Hospital is first in UK to get walking device

NHS staff and League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital members with the Andago hoist. SUS-181206-153133001
NHS staff and League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital members with the Andago hoist. SUS-181206-153133001

Local patients are now taking the first steps to recovery thanks to a £60,000 Swiss-made walking device bought by the League of Friends of Bexhill Hospital.

They are the first patients in the United Kingdom to have the advantages of regaining their mobility and dignity after strokes and other debilitating problems via the Andago hoist, a gathering in the physiotherapy gymnasium at Bexhill Hospital’s Irvine Unit was told on Tuesday.

Members of the charity’s general committee gave immediate approval to the purchase when physiotherapists Emma Quigley and Kathryn Millicent made a personal presentation after seeing the device demonstrated in London.

The device supports the patient securely, enabling them to regain balance and walking confidence in safety. As staff demonstrated the device on Tuesday,

Emma explained the clinical importance to enabling patients to regain control as early as possible.

In the presence of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust head of nursing Jane Purkess and consultant therapist Karen Poole, the team leader said the Andago device was a much safer, easier and quicker road to recovery than the established method using parallel bars.

She added: “I would like to say thank you to the Bexhill League of Friends for putting Bexhill on the map.”

After being given first-hand experience of the device, League chairman Cllr Stuart Earl told staff: “I would just like to say a big thank you for all that your do for us in our community. A huge thanks once again for today has been an uplifting experience for us – literally! It has been a morning which has spurred us on and to be proud to be members of the league and of the things we have been able to achieve for our community and our hospital.

“It is wonderful to see the expression on the faces of staff when we are able to provide equipment such as this. It is a wonderful moment in my life where I feel immensely proud to be chairman of the league.

“Our committee and members are delighted to have been able to provide something which will make a huge difference to patients and staff alike.”

Also representing the charity were league president John Dowling, treasurer Chris Ashford and committee members Ann Dowling, Rosemary Boyd-Mercer, Harriet Chapman, Audrey Kerr and Peter Stiles.