This Spring a brand new Intensive Care building opened at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Caring for patients who are critically ill and in need of the most intensive levels of medical support, the new 48-bed building is a huge advance for our patients and staff.

And alongside the many high-tech machines and skilled clinicians carrying out increasingly complex treatments, the physiotherapy staff are there to help patients take their first steps towards recovery and rehabilitation.

We met Rebekah and Leanne who told us how funding from Oxford Hospitals Charity is helping them to provide first class care to their patients.

First, they showed us their new tilt table, which is used to help patients stand up.

Physio Assistant, Leanne Fives-Moriarty demonstrated the new electronic tilt table to us and explained: ‘We’ve never had a piece of equipment like this, it’s made such a difference.

‘Patients are slid from their bed to the table, where they are strapped in and gradually raised to a standing position.

‘It does them the world of good, giving them a sense of normality and helping them get back to the idea of being able to stand.

‘Being able to see your limbs helps to get the signals from the brain to the body when we are asking the patient to make movements to build strength.

‘I truly am grateful (to the charity), I can’t tell you the impact it’s already had and we have only been using this for a number of weeks. It sounds corny but it means everything to us. It really has changed our working practice. From me and all the team we want to say a massive thank you.’

Around 900 patients are admitted to the Adult Intensive Care Unit  (AICU) a year, with 45% of these spending three days or more in the unit, and most needing significant rehabilitation.

The charity’s funding of £25,000 has also purchased equipment which allows patients to exercise from their bed.

The machine includes inspirational videos and provides data to show the progress that the patient is making. It is specially adapted so that most ICU patients can use it, including those who have suffered major trauma or spinal cord injuries and those who are recovering from very serious diseases.

Team Lead Physio in Oxford Critical Care, Rebekah Haylett told us ‘It’s really good for strengthening arms and legs as well as cardiovascular strength. It means we can offer more bespoke and motivating support to help patients reach their goals.

‘We are really grateful; we have been keen for equipment like this for many years so it’s made such a difference and has really motivated the team.’

Hazel Murray, Head of Programme at Oxford Hospitals Charity, worked with the physio team when they asked the charity to fund this new support. She told us: ‘It has been really very emotional to come and see this new equipment in the brand new Adult Intensive Care Centre and hear from Leanne and Becky about the impact it is already having.

‘The passion for their work and their patients – some of the very sickest in our hospitals -  is so clear, and to know we have been able to help them and the hundreds of people they care for every year is very special indeed.

‘Funding specialist equipment like this makes such a difference to patients across Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and is only made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of our local community who fundraise, donate and leave gifts in Wills to Oxford Hospitals Charity. We simply can’t thank you enough.’

Find out more about how you can make a difference for your local hospitals at www.hospitalcharity.co.uk by emailing [email protected] or calling 01865 743 444