Supporting Burns Rehabilitation
Campaigner and television presenter, Katie Piper, visited staff and patients at the ‘Katie Piper Foundation Rehabilitation Centre’ recently and spoke with Able Magazine about her work.
How did the idea of a burns rehabilitation centre come about?
I’ve been working with my charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, for years behind the scenes to make this facility a reality for those with burns and scars in the UK. I travelled to France during my recovery where I experienced a fantastic rehabilitation programme, but it was very lonely being away from my friends and family during such a challenging time. I wanted to open the centre so that people had the opportunity to go somewhere in this country to regain independence, confidence and have all of the services and support they need in one place
It’s a ‘live in’ centre that will help tackle rehabilitation as a holistic experience. How important is it to treat burns rehab in this way?
It is absolutely imperative to treat people in this way and the rehabilitation centre is about so much more than just medical treatment (although this too does play an important part). We have an incredible physiotherapy centre and our patients are encouraged to do as much as possible outside in the beautiful grounds. Exercise too is really important as many of these people haven’t been able to leave their bed for months – we have one-on-one yoga lessons and even do dance lessons too. Regaining independence is so important as well so we encourage those staying to do as much as possible for themselves.
They will live in their own on-site bungalows, do their own washing, cooking and cleaning for example, and we find them coming away feeling a hundred times more confident than when they came in. We also have a wonderful team for around the clock mental health support.
The Katie Piper Foundation Rehabilitation Centre aims to deliver over 3,000 hours of direct care, treatment and activities in the first 12 months of opening. We have two bungalows which can facilitate two people at a time and each patient tends to stay for one month.
How does the centre fit in with existing services?
Once the fantastic work of the NHS Burns Service is done, The Katie Piper Foundation Rehabilitation Centre becomes a sanctuary for a patient’s next steps. We have nothing but praise for the wonderful NHS and the services they offer burns survivors. The service we offer is the next step and we only hope that we can continue to raise the funds to grow and offer more and more people this additional service.
The Katie Pipe Foundation www.katiepiperfoundation.org.uk
“I wanted to open the centre so that people had the opportunity to go somewhere to regain independence andconfidence.” Katie Piper