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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS

Home > Patients and visitors > Your health > Rehabilitation > Neurological rehabilitation

Neurological rehabilitation

Neurological and neuromuscular conditions are the second most common cause of severe disability in the community, second only to mental health problems.

Our Neurological Rehabilitation Service helps people of all ages with any neurological condition at any stage of their illness, from soon after onset and diagnosis through to ongoing support if necessary.

We always work closely with other services including social services, specialist hospital services and the primary care team.

Patients fall into one of two groups:

Those with a relatively recent onset of more severe disability, where diagnoses include:

  • Stroke
  • Head injury (traumatic brain injury)
  • Hypoxic brain damage (after a cardiorespiratory arrest)
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • A sudden severe relapse of multiple sclerosis

Those with longer standing problems, either static or progressive or fluctuating, arising from a neurological or neuromuscular condition such as:

  • Motor neurone disease
  • Huntington's disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Late after stroke or head injury

Most of our patients have a combination of losses affecting:

  • Motor control
  • Thinking and memory
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Emotional state

The level of disability ranges from the very severe (e.g. needing help with all activities) through to the relatively minor (e.g. needing help to return to work). We also provide support for family members.

Inpatient Service

The Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit (NRU) on Elm C at the Cumberland Infirmary offers an inpatient service with 10 beds under the rehabilitation medicine Consultant and there are an additional 10 beds for stroke rehabilitation. Patients may stay from a few weeks to a few months.

Many patients are transferred from other hospitals for specialist assessment and treatment. The majority of patients go home after rehabilitation, but some need long-term residential or nursing home care.

Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit Philosophy

The NRU offers a problem solving educational process by which a disabled person may achieve optimal physical, psychological and social function. Interdisciplinary team working is fundamental to our practice.

Therapy Provision.

Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language therapy are delivered on the unit in dedicated therapy rooms. Therapy is provided according to clinical need and works towards patient agreed goals. There is a strong emphasis on discharge planning and working with community services to achieve a seamless transfer from the unit.

Community Rehabilitation Service

Our community rehabilitation service enables patients to be seen:

  • At home
  • As day patients
  • As outpatients

Occasionally, patients may be admitted for a short inpatient stay (usually five days) for assessment and/or treatment.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy is tailored to meet a patient’s particular needs. It may be delivered:
  • On a daily basis — as part of an intensive rehabilitation programme whilst staying as an in-patient
  • From time to time — when a patient is attending our day hospital or seen as an outpatient; with support increasing or decreasing as their abilities change
  • At home — to ensure that therapy developed at the NRU is also relevant to a patient’s usual environment