A new military regional rehabilitation centre offering a purpose-built specialist environment for Service personnel to recover from injuries sustained on operations, training accidents or playing sport, has opened in Aldershot.
Canada House is the flagship of the Regional Rehabilitation Unit (RRU) programme, which provides co-ordinated clinical management to a tri-Service population, and offers clinical services including assessment, outpatient and residential physiotherapy, and exercise-based rehabilitation.
The Defence Medical Rehabilitation Programme (DMRP) is part of the overall defence strategy to reduce the number of Service personnel who are unfit for operational deployment and to treat those injured on operations.
The aim of the DMRP is to return these Service personnel to operational levels of fitness as soon as possible - the ‘fitter quicker’ principle. Where this is not achievable, the aim is to attain the maximum level of physical, psychological and social health.
The new RRU in Aldershot will deliver extra capacity and shorter waiting times for treatment, enabling Service personnel to get back into front line work quicker, fitter and better-motivated.
Colonel Tim Forster, Commander of Aldershot Garrison, said:
People will be given the maximum possible chance to get themselves better. Canada House is a part of the much bigger project which encompasses all of the garrisons and stations around the Salisbury Plain.
It’s an amazing place with first class facilities which is going to make a tremendous difference to the lives and welfare of our servicemen and women. This is a fantastic facility but just what our young men and women deserve.
Canada House boasts excellent disabled facilities and access, a state-of-the-art gym which includes weight-training equipment, cycling machines and specialist machines for cardiovascular work.
As well as excellent equipment, Canada House also offers training to teach personnel how to avoid certain injuries in the future.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Tyler of the Royal Military Police said:
The amount of tours and kit we are carrying, it’s going to eventually have an effect. Then carrying a bit too much weight in Iraq gave me a lower leg injury.
That’s had a knock-on effect and now I’m suffering with lower back pain. But the course here isn’t just helping to reduce the pain, it’s teaching me what to do to stop that kind of injury occurring again in the future. It’s really educational.
The new facilities have been met with enthusiasm; Senior Aircraftman James Littlejohn said:
Comparing the old RRU that was here in Aldershot in a run down Victorian building and a couple of portakabins to the new one, this is absolutely amazing.
You feel better just walking in here and the facilities and equipment are fantastic.
The RRU in Aldershot was delivered through Project Allenby/Connaught, an £8bn 35-year contract with Aspire Defence Limited, which is providing modern, fully-serviced, living and working accommodation for 20 per cent of the British Army in the Salisbury Plain and Aldershot Garrisons.
As with the other 540 new and refurbished buildings being delivered, Canada House will be maintained throughout the life of the contract and will not be allowed to deteriorate.