The Lane Fox REMEO® Respiratory Centre - the UK's first purpose-built weaning and home ventilation centre - was officially opened by Baroness Lane-Fox, CBE on Wednesday 22 October.
Situated in the grounds of East Surrey Hospital, near Redhill in Surrey, the unit is the result of a landmark public-private partnership between Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, BOC Ltd and REMEO Healthcare Ltd, the latter two being subsidiaries of The Linde Group.
Martha Lane-Fox, Chancellor of the Open University and Chair of go ON UK, the digital skills charity, is the great niece of Baroness Felicity Lane Fox, who was a champion of the rights of people with disability and a driving force behind the fundraising campaign that led to the building of the original Lane Fox Respiratory Unit at St Thomas' Hospital in 1989.
Martha Lane-Fox was joined by her father, the noted historian and master gardener Robin Lane Fox, in the official opening of the Lane Fox REMEO Respiratory Centre.
At the ceremony Baroness Lane-Fox said: "This is a new and exciting model of healthcare that allows specialist care to be delivered through innovative use of technology. The virtual access to specialist consultants to support the nurses in the management of complex respiratory patients is breaking new ground and is a major step forward in the integration of technology and healthcare that will help to improve both patients' experience and outcomes."
The purpose-built new centre will operate as a satellite to the renowned Lane Fox Respiratory Unit at St Thomas' Hospital in central London. It will enable more NHS patients to access leading clinical expertise in 'weaning' patients from invasive mechanical ventilation and enable them to eventually return home.
By moving patients out of intensive care wards and into a multi-disciplinary specialist centre, the Lane Fox REMEO Respiratory Centre will also free up hospital intensive care beds for other acutely ill people.
Dr Nicholas Hart, Clinical and Academic Director of the Lane Fox Respiratory Service, said: "We are delighted to have been able to partner with BOC and REMEO Healthcare in this exciting new development. The centre will help match the gap in the provision of this type of specialist service as well as deliver care more locally. By moving patients from the intensive care environment to one more conducive to recovery will aid recovery and enable transition home."
Andrew Harvey, Head of BOC Healthcare and REMEO Healthcare, added: "The Lane Fox REMEO Respiratory Centre is in line with NHS England's plans to develop specialist respiratory services. This is the first public-private partnership to establish such a service and we would like to thank our partners at Guy's and St Thomas' for their assistance in bringing this centre to fruition. We also wish to thank our partners at East Surrey Hospital for strongly supporting this whole process. We are planning further centres in other parts of the UK in due course."
The new build centre, designed by architects Murphy Philips, was funded by BOC whilst REMEO Healthcare will oversee the staffing of the centre and medical care will continue to be provided by the specialists at Guys and St Thomas'. With extended visiting hours and a relaxing and homely environment, the centre will improve outcomes in complex respiratory patients. In addition to providing specialist care, the centre will also be a major training resource including helping carers to learn how to look after people who continue to need to receive mechanical ventilation at home.