The Black Stork Charity is raising funds to help create what will be one of the world’s best clinical rehabilitation centres for the UK’s armed forces and civilians, on a site in the East Midlands. The Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) was an initiative of the late Duke of Westminster. Having served for 40 years in the Reserve Army, he felt strongly that we owe those who volunteer to fight for their countries the best possible care and rehabilitation if injured during strenuous training or in conflict.
Once opened, in 2018, the site will treat people who are seriously wounded and injured by providing neurological and complex trauma care and a full suite of rehabilitative facilities in one location. By combining neurological care, complex trauma and a full suite of rehabilitative facilities on site, the Centre will be unique in the world. The new DNRC will be a 21st century replacement for Headley Court (which is the current rehabilitation Centre for injured service men and women) and will encompass the advances in technology and clinical research that promise to dramatically alter the nature of rehabilitation medicine.
The use of hand-cycling in rehabilitation has been clinically proven to be beneficial for building upper body strength, improving aerobic function and providing cardiovascular workouts. Importantly this outdoor ‘sporting’ activity has significant psychological advantages for the patient in overcoming perceived limitations on what is possible in light of their injury. This is particularly true of the complex trauma patients who may be adjusting to a new body image due to their injury. In creating a hand-cycle route at the DNRC, the psychological needs of inpatients are being addressed whilst also offering a dynamic, positive and competitive form of rehabilitation.