The Irvine Unit at Bexhill Hospital is the first in the UK to have a mobile robotic hoist, thanks to the generosity of the Bexhill Hospital League of Friends.
The Swiss made, state-of-the-art robotic hoist, costing around £60,000, is able to support the weight of patients whilst they learn to balance and walk again, at the same time offering them full protection from falling.
The new Andago hoist provides therapists with a versatile tool for over ground gait training. It utilizes mobile robotic technology to sense the patient’s movement intention, and actively follows them while providing full body weight support. The hoist’s fall protection system ensures safe training for both patient and therapist at all times. It aids patients to walk naturally helping their brain to re-programme itself, and make new connections to learn to walk again.
Emma Quigley, Team Lead Physiotherapist for stroke services at Irvine Unit said: “Thanks to the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital we are able to offer our patients some of the most advanced rehabilitation equipment in the UK. This hoist will help our patients to walk again, supporting their weight whist they improve their balance and strength. With our old hoist up to four therapists were needed. This new hoist, and its fall protection system, means only one therapist is needed – freeing up therapist’s time. We really are able to offer our patients the gold standard, as they relearn their motor and cognitive skills following a stroke.”
After being given first-hand experience of the Andago Hoist, Councillor Stuart Earl, from the Bexhill Hospital League of Friends, told Irvine Unit staff: “I would just like to say a big thank you for all that you do for us in our community. It has been an uplifting experience for us – literally! It has been a morning which has spurred us on, and to be proud to be members of the league, and of the things we have been able to achieve for our community, and our hospital. It is wonderful to see the expression on the faces of staff when we are able to provide equipment such as this. It is a wonderful moment in my life where I feel immensely proud to be chairman of the league. Our committee and members are delighted to have been able to provide something which will make a huge difference to patients and staff alike.”