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What we do

We provide intensive inpatient neuro-rehabilitation for patients recovering from a severe neurological event such as brain injury, disease, or trauma who need specialist care to aid their recovery. This includes help with learning how to walk, talk, dress, and do everyday activities.

We are part of the neurosciences department. Our large multidisciplinary team includes neuro-rehabilitation doctors, specialist nurses, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and occupational therapists. We work together to help patients make the transition from hospital to home.

The Frank Cooksey Rehabilitation Unit is a 15-bed tertiary specialised rehabilitation service. It provides post-acute inpatient neurological rehabilitation for people with highly complex physical and cognitive impairments that are beyond the scope of their local and district specialist services. It serves a regional population of 1 to 5 million through specialised commissioning arrangements.

The Ontario Ward provides a 14-bed specialist level 2B rehabilitation service offering rehabilitation for adult patients recovering from acquired neurological disability, from across South East London.

Our service sees people who need rehabilitation because of a wide range of illnesses or injuries, such as:

  • stroke
  • acquired brain injury and spinal cord injuries
  • peripheral neuromuscular diseases such as Guillain Barré syndrome, critical illness neuropathy, and polymyositis

Philosophy of care

Specialist rehabilitation services play a key role in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and rehabilitation management of patients with disabling neurological conditions. Our team adopts a multidisciplinary approach in engaging patients in a structured programme of rehabilitation. Using a holistic approach, the team uses their expertise to manage physical, psychological, and behavioural problems associated with both acute and chronic illnesses. They support patients as they work on improving and living with their impairments.

Rehabilitation focuses on a patient-centred goal-directed process in accordance with best evidence and practice. We work closely with families and caregivers. Each patient is allocated a named rehabilitation coordinator, who is the main source of contact for family and caregivers.

The rehabilitation team is led by a consultant rehabilitation medicine physician, supported by ward doctors, working with a team of other rehabilitation specialists, including:

  • rehabilitation nurses
  • occupational therapists
  • physiotherapists
  • speech and language therapists
  • dietitians
  • neuro-psychologists
  • social workers
  • activity coordinators

We work closely with neuro-navigators within the South East London boroughs and third-sector organisations.

We also provide in-reach neuro-rehabilitation support to University Hospital Lewisham and Queen Elizabeth Hospitals.

We also have support from the Neuro-urology team within the Trust in complex bladder management.


First Floor, Orpington Hospital, Sevenoaks Road, Orpington, Kent, BR6 9JU

Contact Details

Conditions we treat

We provide inpatient rehabilitation for patients who are 16 or over with complex neurological disabilities (a physical disability, often with cognitive and/or communication problems) who require more than one intensive therapy discipline (occupational therapy, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy) and/or psychology. These patients’ needs are such that they require an inpatient stay in a specialised unit to optimise their recovery.

The main patient groups we treat are people recovering from:

  • an acquired brain injury of any cause
  • incomplete spinal cord lesions of any cause
  • complete thoracic and lumbar spinal cord lesions, if a referral to an RSCIC has been made but access is delayed or the patient has been declined
  • peripheral neuromuscular diseases, such as Guillain Barré syndrome, critical illness neuropathy, and polymyositis.
  • complex polytrauma where brain injury is the predominant presentation
  • patients requiring complex spasticity management
  • patients with neurodegenerative disorders (for example, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s etc) requiring specialist rehabilitation

Please see the full-service specification and admissions guide below.

We mostly work with King’s patients from Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, and Greenwich, but also help patients from Guy’s & St Thomas’, Lewisham, and Sidcup hospitals. In addition, we take patients from other parts of London, usually where there are no specialist rehab services available.

What is required before referring a patient

Admission will not merely be for placement, containment or to await rehousing.

Patients must be:

  • medically optimised before referral and admission
  • able to maintain their own airway throughout a 24-hour period
  • able to tolerate at least two half-hour sessions of rehabilitation therapy each day
  • self-motivated to achieve rehabilitation goals.

They should not demonstrate psychiatric or behavioural problems that may pose a significant risk to other patients, staff or to themselves.

Booking a patient at King’s

Routine Referrals

Please refer to the Frank Cooksey Rehabilitation Unit or Ontario Ward via BadgerNet. If you do not have access to BadgerNet, please email the relevant email address below.

Tel: 01689 866394
Frank Cooksey Rehabilitation Unit Email: [email protected]
Ontario Ward Email: [email protected]

Neuro-rehabilitation Assessment Clinic

Referrals are triaged by our consultants and where indicated, we arrange for a neuro-rehabilitation assessment by our multidisciplinary team: a consultant neurologist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, physiotherapist and psychologist.

Emergency Referrals

We do not take emergency referrals as we offer rehabilitation to medically stable, non-emergency patients.

Other Queries

For advice and guidance, contact the Data and Admin Coordinator:
Tel: 01689 866394

Service Specification and Admissions Guides