Survivors who were seriously injured in the Manchester Arena attack are to benefit from enhanced rehabilitation in a world-class facility used by elite sports people.
The We Love Manchester Emergency Fund has released money to provide sessions at The Manchester Institute of Health & Performance (MIHP) for those identified by doctors as suffering from continued disability after major physical trauma.
The funding is the latest release of money from the Emergency Fund, which has now raised more than £20m to help victims of the terrorist attack in May 2017.
Up to 40 of the most seriously injured will benefit from treatment at the multi-million-pound facility, based in east Manchester. MIHP has been designed to create a world-class environment for diagnosis, education and research in health and performance. The equipment and skills, provided by MIHP, supported by NHS trauma therapists, will help the most severely injured patients to regain as much of their pre-injury levels of mobility as possible.
Those eligible for the treatment are known to clinicians and most have already been contacted. Doctors made their recommendations based on who is most likely to benefit from the facilities available.
Alongside rehabilitation, the partnership will create a legacy, as a research project will be launched to provide the NHS with learnings on how to treat those suffering as a result of such physical injuries, which will support the care of other patients in the future.
Dr Jason Wong, from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, is overseeing the project. He said: “As healthcare professionals, seeing patients get better is our greatest satisfaction. There are still people affected by the Manchester Arena attack who are struggling physically from life-changing injuries.
“We have this bold ambition to do things differently in Manchester and it struck us that there was a real opportunity to work closely across rehabilitation disciplines to help these people find their former function.
“The collaboration with MIHP will provide the NHS access to world leading rehabilitation facilities alongside a community of expert sports scientists and sports medicine practitioners to work towards regaining best outcomes for these patients.
“We are hopeful what we learn from this project will help patients with these types of injuries in the future. We are really excited for the opportunity the fund has provided us to make a difference to those that suffered the most.”
The £500,000 costs will be paid for by the Emergency Fund and the National Health Service.
This is the latest round of funding to be used for the benefit of those who suffered as a result of the Arena attack. The funding will cover the costs of ensuring there are one to one NHS employees to support each patient, and technical staff to ensure that the patient journey is a pleasant but productive experience. Transport costs to and from the venue will also be covered by the Fund.
Following a fantastic fundraising effort from members of the public, the Emergency Fund has already allocated £16m to help the victims, in just nine months. The trustees have also agreed to commission an independent review to assess how effective the fund has been in helping those affected.
The Fund’s trustees are now looking into further help for those affected including the use of nationwide psychological support groups, based, in part, on a model that saw success in Norway following the Anders Brevik terror attacks of 2011.
Sue Murphy, chair of the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund, said: “The city and the world responded with such kindness, generosity and solidarity in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack. To raise more than £20m is an amazing response.
“The partnership with MIHP and the NHS offers unprecedented access to world-class facilities and treatment for those most in need of therapy for physical injuries resulting from the attack.
“The research project we are working on will create a real legacy in the treatment of people suffering in this way and will present something positive in the aftermath of a truly awful situation.
“The Trustees, in conjunction with health professionals, have done their utmost to help as many people as possible who suffered in the attack, but we are aware we can’t help everyone who was there on that evening. We have done our very best, with guidance from clinicians, to distribute the money so generously raised by the public, and we continue to look at options for helping as many people as possible from the funds that remain.”