L-R: Michel Simonis (Red Cross); Minister of Health Étienne Schneider; Dr. Sonja Hoffmann (Emile Mayrisch Foundation); Jean-Philippe Schmit (General Director of the Centre); Xavier Demoisy (Soins Colpach); Credit: © Ministère de la Santé

The Rehabilitation Centre at Colpach Castle in western Luxembourg has welcomed more than 400 patients since its opening in April 2018.

During a visit from Minister of Health Étienne Schneider to the Rehabilitation Centre on Monday, the Luxembourg Red Cross took stock of the centre's development over the past year. Indeed, the centre, which operates under the auspices of the Luxembourg Red Cross, houses two national services dedicated to post-oncological and physical rehabilitation.

On this occasion, Director general of the centre, Jean-Philippe Schmit, presented the objectives of the structure as well as its encouraging results to date: "We have welcomed 420 patients since the opening in April last year and the patient satisfaction rate is 92%. On average, patients stayed with us for 24 days".

The medical director of the centre, Dr. José Biederman, added: "The medical and care teams are striving towards one goal: to accompany the patient to help them become an actor of their health. We evaluate their physical and psychological resources by integrating their social, family and professional situation. As a result, we have formed a multidisciplinary team, which personalises the patient's care journey, to the benefit of their quality of life and well-being".

In this regard, the Rehabilitation Centre supports patients by providing them with the care, tools and motivation necessary for optimal recovery, taking into account their needs for family, linguistic and socio-professional support. Teams work closely with family physicians and hospital services, skills networks, home care services and self-help associations to enable the best continuity of care. The centre thus brings together general practitioners and specialists as well as health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and dieticians.

The National Post-Oncological Rehabilitation Service is for people who, after the acute phase of their cancer care, have symptoms that require therapeutic rehabilitation as well as adapted rehabilitation treatments. For its part, the National Physical Rehabilitation Service cares for patients who, following medical treatment, surgery or a recent aggravation of a chronic condition, have an impairment of their physical, mental and functional abilities. In total, the centre has 60 beds in single rooms. Its transformation into a Rehabilitation Centre on 1 April 2018 responded to the evolution and new needs of the Luxembourg health system.

During his visit, Étienne Schneider visited the facilities and spoke with patients, staff and management. He expressed his satisfaction with the centre, which he described as "a real complement to the main pillars of the Luxembourg health system". He added: "What I saw and heard today confirms the relevance of this offer put in place last year as part of the Cancer Plan and the Hospital Act".

For her part, Dr. Sonja Hoffmann, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Emile Mayrisch Foundation in charge of the Centre, stressed the importance of this care offer in Luxembourg: "The rehabilitation offered here in Colpach was the missing link in the management of certain patients, especially those who have been treated for cancer. The centre welcomes patients who in the past had to stay abroad, far from their relatives for their rehabilitation".

Reflecting on the centre's historic context, Dr. Hoffmann added that: "Rehabilitation - from the convalescence centre set up in 1947 - is a continuation of activity on the site and [remains faithful] to the values ​​advocated and lived by Aline Mayrisch - Saint Hubert who bequeathed the castle and its park to the Red Cross. What we are doing here today is a current interpretation of the vision articulated by the co-founder and past president of our organisation".