Stroke Rehab Unit in Louth Hospital in Dundalk

Newly Refurbished 8-bed Stroke Rehabilitation Unit Opens in Louth
County Hospital

The newly refurbished Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Louth County
Hospital recently opened to patients.

The unit, which first opened as a six-bed stroke rehabilitation
facility in August 2010, required a complete modernisation and
re-adaption process, having increased its capacity to eight-beds in
February 2011.

The refurbishment project began in April 2011 and took four months to
complete at a cost of approximately €350,000 – patients were
temporarily accommodated on a different ward while the renovation was
being completed.

The spacious new unit, which occupies one full ward on the hospital’s
first floor, now comprises separate treatment areas for physiotherapy,
occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, a cognitive
assessment area and a shared facility for a medical social worker and
dietitian.

The ethos of rehabilitation is reflected throughout the unit; a
sitting-room or family-room has been designated as a non-clinical area
where patients can socialise and engage in a range of activities,
which encourage independence building. The unit also houses a
self-contained room, with its own separate shower and cooking
facilities, where patients nearing discharge can simulate independent
living and prepare for life at home.

An area adjacent to the unit has also been completely refurbished – it
is the intention to utilise the space as a dining area for patients.

Commenting, Margaret Swords Manager Louth Meath Hospital Group said,
“I’m delighted to welcome this valuable addition to patient services
in Louth County Hospital – the unit is one of a number of improvements
that have been made to the provision of stroke services in Louth Meath
Hospital Group over the last twelve months. A seven-bed Acute Stroke
Unit opened in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in March of this year,”
she said.

Adding, “The Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Louth County Hospital will
further consolidate the services that are available for stroke
patients in the region and will significantly improve the outcome for
those patients.”

Cross-site multidisciplinary meetings are held on a weekly basis to
identify the patients most suitable for transfer from the Acute Stroke
Unit in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

55 patients have been treated in the unit since it opened in 2010. The
average length of stay for this group of patients was 44 days. Of
these patients, 47 patients have returned to home and two have been
discharged to long term care. As well as working on the unit, the
multi-disciplinary team, also liaise very closely with patients’
families in the home setting to facilitate and expedite suitable
discharges.

Clinical Lead and Consultant Geriatrician, Dr Olwyn Lynch said, “It’s
great to be able to give the people of Louth a stroke service.”

The opening of the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit in Louth County Hospital
unit was realised through the Louth Meath Transformation Project
Group, in line with the National Stroke Strategy.