Patients back in the swing of things at Warrnambool Base Hospital's rehabilitation gym

PATIENT recovery at Warrnambool Base Hospital has received a boost with the opening of its refurbished rehabilitation gym.

The gymnasium focuses on the needs of the patients of South West Healthcare’s 27-bed rehabilitation unit.

A ceiling-suspended tracking system to help patients walk again is a feature of the new gym and will assist with quicker and safer recoveries, physiotherapy manager Fiona Conochie said.

“It really allows us to provide best evidence-based care for patients,” Ms Conochie said.

Patients recovering from stroke, joint replacements, fractures, amputations and/or general debilities will benefit.

“Using the ceiling tracking to assist patients to get walking early after things like a stroke we know is the best thing for them so it allows us to get patients up earlier and safer,” Ms Conochie said.

Ms Conochie said the mechanism was ideal for patients only able to bear partial weight on their legs.

“We can gauge how much weight the hoist is taking and accurately assist them to walk earlier than they would otherwise.”

The rehabilitation team includes three physiotherapists and three allied health assistants, led by Ms Conochie.

They address everything to do with independent living, including mobility and self-care, communication and cognition, emotional well-being and nutrition.

The light-filled gym, until 2012 the hospital’s intensive care unit, has been re-floored, mirror-walled and filled with the latest and safest in physiotherapy equipment.

“We’ve had new flooring put in which is purpose-built non-slip flooring,” Ms Conochie said. “Previously we had shiny tiles so we were having to put non-slip mats underneath equipment, whereas now it’s safer for patients.”

The refurbished rehabilitation gym was opened with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony by South West Healthcare CEO John Krygger on Wednesday. 

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