Katie Piper is set to launch the UK’s first “live in” burns rehabilitation centre.
The centre, which officially opens later this month, will be based at Fairfield Independent Hospital, St Helens Merseyside, and will provide scar management therapy techniques, physiotherapy treatment, and mental health support.
Patients using the facilities will also be able to live at the centre in on-site bungalow accommodation, with the centre aiming to treat 20 burns patients in the first 12 months of opening.
Speaking about the opening, Piper says: “Developing this service with burns patients at its heart, has been a rewarding and challenging process but we’re finally at the finish line and we’re now ready to welcome patients.
“It’s a very big moment for myself, the team and the patients – it’s also a huge step forward for us as a charity.”
The centre unofficially opened in January 2019 following a pilot scheme during which it welcomed several patients to help develop the service ahead of its official launch this month.
To date, over 1,000 hours of scar management therapy, psycho-social support, laser treatments and activities such as yoga and swimming have been delivered in the development phase of the rehabilitation centre.
A specialised team of physiotherapists, psycho-social specialists and plastic surgeons will provide care to patients at the centre.
Piper previously told the BBC that she felt inspired to open the centre given her own experience with burns rehabilitation.
“Being a burns survivor myself and having my own journey, I had fantastic treatment on the NHS but recognised a gap in the rehabilitation of a survivor and wanted to fill that with my charity,” she told the news outlet.
The Strictly Come Dancing star was left partially blind and with severe, permanent scarring across her face and body following an acid attack involving a man named Daniel Lynch who arranged for his accomplice, Stefan Sylvestre, to throw a cup of sulphuric acid at her face in north London in March 2008.
Following the incident, the philanthropist had to have more than 40 operations to treat her injuries.
While she received treatment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the television personality later sought further care at a burns rehabilitation centre in Centre Ster, Lamalou-Les-Bains in the South of France.
Piper launched her eponymously-named charity in 2009 with the aim of helping people burns and scars to reconnect with their lives and their communities.
According to the charity, over 4,000 people who have experienced scarring have received support as a result of Piper’s foundation.
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