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New National Rehabilitation Centre appoints lead nurse

An award-winning nurse, who has worked across emergency departments in London, has been appointed lead nurse the UK’s first national rehabilitation service, set to open next year.

Rebecca Kenny has joined the leadership team at the new National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), which is currently being built in Loughborough.

The purpose of the NRC is to act as a national hub that enables better outcomes for people who have been seriously injured or experienced debilitating illness.

The 70-bed centre, backed by £105 million from the government’s New Hospital Programme, will be run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

“Rehabilitation nurses live, work and breathe a holistic model of care”

Rebecca Kenny

The construction of the centre aims to be completed by the end of 2024.

Ms Kenny said she jumped at the chance to join the NRC.

She said: “This role just blew me away.

“The NRC ambition is incredibly forward-thinking, and we will be caring for patients in a state-of-the-art facility which will also be a great work environment for our staff.

“It will have a completely different feel and energy to what we can provide in an acute hospital setting.”

Ms Kenny completed her nurse training at the University of Nottingham in 2010 and then worked as a staff nurse on an admissions ward at Lincoln County Hospital.

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After that, she moved to London to work in the emergency departments at Charing Cross Hospital and major trauma centre St Mary’s Hospital Paddington.

Ms Kenny said: “I enjoyed the pace and the teamwork in such a busy environment, as well as helping patients at the early stage of their trauma.

“These were people who had been going about their day-to-day lives, and then their life had been turned upside down; it was a privilege to be there to help them.

“Now in this new role, it’s about how we can support people through the rest of their lives.”

Ms Kenny, who was given Nursing Times’ Rising Star Award in 2015, moved on to become patient safety lead at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust before she became a matron at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

In her new role at the NRC, Ms Kenny said she had big plans for rehabilitation nursing.

Over the next 12 months, she said she would like to develop a professional nursing rehabilitation course to introduce more colleagues to the field.

“Many nurses and healthcare support staff across our acute wards have supported the rehabilitation of patients during their working day, so this is an opportunity to work with the same patient group, but at the next step on their recovery journey,” said Ms Kenny.

“Rehabilitation nurses live, work and breathe a holistic model of care, and we know this can be challenging to get right in an acute environment.

“We know the NRC will be able to support this in a way not seen before, which is very exciting.”

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Nurses wishing to join Ms Kenny at the NRC will be able to apply once the roles are advertised in 2024.

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