We employ a range of allied health professionals who support our nursing staff to deliver care and therapy programmes designed around the needs of our patients. These include a Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, clinical psychologists, speech and language therapists, dietetics, specialist respiratory nursing, music therapists and activities organisers.
We have dedicated treatment gyms at each home with a range of rehabilitation and therapy equipment used for assessment and treatment, including an independent living skills kitchen at Highfield House. Each gym contains a wide variety of equipment including tilt tables, Bobath plinths, electric standing frames, parallel bars, and more specialised therapy rehabilitation equipment. These resources enable the therapy team to enhance the patient’s postural control, quality of movement, mobility, balance, strengthening and functional abilities as part of a wider disability management or rehabilitation programme.
We can offer a wide range of communication assessments as part of individualised programmes of care, overseen by our Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine. These are goal orientated and are subject to regular reviews and numerous validated outcome measures. Additionally, we have the following services available: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, clinical psychology, dietetics and a specialist respiratory nurse.
At Highfield House we have a fully equipped, adapted and accessible kitchen where daily activities including drink preparation and simple meal preparation can be assessed and practised.
The wide range of therapeutic services available to our patients helps to provide for a full spectrum of physical, emotional, and social needs. All of our patients are supported in achieving the highest possible quality of life, and therapies are planned for each individual with the aim of addressing the scope of their particular needs.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapy (SLT) may be needed to help a patient’s communication, or to help correct problems with swallowing. The Speech and Language Therapy Assistant at Fairlie Healthcare screens patients for assisted technology needs and, along with the Occupational Therapist, determines who may need SLT input. Therapy programmes are developed here or prescribed by other health care teams, and are carried out in liaison with the community Speech and Language Therapist.
The therapist works closely with Southwark Assistive Technology Team, the Environmental Control Team, and the Lambeth Home Enteral Nutrition Team.
The Occupational Therapist helps people to overcome the effects of physical or mental debilitation by enabling specific and purposeful activity. This process can help to alleviate disability and improve independent functioning, and is, therefore, integral to rehabilitation.
Occupational therapy employs processes that help patients improve motor functions and cognitive abilities, and looks for ways to identify and remove barriers to meaningful occupation. These improvements lead to an increased ability to engage in the activities of daily living and to the possibility of having a more productive and satisfying life.
Mobile Sensory Unit
The Mobile Sensory Unit provides an interactive, multisensory experience which stimulates visual and auditory perception, promotes awareness of the environment, provides a relaxing atmosphere, and promotes wellbeing.
The unit is particularly therapeutic for patients who are sensory deprived, or in states of low awareness. It creates an environment full of sound, colour and shape, which can be controlled by the individual to alter hue and intensity of light. It is used as one-on-one therapy, or for group interaction.
Music therapy offers an opportunity for creative expression and the development of communication skills. It also serves as a motivational activity for the rehabilitation of motor and vocal skills, and for post-traumatic processing and social interaction. Our Music Therapist is developing programmes, in both active and receptive methods of music therapy, as part of the multidisciplinary team within Fairlie Healthcare.
Music Therapy is additionally supported by supervision and in consultation with the Music Therapy department at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in Putney.
Each week we take a group of residents to the Joy of Sound music workshops in St. Peter’s Church, Vauxhall. In these workshops, people with physical and mental disabilities, along with their carers and volunteers, all create and play music together. The instrumentation includes guitars, drums, harmonicas, bells, percussion instruments, and some stringed instruments that have been adapted to fit on wheelchairs.
“After 20 minutes the room is alive with sound and expression, some people on their feet and loosing themselves in the music that everyone is creating. It is an incredible experience which is inclusive and creative and encourages people to express themselves freely and without judgement. It is difficult to remember that the majority of these people are severely disabled.” Fairlie Healthcare activities therapist.
Soundbeam therapy is a creative and therapeutic activity which allows participants to make music using an electronic sensor that translates movement into sound. It provides a medium which allows profoundly physically impaired individuals to express themselves and communicate through music.
Soundbeam sessions are normally run by the Speech and Language Therapy assistant or a member of the activities therapy team.
The homes have robust Activities teams which provide group sensory sessions,
individual sensory sessions, and one-on-one activities and group activities.
Everyday outings such as shopping are frequently arranged, as well as recreational events including trips to restaurants, cinema, theatre, museums, and parks. In-house activities include parties, barbeques, karaoke, arts and crafts, and musical performances, which the residents enjoy enormously.
We also have teams of volunteers who attend weekly and have one-on-one sessions with residents.
Our resident’s committee made up of staff, residents, and family and friends, organise outings and fundraising events. They also organise an annual event ‘The Picnic in the Park’, which is well attended by residents, staff and relatives. Team games such as rounders, giant dominos and a tug of war are played and this is a really fun event.
Massage can benefit the whole body as well as the mental wellbeing of patients with highly complex needs.
Holistic Massage is tailored to the needs of each individual, and employs a wide range of techniques. The approach is founded on oil-based Swedish Massage – effleurage, petrissage, and percussion – and incorporates other practices, such as:
- Mobilisation of limbs and joints
- Breath work
- Manual stretches
- Lymphatic drainage
- Thai Massage
Holistic massage can act to alleviate physical disorders, as well as providing touch therapy, which can communicate care, affection, and warmth.
Reflexology is a non-invasive and hugely comforting therapy which is appropriate for most patients at Fairlie Healthcare. This complementary therapy uses the application of gentle pressure to specific points on the feet (and sometimes hands), to assist the body to restore a natural equilibrium.
The effect is unique to each individual, and the therapy is particularly useful for helping the patients at Fairlie Healthcare with:
- Stress due to pain
- Sleep disorders
- Breathing problems
- Bowel movements
- Digestive disorders
Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy based on the practice of using concentrated essential plant oils to enhance healing and wellbeing. It is believed to work both physiologically and psychologically, through a combination of massage and the inhalation of essential oils that trigger the brain’s limbic system.
Treatment is thought to help reduce the symptoms of a range of conditions, and, in employing caring, hands-on techniques, it can induce relaxation and increase energy.
Counselling can help people who are trying to come to terms with painful events, past or present, or who need support through a current crisis or change in life conditions. It can also help people who are struggling to manage difficult feelings such as depression or anxiety, or who are seeking direction and meaning in their lives.
Residents with Fairlie Healthcare will experience the same troubles and concerns that anyone will, but additionally, they may want support in dealing with a wide range of issues that relate to their medical condition, such as physical changes, disability, effects that their illness has on relationships and sexuality, coping with pain and loss, preparation for death.
Our counsellors offers psychological, emotional and spiritual support to residents with a range of complex issues. They also works with residents’ families through times that can be painful and challenging. Counselling is available to anyone involved with Fairlie Healthcare who expresses or demonstrates a need. Our counsellors are trained to help explore each person’s situation and to support them to find a way forward.