Hospital trust opens activity hub for older patients

Staff and patients have celebrated the grand opening of an activity hub to serve patients on the medicine for older people (MOP) wards. The hub will play a key role in getting people moving while tackling the loneliness that some patients feel while in hospital.

Steve Hicks at the MOP hub openingAt the opening ceremony, matron Steve Hicks introduced the concept of the activity hub as a designated space to help encourage exercise and social interaction as well as to create links with the wider community.

Steve said: "The MOP hub will be a destination point for our patients to come to and improve their mobility whilst they're on the wards and also a place where we can bridge with our community partners and address loneliness."

With reports claiming ten days in a hospital bed can lead to a 10% reduction of muscle mass for patients over the age of 80, it is important to keep patients active and taking part in regular exercise.

Advanced physiotherapist Hannah Wood added: "We want our patients to feel empowered and help prepare them for going home by offering a diverse range of mental, physical, emotional and social support programmes."

The hub is designed to be a resource centre for patients and their families to interact in a comfortable environment away from the clinical feel of a hospital ward. Activities will include exercise classes and movie nights as well as time for games and puzzles.

The project has received great support from Southampton FC stars, Mike Earls and Mike Twew, with Mike Earls cutting the ribbon to officially open the hub.

Mike Earls at MOP hub openingMike commended the idea, saying: "This is a brilliant initiative - it's great to give patients self-autonomy. The space will encourage people to come out of their wards and get moving. It's half way home."

He also compared the hub to the new children's emergency and trauma department as another great example of how the Trust is expanding services and providing better care for patients. The emergency department project reached its fundraising goal last year, supported by Southampton Hospital Charity and The Murray Parish Trust, and is currently under construction.

Mike's wife Irene added: "It's absolutely brilliant to see something like this come to fruition and to see it working. Well done to all involved - it's a wonderful resource."

The renovation of the space was made possible with the support of Southampton Hospital Charity and the League of Friends.

Jason Shauness, director of Southampton Hospital Charity commented: "When the staff on MOP approached us to ask if we could support them, we were only too pleased to assist."

"We would really like to thank our supporters for donating to such a vital project and know that it will make a huge impact in continuing to provide the best possible care for patients at the hospital."

Matron Steve thanked staff for their support in the development of the hub, saying: "This was a unit initiative - everyone has contributed ideas. This is everything our Trust is about - working together for our patients."

He also thanked Southampton Hospital Charity and the League of Friends for their fundraising efforts as well as thanking partners within the community. Those who have supported and donated the project will be recognised as part of a thank you mural next to the entrance to the hub.

Posted on Friday 19 July 2019