Princess Anne pays a royal visit to open Leamington rehab unit

Princess Anne unveiled a plaque for the official opening of the new Rehab Unit at Leamington Hospital on Wednesday.'MHLC-28-01-15 Royal rehab NNL-150128-143756009
Princess Anne unveiled a plaque for the official opening of the new Rehab Unit at Leamington Hospital on Wednesday.'MHLC-28-01-15 Royal rehab NNL-150128-143756009

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially opened the Central England Rehabilitation Unit (CERU) at Leamington Spa Hospital on Wednesday.

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust’s (SWFT) new unit treated its first patient in November 2013 following development work which doubled capacity from 21 to 42 beds.

The trust said that the development work has “enhanced the environment for patients to recover in and offers state-of-the-art facilities”.

During the day, Princess Anne was given a guided tour by CERU’s clinical lead, Derar Badwan, and Sue Bleasdale, general manager for the unit.

The event was also an opportunity for HRH to meet patients and their families.

She met with patients from Warwick, Nuneaton and Northampton and heard first-hand how the unit has helped them.

To support the new unit, SWFT have been running an on-going fundraising appeal to raise money for enhancing the facilities and assisting in providing patients with the latest equipment.

Staff said that the appeal has received fantastic support and a selection of the fundraisers attended the opening to share with The Princess Royal why the CERU was their chosen charity. 

CERU is a nationally accredited specialist rehabilitation facility which offers care to patients with acquired brain injuries.

The unit has a multi-disciplinary team of clinical experts and is the largest level 1 accredited facility available.

Glen Burley, chief executive of South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am thrilled that Her Royal Highness has officially opened CERU. The new unit offers exceptional facilities for patients, relatives and staff so it was great to celebrate this with a Royal event.

“CERU is one of a very small number specialist units in the country, so it was really important to mark the occasion and invite all of the key people who have made it all possible.”

See Friday’s Courier/Weekly News for more photos of the visit