We were delighted to join University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity yesterday at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital Acute Stroke Unit, who welcomed supporters and patients to celebrate the success of their “Walkerbot Campaign”. Just six months after installation of the Hocoma LokomatPro robotic gait trainer, the progress made already is inspiring and we had the privilege of meeting patients who have regained their mobility.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity successfully raised £365,000 during the Covid-19 pandemic with their “Walkerbot Campaign”, which included the equipment and installation of the device, as well as changes to room infrastructure. Speeches were given by those who were instrumental in the success of the campaign alongside videos which document the installation of the device on the unit.

In these videos you can see the LokomatPro during installation, as well as staff receiving their training to learn how to use the device.

Relearning how to walk

The LokomatPro has been used by stroke patients on the unit to relearn how to walk, and patients are already seeing fantastic results.

Karen Smith, Fundraising Manager at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity, said:

“We’ve got a fantastic stroke team here in the trust, we started with the original research into what they needed and this phenomenal piece of equipment. We went to London to see it in action and then together we’ve worked with them to provide case studies and information on what it would mean for the stroke team and the patients here.”

Offering the most up-to-date technology

Dr Louise Johnson, Consultant Therapist at University Hospitals Dorset, said:

“We identified [the Lokomat] as something that we wanted to provide within our stroke service because we know it’s got a really strong evidence base. We know it works for people with stroke, it’s recommended in our national guidelines for stroke, yet as far as we were aware, no stroke services in the UK offer patients access to this kind of service. So we wanted to do something about that and be one of the first to be able to offer patients access to such incredible technology. It is really exciting for staff to be able to work in a service that is able to offer the most up-to-date technology so we are really excited about being trained how to use [the Lokomat], to be able to offer that to patients who access our services and get the best outcomes for our patients. 

So for patients who are unable to walk after a stroke or patients whose legs have been affected by the stroke, [the Lokomat] will give them the opportunity to practice really high repetitions within their rehabilitation. So at the moment, we would support patients to relearn how to sit and stand and step if they’re able to. But we can only do that at quite low intensity, and the use of robotics enables us to do that at much higher intensity, which we know has an impact on people’s recovery and ultimately their outcomes.”

Improving the lives of stroke patients

At the celebration Sara Brammall, Managing Director at Summit Medical and Scientific, said yesterday:

“I’m really delighted to have been invited to join University Hospitals Dorset in their celebration of acquiring and using the Hocoma Lokomat as a result of their Walkerbot appeal. Supplying this state of the art robotic technology in the UK and bringing it to not just the private sector but also to the NHS is really important to us because we want everybody to be able to benefit from the use of this technology and really improve lots of people’s lives. It’s been a real privilege and an honour to work with the team here at the hospital; procurement, estates, the stroke unit, and the charity team have done an incredible job and we’re really proud to be part of it. Congratulations to everyone”.

About the LokomatPro

The LokomatPro is a robotic-assisted therapy device for highly intensive physiological gait rehabilitation for severely impaired patients. The LokomatPro was developed by Swiss rehabilitation technology company Hocoma, and is supplied in the UK by Summit Medical and Scientific.

Get in touch with Summit Medical and Scientific today to find out more about incorporating state-of-the-art rehabilitation technology into your practice. Contact us via email at info@summitmedsci.co.uk or call 01372 3459863. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates.