04/07/2014

Princess Anne Launches Leeds MND Wheelchair Service At Seacroft Hospital

Princess Anne

HRH The Princess Royal, highlighted a new service for people with motor neurone disease when she launched the MND (Motor Neurone Disease) Wheelchair Service at Seacroft Hospital this week.

The Princess chatted to patients, staff and representatives of all the organisations which have made the partnership possible, and unveiled a plaque at the end of her tour after giving a speech in which she described the facility at Leeds Teaching Hospitals as "a real centre of excellence".

The service has two objectives: firstly to ensure a dedicated MND therapist provides posture and mobility assessments for people with MND, and secondly to work with leading UK wheelchair manufacturers to develop powered wheelchairs that can be modified for patients as the disease progresses (reducing reassessments and the need for replacement wheelchairs whilst having the ability to integrate communication aids and environmental controls).

The MND Wheelchair Therapist is funded by the Department of Health, through their Voluntary Sector Investment Programme - Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund.

The Leeds MND Wheelchair Therapist is the second post in the country to be funded via the Department of Health grant, following the first therapist based in Oxford. A third service is to be announced shortly in the south of England.

During the visit to Seacroft Hospital, Princess Anne, who is Royal Patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, met the Leeds MND Wheelchair Therapist, Christine Orr, and representatives of the UK's three main wheelchair manufacturers.

Christine Orr is based at the Wheelchair Service at Seacroft Hospital, attends the Leeds Care Centre clinics and works collaboratively with other wheelchair services across the area. Christine establishes at an early stage when people with MND may need to consider a wheelchair and begins the assessment for the appropriate wheelchair to meet the client's current and future needs.

The three wheelchair manufacturers have been working together for the first time alongside the MND Association to develop a powered wheelchair designed to meet the needs of people with MND and other neurological conditions.

 

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