During the Covid-19 pandemic, staff at Hafan Y Coed, a specialist mental health unit, at University Hospital Llandough, applied for funding from NHS Charities Together through Cardiff & Vale Health Charity to purchase ward based gym equipment.

Staff felt the equipment was needed as many patients on the wards were unable to attend the main gym due to physical health barriers, varying severity of mental health or not being granted off the ward due to being on Section of the Mental Health Act. With the added impact of Covid-19, activity in the gym had to be limited and wards were cohorted to prevent cross infection.

Following the successful funding application, an upright exercise bike and a recumbent exercise bike were installed on each of the treatment wards and the addictions ward, which afforded the Physiotherapy Service the opportunity to offer ongoing treatment for patients.

Being given the opportunity to provide a range of equipment (recline bikes in addition to upright bikes) allowed individuals who are more frail or who may have balance difficulties and are at risk of falls to improve their wellbeing. The ward based gyms have proven successful in providing treatment which improves patient’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, and it is hoped that the project will continue to evolve once the physiotherapy team is fully established when it will be possible to provide more opportunities for patients to have access to exercise on the wards.

Team Lead Physiotherapist, Steve Moore, said, “The Health Charity’s support meant that the physiotherapy service could continue to deliver valuable treatment and help patients achieve better health outcomes. The Physiotherapy service is immensely grateful to NHS Charities Together and the Health Charity for supporting this bid and assisting the service to deliver ongoing treatment at a time where many services were having to withdraw their input. Patients on each of the wards were able to have access to exercise and without the additional equipment funded by the Health Charity, this would have been impossible.

The ward based gyms have proven successful in providing treatment which improves patient’s physical and mental health and wellbeing in a way that is accessible to all.

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