Local MPs, councillors and senior leaders from partner universities were amongst stakeholders treated to the first tours of the new National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) construction site today (4 October) since Government confirmed the ‘green light’.
Hosted by the Duke of Westminster, whose father initiated the idea, and senior leaders from Nottingham University Hospitals, which will staff and run the NRC, visitors enjoyed a first look at the planned location and construction progress for the pioneering new facility.
The NRC programme recently received formal Government approval for the £105million plans and so work is now progressing in earnest to create the 70-bed, purpose-built and highly energy efficient new facility as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.
The specialist NHS facility will be built on the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate near Loughborough, home to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre which opened in 2018.
A programme of early work and enabling work prior to the formal green light means the building is already coming out of the ground. It aims to be treating patients early in 2025.
Combining patient care delivered by staff from Nottingham University Hospitals with research, innovation and training, the centre’s objective is to act as the National hub to transform how people recover and regain fitness and function following serious injury or illness, and to widen access to rehabilitation beds.
Nick Carver, Chair of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, explained that today’s event was an important milestone in the journey to the opening of the NRC.
He said: “It has been a pleasure to welcome some of our key stakeholders to the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate for the first time to view the progress of the NRC’s construction and to hear more about this pioneering programme.
“The NRC will be significant both for our patients recovering from life-changing illnesses or injury, as well as for the national and international development of the rehabilitation speciality, and I am very proud that it is NUH who are leading the way in this vital field.”
Miriam Duffy, NRC Programme Director, said: “A huge amount of care and research has gone into developing this unique rehabilitation centre to ensure that it will support our patients’ needs, and so it is especially exciting to see the designs now becoming a reality.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this inspiring project so far, and I look forward to welcoming everyone back once when we are ready to open our doors to our first patients.”
The NRC is 400m away from the counterpart Defence facility (‘DMRC Stanford Hall’) which began treating members the Armed Forces in 2018. The objective has always been to improve outcomes for both NHS patients and Armed Forces members alike by putting the two facilities side by side in a way which enables them to share expertise, advance new treatments, and achieve more together than they could working individually.