Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) Halton

To reduce the number of unfit operational Service personnel & treat those injured on operations, the MoD aims to rapidly return personnel to full fitness – the ‘fitter quicker’ principle. Where this is not achievable, the aim is to attain the maximal level of physical, psychological & social health.

Last year Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) Halton treated 2052 patients, from pre and post operative rehabilitation, chronic (long term) conditions to polytrauma resulting from battle injury.

RRUs deliver intermediate care, access to secondary care rehabilitation and support to Primary Care Rehabilitation Facilities. The clinical services provided at RRU Halton include assessment, outpatient appointments & residential physiotherapy & exercise-based rehabilitation. If further investigation or intensive rehabilitation is required for a patient, they are referred to RRU Halton or DMRC Headley Court. For outpatients a Multi-disciplinary Injury Assessment Clinic performs initial assessment by a specialist sports Doctor, a Physiotherapist & an Exercise Rehabilitation Instructor (ERI). The extent of the injury & the patient’s functional ability will be determined through tests which may include diagnostic ultrasound scans with the results helping the team to plan the patient’s future care pathway.

RRU Halton services a potential 25,000 Tri-Service personnel in the UK & overseas. If admitted, 4 types of residential rehabilitation are available Spines, Lower Limbs, Upper Limbs & the Patellafemoral Pain Group. Each patient receives a bespoke treatment plan that may include group therapy by the ERI covering rehabilitation, education, cardiovascular training, hydrotherapy, strength classes, circuits & recreational therapy. Courses educate patients about their injury, increase mobility, improve strength, balance & proprioception, reduce pain levels & increase overall function.

To gauge potential improvement, outcome measures are taken throughout the patient’s course of treatment. Results obtained over 3 weeks consistently show lower pain scores in normal activity & during the worst recent pain. Patients are expected to continue with their individual programme post course which should help continue the reduction in pain levels. Results from the multi-stage locomotion test indicate that significant improvements are made after 3 weeks of treatment, on average patients achieve 43 extra shuttles (an additional 434m). Subjective function questionnaires also show over a 9% increase in perceived function from admittance to discharge.

The RRU has recently undergone a refurbishment of the clinical areas & gym hall, allowing the team to provide specialist upper limb classes. The Gym also provides a quiet area to treat patients & is fully equipped to provide alternative classes. The showers and ablutions in the other RRU building have also been improved with the Gym providing upgraded CV equipment, resistance machines, weights, circuit equipment & Pilates apparatus. A recent addition is the Biodex balance feedback system which encourages patients to improve their posture, Centre of gravity & coordination. RRU Halton uses outdoor walks in Wendover Woods along with outdoor fitness sessions & recreational therapy classes to break up the patient’s day & alleviate monotony that some exercise programmes cause.

More information on the RRU is available on the station intranet under ‘other departments’.