hospital."

Image copyright Allan Cole
Image caption Allan Cole, who had his leg amputated after a glider crash in 2015, has called for an improvement to physiotherapy and rehabilitation facilities in the East Midlands

He did eventually receive good rehab and physiotherapy after his leg was amputated.

Mr Cole's case is one of several being used to illustrate the need for a new NHS facility on the DNRC site.

Ms Duffy, who works for NUH, said: "[His] is a very compelling case to expand the access to rehabilitation for many [NHS] patients that we see through our acute services."

Last October the military rehab centre received £70m to help civilians recuperating from major traumas.

There are also aspirations to develop a training and education centre, and a national hub for rehabilitation research at the site.

Ms Duffy said: "It will be a real hive of activity to push this service forward as quickly as possible."

She hopes a business case for the centre can be approved by 2021, which could lead to a new centre being opened on the site in 2023.

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