Other Projects

Powered Wheelchairs

Mike Hailes suffered a spinal cord injury when he fell off his bicycle in November 2009. He is pictured trialling a powered wheelchair which he can control independently with his chin. SSIT has provided seven powered wheelchairs for use by patients while in the spinal centre.

Standing Frames

Phil Martin, pictured with superintendent physiotherapist Mel Benyon, is using a standing frame, bought with funds raised by SSIT.
Phil injured his back at work. When you can’t stand up on your own, this machine is the only way to get to an upright position and the psychological benefits are huge.

Diagnostic Equipment

An advanced Pressure Imaging System was funded by SSIT. The system measures pressure on the body where it is in contact with a wheelchair cushion. Because wheelchair users may be seated in the same position for many hours a day the skin becomes vulnerable to pressure ulcers.

Matt Fiddy, Outpatient Technician at the DOCSTC Pressure Clinic explains: “Pressure ulcers present a significant threat to patient health and may result in bed rest for many months to allow them to heal. As such the benefits of this new system are immeasurable”.

Patient Entertainment System

One piece of equipment which has made a truly enormous difference to staff and patients alike is the Patient Call and Entertainment System. This wall-mounted system incorporates nurse call, bedside light control, television and radio. It also has an interface to DVD, CD or games console and, with built-in headphones, allows each patient to watch or listen at any time of the day without disturbing others. The units can be controlled by hand or mouth allowing every patient a way of using them independently.

Patient Recreational Fund

Trips outside the spinal centre are an essential part of the rehabilitation programme for people with spinal cord injury. When the time is right, patients with low or medium levels of paralysis can leave the centre independently or with the help of family or friends. For patients with a higher level of injury, leaving the spinal centre on an individual basis can be almost impossible. The special minibus provided by SSIT helps to expand the range of options available for patients.

SSIT also provides a fund to buy tickets for sports events, visitor attractions and other trips using the SSIT minibus. Use of the fund is co-ordinated between SSIT trustees and social/welfare staff at DOCSTC.

Physiotherapy Equipment

Keith Hatton, pictured with occupational therapist Sophie Lester, fell over on the way home from a Christmas party and was left with a C7 spinal cord injury.

The machine he is using, bought with funds raised by SSIT, encourages the nerves to stimulate the muscles into contracting. With regular use, the therapy machine helps some patients to regain wrist function.

Travel Fund For Families

SSIT has set up a travel fund which will contribute to the cost of travel to enable the families of beneficiaries to visit their loved ones when the cost might otherwise be unaffordable.