Great grandmother is first patient in new Thornbury unit

December 19 2018
Great grandmother is first patient in new Thornbury unit

96 year old Rita Freed who has been living in Thornbury for 40 years was the first person to be welcomed into the new Henderson Rehabilitation Unit.

The great grandmother was one of 15 patients who was recently moved out of the Henderson Ward at Thornbury Hospital. 

Rita said: “This new facility is lovely; the amenities are great; it is going to definitely be an asset for the town.”

The unit is sited within a separate area within The Orders of St John Care Trust Grace Care Centre.  It’s staffed and managed by Sirona who provide community adult and children services across South Gloucestershire.

Chris Alcock, who’s 78 and comes from Chipping Sodbury, was one of the last people to leave the Henderson Ward. He’s been recovering from a stroke.  He said: “The nurses have tried really hard to make things easier for people on the ward, but it has been cramped; I was looking forward to moving.”

Ward manager Rebecca Thomas said: ““Chris couldn’t walk when he first came to Thornbury; now he can thanks to the skills and experience of the staff.  All the staff are moving with us to the new unit so this, with the much improved environment and facilities, means we can continue to make a difference to people like Chris.”

“We are also able to offer extended visiting hours [11am to 8pm] for families and friends which will be fantastic, and we are really pleased that the League of Friends are continuing to support us and will still be providing our daily newspapers and weekly fresh flowers.”

Cathy Daffada, Sirona’s lead for community inpatient care, said: “The increased space will enable us to give people intensive therapy to help them get home as quickly as possible. We all know being home is best for a person’s rehabilitation and on-going wellbeing.”

“The previous Henderson Ward has served us really well and we will continue to recognise that through naming the new unit the Henderson Rehabilitation Unit; this also maintains its historic links to the famous Grace cricketing family with Cicely Grace (grand-niece of WG Grace) having married Dr Douglas Henderson who served Thornbury for many years.”

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) has made the unit possible by working closely with The Orders of St John Care Trust. 

The opening comes ahead of the relocation of the physiotherapy outpatient services – they are moving from Thornbury Hospital to the Thornbury Active Lifestyle Centre. 

Gilbert Roberts, who’s 91 and comes from Thornbury, summed up the positive feelings about the new initiative – after arriving in the unit he said: “This is just like a hotel.”