HIV is still one of the fastest growing serious health conditions in the UK with around 7,000 people newly diagnosed every year. Over 100,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK with around a quarter of that number being unaware of their condition.
Mildmay UK Hospital is a charitable HIV hospital located in East London, and has been providing pioneering care and services to people living with HIV since 1988. We are the only centre in Europe dedicated to rehabilitation for people with a complex HIV condition called HAND – HIV Associated Neurocognitive Disorder. This condition occurs when HIV enters the brain causing symptoms similar to severe dementia, including memory loss, confusion, loss of a sense of self, difficulty walking, speaking and coping with to day to day tasks.
Mildmay’s specialised care and support includes highly skilled medical and nursing care, treatment and rehabilitation which combines a range of therapies. These include counselling, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech and language, music and art therapies and mental health services.
Our patients have some of the most complex and acute conditions associated with HIV seen in the country. Many come to our hospital in Shoreditch incredibly frail, having lost the ability to walk, speak, feed themselves and in need of 24-hour care. Through care, treatment and rehabilitation 80% of patients return to independent living on discharge from Mildmay and the quality of life improves for all.
We provide training to UK health professionals on HIV, HAND and other complex conditions related to HIV. Doctors and Nurses based at major UK London hospitals including St Thomas’ and Barts, spend time at Mildmay as part of their rotational training, to learn about these issues.
Mildmay UK offers day service to people experiencing cognitive disabilities. Our day service is a critical part of our rehabilitation programme. Day service runs four days per week and clients benefit from sessions with social workers, physiotherapist, dietician etc. Group sessions include gardening, art and music therapy. Through outings with volunteers, service users are supported to relearn skills that they may have lost, such as cooking, route planning, catching a bus or going shopping.
“Mildmay has been a centre of expertise for HIV since the 1980’s and is the only hospital unit in the country providing care for long-term HIV patients who develop serious physical and mental health issues.” Diane Abbot MP.
Our expert UK team is led by Medical Director Dr. Simon Rackstraw-a world renowned HIV consultant. As well as speaking at UK and International conferences about HIV and in particular HIV related brain injury, Dr Rackstraw is actively involved with the day-to-day care of patients as a member of our interdisciplinary team. In 2012 Dr Rackstraw was invited as an international expert to speak at the International Collaboration on HIV and Neurocognitive issues. Simon is also a member of the steering committee for CUHRRC’s (Canada-UK HIV and Rehabilitation Research Collaborative)
In September 2014 Mildmay moved into a brand new, purpose built HIV hospital in East London.
Our new hospital has been built on the same site as our old Victorian Hospital and is a modern facility, designed to meet the specific needs of our patients. Our Inpatient Unit has increased from 16 to 26 beds and our day care service has larger and greatly improved facilities.
Our new UK hospital will help us to build on our reputation as a centre of excellence in care and rehabilitation. A strong sense of mission to educate and share knowledge continues to underpin the expert work of our clinical staff and rehabilitation teams.
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