Pioneering technologies that could help patients’ rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital’s spinal injuries centre have been on show to international delegates at the birthplace of the Paralympics.
As part of the Government’s legacy strategy for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, potential investors from around the globe visited Stoke Mandeville Stadium to see new technology available to aid both disabled and able-bodied people.
The head of the Olympic legacy project, Sir Alan Collins, said it was right to hold the summit at Stoke Mandeville because of its history and so delegates could see the ‘amazing’ work that goes on, with many visitors expressing excitement to be at Stoke Mandeville.
One technology on show was a bionic exoskeleton allowing people with spinal injuries to walk again during their rehab.
Nikki Emerson, who was left in a wheelchair after a car crash four years ago, was treated at the hospital.
The 24 year old praised the treatment she received and said of the exoskeleton: “It’s so cool.
“I didn’t expect it to feel normal at all, but it feels just like walking.
“I really hope they get one at Stoke Mandeville in the future.”
Anne Eden, chief executive of Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said she hopes those attending the event would be able to help patients at Stoke Mandeville by backing investment.
She said: “It’s about hope and giving people something to hold onto in terms of living full lives.”
Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, said Stoke Mandeville is ‘one of the jewels in the crown of our NHS’ and praised everyone who has worked there for pursuing Ludwig Guttmann’s vision.
Following the exhibition, a meet the buyers event is being held at the stadium later this month to continue the push for investment in the UK as part of the Olympic and Paralympic legacy.
Sir Alan said: “We need foreign buyers and investors to drive this technology.
“The more we can drive that development the more we will help the economy and people that need the technology.”