The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the UK has commenced construction on the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease, located at Seacroft Hospital in Leeds.  

The ground-breaking ceremony took place on 3 June, with clinical staff, fundraisers, and architects among the attendees.  

This new centre was named after the former Leeds Rhinos player diagnosed with MND at 37.  

The centre, designed as a flagship facility in the North of England for MND patients, is expected to be completed within a year. 

According to the NHS Trust, this centre will offer a space where patients can receive care, families and carers can find support, and clinical specialists can collaborate and respond to the evolving nature of the disease.  

Leeds Teaching Hospitals and Corstorphine + Wright architects have been working on the design and functionality of the centre since July 2023, taking into account the input from patients, families, carers, clinical staff, and other specialist services. 

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The centre spans more than 1,000m², and its design features three primary forms and a spacious atrium. It is situated amid the greenery of the Seacroft site.  

Additionally, the MND facility will include wheelchair-accessible parking, specialist areas for various therapies, and a landscaped garden. 

By offering these therapies, the centre aims to ensure that patients can handle real-world situations by providing mobility aids, testing devices and dedicated specialist space for speech and language therapy, respiratory and palliative care, dietetics, and neurology services. 

The centre will also have a procedure room, a large therapy space, and an area for patients to digitally ‘bank’ their voices, in case a patient uses digital aid for communication.  

Leeds Hospitals Charity has also announced that only £1m ($1.2m) remains to be raised to reach their £6.8m fundraising target for the centre.  

Since the appeal’s launch in September 2021, awareness and fundraising efforts, led by Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield, have significantly increased, with referrals to the Leeds MND service doubling.  

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust chief executive Professor Phil Wood said: “The new centre will help advance our patient care, best practice sharing, and hopefully research in the long term, which will be such a fitting legacy for Rob.”