New service provider for Lentegeur

Physiotherapist Nasheeta Gierdien helps a patient exercise his fine motor skills by opening locks.

Aquarius Health Care, a non-profit organisation, is the Department of Health’s newly appointed service provider for this facility based at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital – Ward 94, neighbour to the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre.

They are an arm of an umbrella body called Aquarius Feeding Scheme, which started feeding pupils in the southern suburbs 17 years ago.

Today they feed pupils at 17 different schools.

Having taken over from the department on April 1, the new kid on the block, which officially launched on Saturday September 8, sees to the needs of 145 patients, which will grow to 187 patients a month starting in January.

Facility manager Valerie Roman said they provide wound care, palliative, short-term rehabilitation and convalescent care.

Patients, 18 years and older, can stay a maximum of 42 days in the institution as stipulated by the Department of Health.

Ms Roman said they must be medically stable and have been assessed on an individual basis, guided by services required, not by diagnosis.

“There is constant movement, whether patients are referred to us or they are referred back to the hospital for medical treatment, as chronic patients, amputees and those in need of rehabilitation are taken care of by us,” she said.

The facility also offers a rehabilitation programme, wherein patients are assessed and treated by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, each with their own expertise. This team includes medical officers, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, dietician, social workers, therapy assistants, rehabilitation care workers, student therapists, cares and a pharmacy assistant.

Administration manager Beverley Noble called on the public and businesses to help by providing slippers or single shoes to patients who arrive barefoot.

She said many were in need of comfort wear, gowns and toiletries.

“Many patients come here with nothing and they don’t know where they are going,” she said.

Ms Noble said an amputee may benefit from a donation of a single shoe.

“We’d like to set up our patients, ready to face their lives,” she said.

Ms Noble also encouraged family members of patients to come for family training and support. “Some of them feel abandoned and need a bit of care to help them on their way,” she said.

Their programme focuses on the quality of life of the patients, with the aim to reintegrate patients into the community, by assisting them to reach their full potential, within the constraints of their medical condition or disability.

The facility provides care for uninsured patients referred from state institutions.

For more information call the office on 021 111 0240 or email