A brand-new centre for rehabilitation to help some of the most seriously-injured people in Notts is set to open in 2023.
Once completed, it will become part of the Defence National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC), based at Stanford Hall.
The first phase of the project opened earlier this year, when it replaced Headley Court in Surrey as the military’s rehabilitation centre for injured personnel.
Now, more details of how the NHS-side of the project could work have been presented at a Nottinghamshire County Council health scrutiny meeting.
Specifics are yet to be finalised, but initial plans suggest it is expected to have around 150 staff, seeing 800 patients a year, and with a total of 63 beds.
It is also hoped there will be provision for some of the families of injured civilians to stay on site or nearby.
World-leading training and teaching centres will also be set up on the site, as well as a research and development facility. It has not yet been made clear who wil run these facilities.
With all four elements in one place, it is expected to become one of the most respected centre for rehabilitation from serious injuries anywhere in the world.
For military reasons, the NHS side will be separated from the Ministry of Defence facility by a fence, but at set times the civilians will be able to use the facilities on the military site.
This includes the £1.8 million Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment machine (Carem) machine – the only one in Europe and one of only six in the world.
It’s essentially like a high-tech treadmill surrounded by sensors inside a large planetarium.
The patient is hooked up to dozens of sensors, and monitored by infrared cameras, while the inside of the planetarium shows whatever background the medics decide on.
Using virtual reality, their every movement is tracked, allowing medical experts to correct their gait, work out what areas of their body may be under pressure, or acclimatise them to different conditions.
A business case is being put together by Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, looking at how NHS patients in the East Midlands would benefit from using the site.
One issue which came up at the meeting was whether the NHS part of the site could be requisitioned by the military in the event of a war.
The meeting heard that the military side had been built four times larger than its predecessor – at Headley Court in Surrey – for that precise purpose, and that no provision had currently been made for that eventuality.
The meeting also heard that discussions could be held over whether part of the military side could be used by the NHS in the event of a major terror attack somewhere in the East Midlands.
Finer details of the NHS proposal – and exactly how it hopes to use the site – are expected in the coming months.