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On 15 February, Victoria Chalker, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England, visited the innovative Rehabilitation Engineering Service (RES) at a Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) site. 

She visited Chailey Clinical Services (CCS), which offers a safe, nurturing environment for children and young people with complex neuro-disabilities from all over the UK. The RES team work at the Chailey site and offers groundbreaking engineering solutions using innovative assistive technology tailored to individual needs by working closely with therapists. RES are one of a few NHS departments registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a manufacturer of Class I medical devices. This allows them to not only create bespoke medical devices but also standardised devices that can be placed on the market and sold more widely.

Group of Rehabilitation Engineering Staff with Victoria Chalker, Deputy Scientific Officer
Victoria Chalker, Deputy Chief Scientific Officer for NHS England visited the innovative Rehabilitation Engineering Service at a Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.

On the tour, Victoria visited their on-site workshop, where engineers design and create devices and equipment such as seating systems and lying supports. Victoria also met the team of clinical scientists, rehabilitation engineers, technicians, and administrative staff. 

During the visit, Victoria also viewed the high-tech communication aids provided by Chailey Communication Aid Service (CCAS).  Like RES, CCAS is led by a consultant clinical scientist and is registered to manufacture class 1 and custom-made medical devices. 

Donna Lamb, SCFT Chief Nurse, said: “I was really impressed with the patient-centred approach to the services and the multidisciplinary working.” Victoria said: “Thank you, Team Chailey, for the decades of innovation to help those in need and your continued invention and dedication to patients and families…the NHS at its best!”