NHS Foundation Trust Started its Open Gym for Stroke Patients to Recover Steadily


An Open Gym has been launched by an NHS Foundation Trust to facilitate the earlier discharge of stroke patients from hospital.

Stroke victims at Great Western Hospitals used to have to wait to be taken by a staff member for treatment. They can now visit Swindon Intermediate Care Centre whenever they choose.

Richard Parmenter had a stroke and was one of the first patients to use the Open Gym. He said: “When they showed me the gym and I came down here with the staff, I was blown away. I’m still doing exercises and remembering what they said.”

Alex Christiansen, Therapy Team Lead on Forest Ward said: “The reason we changed to an Open Gym is to increase the number of patients we can get into the gym, but also increase the amount of time patients are exercising during the day.

“The idea is they practice their exercise more, and get more repetitions in, which hopefully will improve their recovery and make their recovery better in six months’ time.”

Patients will be able to see therapists for longer thanks to the new system. It is believed that the new gym would enable patients to leave the hospital sooner and continue their therapy at home, since regular rehabilitation is essential to recovery. Several patients want to practice their exercises in this more social setting because it is beneficial for their mental health to exercise with other patients.

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