Earlier this week, Enable attended the official opening of the Katie Piper Foundation Rehabilitation Centre, at Fairfield Independent Hospital in St. Helens.
The Liverpool-based centre, is the first of its kind in the UK and quietly opened in January this year, welcoming patients and developing the service ahead of the official launch this week.
For the last 10 years, author, philanthropist and burns survivor, Katie Piper, has been an advocate for other burns survivors. Her charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, has provided vital services and support to patients since it launched in 2009.
During Katie’s recovery, she had to travel abroad to receive specialist treatment, which inspired her to launch the centre.
“I wanted to be able to set something up that’s accessible for UK survivors that wasn’t private,” Katie explains.
“When you’ve had a life changing trauma, the majority of people can’t work and paying for private treatment isn’t an option for most people.”
The charity is funded by generous donations from individuals and companies, which will enable the centre to provide care to burns survivors free of charge.
Following on from the work of the NHS Burns Service, patients can spend time at the Katie Piper Foundation Rehabilitation Centre, based in the tranquil surroundings at Fairfield Independent Hospital.
A wide variety of treatments are available, including scar management therapy techniques and specialist physiotherapy, as well as mental health support.
Survivors are able to stay in bungalows onsite, as opposed to a hospital ward, and take part in different activities, including swimming and horse riding.
The centre aims to deliver over 3,000 hours of care, treatment and activities in the first 12 months of their opening, to 20 patients.
“My biggest hope is that we continue to raise the funds to be able to keep providing essential care,” Katie enthuses.
“Anyone who knows about medical treatment knows that’s a lot of funds.
“We also just want to raise awareness so people know we exist and that patients can keep coming here for as long as they need.”