New MS care unit opens in Hingham

Elaine Loades in the new MS care room at Hassingham House in Hingham. Photograph Simon Parker

Elaine Loades in the new MS care room at Hassingham House in Hingham. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

People with a debilitating condition have been given a welcome boost after a care home opened a special new unit for multiple sclerosis sufferers.

Hassingham House, based in Hingham, officially opened its new unit, which features a relaxation suite, yesterday.

The unit was the idea of deputy manager, Sally Lee, who has worked at the home for eight years.

Mrs Lee said she was inspired to create a safe and serene environment for those with the condition as she felt many were missing out due to the personal budget cuts.

'I have always been very passionate about MS as I know a lot of people with it,' she said.

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'I could see finances were hitting people hard and I wanted to make a difference. Some of our regular respite clients couldn't afford to come and stay and this broke my heart.

'I wanted to provide a relaxing room where people could spend the day with a carer.

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'A total of 70pc of people with MS are female and I wanted to create somewhere for them to have a massage, a bath and get their nails done.'

Mrs Lee has also forged links with MS support groups in Norwich and Dereham, who have been invited to use the unit.

Elaine Loades, who was diagnosed with MS in 2000, said she thought the new unit was brilliant.

'I will be using it quite a lot,' she said. 'When you have MS, you are told that everything is good for you – having your hair done is good for you, going swimming is good for you – but this was created simply because it's nice.'

The 47-year-old, who lives in Colkirk, near Fakenham, said it was important to find time to relax.

'The reason I come back here time and time again is because it's such a happy place and everyone is so friendly,' she added.

Local man Les King cut the ribbon to officially open the new care unit.

Staff at the centre were also celebrating after they received a glowing report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors visited the site on April 23 and commended the home on cleanliness, staff training and medication management.

Respite patients described Hassingham House as 'home from home' and said staff offered 'personalised and safe care'.

Inspectors said: 'People experienced care, treatment and support that met their needs and protected their rights.

'One person told us of the problems they had recently had with remaining comfortable in their bed and how the manager had found them a different air mattress that was better for them.'

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