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Patients' Olympic Cycle Challenge

richardson project

Patients attending a falls group at the Richardson hospital are cycling to the Olympic stadium as part of their rehabilitation.

The project is the idea of Sister Patricia Atkinson who has set up a new, innovative group with support from the Friends of the Hospital to deliver support in balance and rehabilitation for patients who have suffered a fall.

The group will complete the cycle without leaving the hospital thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of the Hospital which has enabled the group to buy two motomed bikes.

Patricia explains: "We launched the project in February and now run three clinics a week. Patients who've had a fall need support to build up their confidence and improve their balance again while undergoing rehabilitation. I was keen to support them in a new way, different way which wouldn't feel like traditional rehab. I've come up with a series of different challenges such as the cycle to the Olympic stadium and a biathlon - using the bikes and the wii - which the patients can enjoy and benefit from at the same time in terms of recovery.

"The challenges have been very well received, my oldest patient Clifford is 98 years old but is a fantastic skier on the wii - the staff can't keep up with him! We set up a leader board and it's surprising how competitive they can all get. It's a way of keeping them motivated and taking their mind off the exercise they are actually doing. I'm so pleased with how the group is developing, it's something I believe in passionately and hope to develop further over the next three years of the project."

Patricia is already planning her next challenge for the group - a canoe trip down the Nile in September!

Published: 30 July 2012


'I would like to thank all the staff for my treatment and their professionalism.'

Patient, Cardiology Department, Bishop Auckland Hospital