Critical care patients at Colchester Hospital are now receiving extra support during their rehabilitation thanks to the bravery of staff.

A team of 18 nurses and HCAs from Colchester’s Critical Care Unit (CCU) raised around £1,300 for the unit when they took a 12,000 ft leap of faith and completed tandem skydives alongside the Parachute Regiment’s Red Devils in June.

They have used the money to buy extra equipment to benefit their patients, which includes a rehab trolley with therapy aids such as stretchy bands and weights to strengthen muscles, specialist cups and beakers and games to help with dexterity. 

The team have also purchased four rehab boards, which will be used to show information to the patients and their relatives, such as their ventilator weaning, diet and physio/rehab plans, as well as the visitors that are due that day. 

The boards are filled in daily to create a visual rehab plan for the patient and their family to help them track their progress and motivate them towards their goals. 

“The sky dive was amazing and a true once in a lifetime experience,” said Maria Wallis, sister and nurse lead for critical care rehabilitation. “Everyone got behind us and we were so pleased to have raised so much money for our patients and their families.

“Our patients often have a complicated recovery and long-term rehabilitation needs. The rehab boards are designed to engage and encourage patients and their families by setting out goals for the day to help with motivation and any special requirements they may have. Relatives can also add photos and updates to the boards, which helps them stay connected to their family during their recovery.

“We’ve now been using the boards for a couple of weeks and they’ve been well received so far, as have the other pieces of rehab kit we’ve purchased. It’s really nice to be able to provide those extra little things which make a big difference to our patients.”

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