Royal opening for Nottingham’s ‘first-class’ Cystic Fibrosis Centre

Royal Opening by Sophie WessexHRH the Countess of Wessex GCVO has officially opened the Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre at Nottingham City Hospital .

Her Royal Highness, met with patients, staff and major charitable donors when she visited the £6.6million Centre which sets a new high standard for the way patients with CF receive their treatment.

The Centre which was jointly funded by Nottingham Hospitals Charity and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) has been designed to care for more than 250 patients from across Nottinghamshire and the surrounding counties. This is almost twice the number of patients that could be cared for previously. The chief executive of Next, Lord Simon Wolfson and his family were so impressed by plans for the Centre that they made a significant donation of £700,000 to Nottingham Hospitals Charity. Nottingham Hospitals Charity has provided over £2.1million towards the cost of the Centre. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has contributed £400,000.

The Centre has a number of unique features which set it apart from other facilities around the country, including:

The bedrooms – as patients may have to spend long periods of time in their rooms, the design gives them a feeling of ‘apartment living’ with soft furnishings and a lounge area with a sofa and chairs.

ICT – the centre has state-of-the-art technology which includes video conferencing facilities between patient rooms, allowing them to communicate with each another, and with their friends and family at home, to help reduce the feelings of isolation and facilitate a sense of community.  The video conferencing allows a physiotherapist to hold an exercise class and inpatients to participate in their own rooms. Nottingham is the first CF Centre in Europe to be using such technology.

Gym pods – a state-of-the-art gym has been developed which contains glassed-in pods, so that patients have the opportunity to see each other and have the benefit of exercising as a group, while being protected from cross-infection.

Dedicated chefs: CF patients need to consume double the number of calories as the average person to maintain a healthy weight and digestive system.  The chefs are trained to cook meals to include the calories helping to make the task of eating enjoyable, rather than being an ordeal of simply consuming masses of calories.  The Food Education room allows the chefs to work with patients and to teach them how to make nutritional meals for themselves, in their own homes.

Outdoor gym: attractive gardens and outdoor exercise space to encourage patients to exercise regularly.

Patient Kathryn Hodgson, aged 25, from Grantham, Lincolnshire, has been coming to Nottingham for treatment since she was born. She said: “It’s brilliant knowing that we now have somewhere we can come whenever we are ill and need treatment, and even better that they’ve made it a lovely environment that’s tailored made to make our stays more pleasant. This allows us access to a gym, food that suits our dietary requirements, well-equipped individual rooms (to help prevent spread of infection) but also the ability to communicate with the other patients through the video-conferencing so we are not so isolated. The best bit is being able to have someone to visit and stay as most patients travel a long way and spend a lot of time in here. Overall it’s a great facility and one that will benefit us all, a near enough ‘home from home’.”

Barbara Cathcart, Chief Executive of the Nottingham Hospitals Charity, said: “We are delighted the charity has been able to help transform the care of patients with CF through our contribution towards this important centre. I would like to thank our supporters and all the people who donated to this appeal, no matter how large or small their gift. You have all helped us to improve the lives of people with this difficult condition in the East Midlands and we are thrilled that the centre is to be officially opened.”
Dr Jane Dewar, CF Consultant, said: “We are delighted to welcome The Countess of Wessex here and are very proud to show her this remarkable facility which is literally transforming the way in which we are caring for CF patients here in Nottingham. This occasion is also a wonderful opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the many people who have made our dream of having such a first class facility become a reality, including patients, major charitable donors and of course our staff.”

George Jenkins OBE, Chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust Trustees, said:  “The Trust is focused on driving up standards of care across the UK and this flagship unit will ensure patients receive the best possible support and treatment. We look forward to patients in Nottinghamshire and beyond benefitting from high quality care in this excellent new facility.

“People with CF regularly spend weeks at a time in hospital meaning their units become a second home. The personalised service offered by this unit, such as dedicated chefs and gym pods in comfortable surroundings, will support people’s wellbeing and make visits all the more relaxed, and provide the care that people need and deserve.”

During her visit to City Hospital, HRH was taken on a tour of the Centre, to meet the head chef, speak to some of the CF social workers, see the video conferencing facilities in action and meet a patient in their ‘home in hospital’ room.

For more information about the Centre visit: www.nuh.nhs.uk/our-services/services/cystic-fibrosis/