PATIENTS are being given back their independence thanks to a hospital team.

A healthcare assistant on the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU), was caring for a patient when she had "light bulb moment" when she had an idea to adapt a standard bedside table into a unit for patients to wash themselves without assistance.

Anthony Dukes, of Llanymynech, was the first patient to use the device.

"I am now able put a flannel in the water and wash my face without risk of knocking the bowl over," he said

"“Being able to brush my teeth and have a shave just makes me feel so much better. Previously it wasn’t possible as the bowl was too high and not very stable.

“It’s always said that the simplest ideas are the best ideas and this is proof of that, and so typical of the excellent care I have received while on the ITU.”

Hospital carpenter Sean Roberts cut holes into a bedside table and slotted in different-sized basins so that patients no longer have to ask for help washing, shaving and brushing their teeth.

Susie Price, who came up with the idea, is training to become a critical care rehabilitation practitioner and is working with physiotherapists to get patients better sooner.

“The rehabilitation process is very important as it improves a patients’ quality of life and reduces the length of time they spend in hospital," she said

“Giving back a part of their independence is equally as important. Not everyone wants to be washed; in fact for some people it is very important that they are able to continue doing things for themselves.”

Corrin Dorsett, ward manager on ITU, said: “I am so proud of my team; they inspire me every single day.

“I also want to say a huge thank you to Sean Roberts for turning an idea into reality. He is incredibly talented and has produced something that he should be very proud of.

“The invention has been approved by the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team and if trials on ITU prove successful maybe the ‘wash table’ will be rolled out across other units and wards at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust.”