Cricketing legend Andrew Flintoff visited Alder Hey this week to open a groundbreaking children’s rehabilitation and physiotherapy unit.
The innovative Unit, at Alder Hey has been made possible by Andrew and his wife Rachael’s charity, The AF Foundation. The charity raises funds to build, develop and improve child rehabilitation and physiotherapy units throughout the UK.
The Unit will treat children aged from birth to 18 for all physiotherapy needs.
Andrew Flintoff said: “We are delighted and so very proud to be able to open our very first Flagship Unit. It is thanks to all the fundraising by our supporters who have enabled this to happen. We are at the start of a fantastic journey, which will make a huge difference to children all over the country.”
The Rehabilitation and Physiotherapy Departments within UK hospitals are often overlooked when it comes to funding, yet it is these units that are used by virtually every child on their journey to recovery.
Most of these hospitals have highly-skilled, specialised rehabilitation teams but, unfortunately, the existing facilities from which they carry out their work often do not match this expertise.
Facilities are tired and outdated and provide a clinical, rather than child-friendly environment in which to treat young patients. Equipment is basic, and in some cases, in desperate need of replacement.
The AF Foundation mission is to:
• Redesign and refurbish these units
• Make them warm, child-friendly areas
• Supply state-of-the-art equipment that benefits both children and staff
• Maintain these units once they are set up
The AF Foundation is working closely with specialised rehabilitation teams, consultants and patients to create and refine a blueprint for the AF Foundation Child Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Unit.
This blueprint will be replicated and implemented throughout children’s hospitals all over the UK.