Health Minister, Edwin Poots performed the official opening of a gym for stroke patients in Bangor Community Hospital last week, and heard from patients how much they enjoy using it.
The gym, in the former Bleakley Ward, features specialist equipment and helps the patients regain their confidence and independence.
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust’s stroke rehabilitation service is run within the inpatient GP Ward in Bangor Community Hospital by GP Ward staff, local GPs, the Ulster Hospital Acute Stroke Unit and the Community Stroke Team.
Charlotte McArdle, Director of Primary Care, Older People & Executive Director of Nursing, said: “The new gym provides a wonderful facility for stroke patients. This facility means that we can transfer patients from the Ulster Hospital to Bangor Community Hospital much earlier than before. This also ensures that we can keep beds for patients who need admission to the Ulster Hospital and provide a high standard of care in Bangor Community Hospital.”
Patrick Fitzpatrick, a patient from the GP ward, says: “I look forward to going to the gym for therapy as there is always a good atmosphere and plenty of activities to do. I enjoy the camaraderie of the other patients and it gives me a lift.”
The Friends of Bangor Community Hospital purchased several pieces of specialist equipment for stroke rehabilitation within the hospital.
The group’s chair, Councillor Marion Smith, said: “Each month we ask the Unscheduled Care Manager for what is known as ‘the wish list’. To date we have provided every request made. This has made a great difference to many departments and has helped make Bangor Community Hospital a hospital which is highly regarded in all circles.”
This week the Friends’ Santa will be paying his yearly visit and will be presenting each patient with a Christmas gift, with cards created by Grange Park Primary School art club. Glenlola Collegiate Choir will be singing carols at the event.
Mrs Smith paid tribute to the residents who have made up the Friends for the past 11 years.
“The Friends are always willing to help, and over the years have given time, energy and indeed total dedication to the group. I am deeply indebted to them and thank them very much.
“I am also indebted to the many people who have sent bequests to the Friends. In fact a few weeks ago we received an envelope which contained £500 which will go towards buying whatever is needed for the hospital. This money is recognition of the warmth, kindness and wonderful care given by the staff, which to me and many is very much our Community Hospital.”