Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability

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Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN)
Registered Charity Number: 205907
Geography
Location Putney, London, England, United Kingdom
Organisation
Care system Charitable
Hospital type Specialist
Services
Emergency department No Accident & Emergency
Beds 260
Speciality Neuro-disability
History
Founded 1854
Links
Website http://www.rhn.org.uk/
Lists Hospitals in England

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, in Putney, South West London, is an independent medical charity that provides rehabilitation and long term care to people with complex neurological disabilities caused by damage to the brain or other parts of the nervous system.[1] This damage is often caused by traffic accidents and progressive neurological conditions such as Huntington's Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. It is one of the 200 largest UK charitable organisations ranked by annual expenditure.[2]

History[edit]

The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) was established in July 1854 at a meeting held at the Mansion House, chaired by the Lord Mayor of London. The hospital's founder, Andrew Reed, had a record as a practical philanthropist, having previously set up four other charities, and Charles Dickens, the celebrated author, was one of the first high profile figures to show his support by helping Reed raise funds for it.[3]

The RHN was originally known as the Hospital for Incurables. It was based in a converted workhouse in Carshalton, Surrey, but as demand for its services grew, larger premises were required, and in 1857 it moved to a more spacious house in Putney. Just a few years later, even more space was needed and so in 1863 the hospital relocated to its permanent home, Melrose Hall on West Hill, in Putney.

Melrose Hall came with 24 acres (97,000 m2) of land on which, until the 1960s, the hospital ran a working farm, supplying fresh produce for patients’ meals. The Hall also had extensive gardens, parts of which had been landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. Although much of the land has now been developed, the RHN's patients, residents, relatives and employees still benefit from using the hospital's large landscaped gardens. Fundraising events are also held there.

In 1917, the hospital changed its name to the Royal Hospital and Home for Incurables, receiving its Royal Charter two years later.[4] The hospital’s name changed a further two times – once in 1988, when it became the Royal Hospital and Home, Putney, and again, in 1995, to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability - a name that better reflected its work.

In 1985, the RHN opened the UK’s first dedicated Brain Injury Unit, and in 1987, it launched the Vegetative State Unit, the only one of its kind in the UK. The country’s first Transitional Rehabilitation Unit - a unit that helps people with acquired brain injuries rehabilitate to the extent that they have regained enough independence to return to life living in the community - was opened at the RHN in 1993.[5]

A new ventilator service was unveiled by Ade Adepitan, the former paralympic athlete, in 2013. Named the Jack Emerson Centre, the service helps provide a homely environment for rehabilitation, including specially-adapted environmental controls to increase independence for patients.[6] The service was made possible thanks to a £500,000 donation by The Albert Reckitt Charitable Trust

Supporters and patrons[edit]

The RHN has always been helped and supported by high profile figures, including Florence Nightingale; author Charles Dickens; poet, John Betjeman; Thomas Hardy the poet and author; Otto Goldschmidt the pianist; and HM Queen Elizabeth II.[7]

Awards[edit]

In 2010, the RHN received two 'Innovation Awards' from the UKABIF (United Kingdom Acquired Brain Injury Forum) – Innovation by a Clinician and Innovation by a Care Provider.[8] The London Garden Society awarded the RHN a gold medal for its gardens, in 2010[9] and, on 31 December 2010, an RHN occupational therapist, Helen Gill-Thwaites, received an MBE for her services to healthcare, following the development of an assessment tool at the RHN called SMART (Sensory Modality Assessment & Rehabilitation Technique) which accurately diagnoses disorders of consciousness.[10]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°27′08″N 0°12′50″W / 51.4522°N 0.2138°W / 51.4522; -0.2138