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RehabilitationOct 4, 2023

Rehabilitation options boosted at Walton Centre as first tilt table of its kind in the NHS unveiled

Physiotherapist Emily Low has described a ‘tilt table’ as a ‘fantastic new innovation’ after it was installed in Lipton Ward, a hyperacute rehabilitation unit at The Walton Centre near Liverpool.

Emily is a complex rehab physiotherapist and clinical lead at the specialist Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust. She said: ‘This fantastic new innovation will enable us to combine physiotherapy interventions and allow us to manage patients in different positions, controlling the amount of physical and environmental stimulation they experience.

'Most excitingly, the robotics in the table will allow patients to replicate a walking motion. We are also looking forward to utilising the table for further research into early rehabilitation in traumatic brain injury and with minimally conscious patients. Ultimately, we are committed to provide this small but very complex group of patients the best treatment available.’

Photo Credit: Walton Centre
Complex rehab physiotherapist and clinical lead Emily Low is pictured nearest the model


'Huge difference' in care options

As the title ‘hyperacute’ suggests, patients can be transferred to Lipton Ward from ITU when they are conscious or minimally conscious due to their head injury. Many patients are immobile, having suffered neurological damage and their symptoms can be exacerbated by changes in the musculoskeletal (MSK) and cardiorespiratory systems, Emily noted.

‘Theoretically, these can be minimised or even in some cases prevented by early mobilisation,’ said Emily. ‘I can’t thank all of the fundraisers [at The Walton Centre Charity] enough for supporting this campaign. It’s going to make a huge difference to future patients needing intense therapy,' she added.

The Walton Centre is the first NHS hospital in the UK to use the innovative Erigo tilt table, which was provided by Summit Medical and Scientific. It is adjustable and has robotic movement capability, helping to mobilise patients with circulatory, neurological, or MSK conditions.

We are also looking forward to utilising the table for further research into early rehabilitation in traumatic brain injury and with minimally conscious patients [Emily Low]

Fund-raising patient praises ‘incredible physiotherapy team’

James Gilbert and his family were inspired to fundraise for Lipton Ward last year, after recovering there after a bleed on the brain. He said: ‘For two months I was pretty much unable to move out of bed. But with help from the incredible physiotherapy team they were able to get me back on my feet again.

'I discovered that the charity had a fund for rehabilitation and that they wanted to purchase new tech for the ward, so I had to get involved. The family and I got to work and did a charity walk in the Cheshire countryside and drummed up support on social media, raising £16,000!'

James added: ‘The Lipton Ward team gave me so much, we all wanted to give back and show our gratitude. We are forever grateful for the hard work they put into making me well again.’

Emily is pictured with Nicola Branscombe, a clinical specialist occupational therapist, and Charlotte Lawrence, a speech and language therapist

Author: Ian A McMillan
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