120 years of Royal Rehab


One of Australia’s leading rehabilitation providers has celebrated its 120th anniversary by expanding its services.

Rehabilitation and disability support service Royal Rehab, based in Sydney, has now acquired MetroRehab Hospital in Petersham in the city’s inner west.

Royal Rehab CEO, Matthew Mackay, said it was important to reflect on the organisation’s history as it looked to the future.

“Throughout Royal Rehab’s journey, the organisation has always stayed true to its humble foundation,” he said.

“It was built on the commitment to supporting people who need it.

“We are dedicated to continuing that legacy with the acquisition of MetroRehab Hospital which represents exciting growth with a highly regarded hospital in Sydney’s Inner West.”

Opened in 1899 and originally known as the Commonwealth Home for Destitute Invalids and later, the NSW Home for Incurables, Royal Rehab now offers specialist brain and spinal cord injury rehabilitation services, as well as a private hospital, supported disability accommodation and allied health therapies across metropolitan Sydney.

“We have a sensational team, there’s no doubt,” Mr Mackay said.

“We really pride ourselves on keeping everything in in-house, we don’t outsource any of our treatments and with the acquisition of MetroRehab we now have 850 staff – doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, dieticians, psychologists, and allied health staff.

“We do research full time as well, with two full time researchers and research assistants. We also currently have six PhD candidates working with us.”

Mr Mackay added that bringing MetroRehab under the Royal Rehab umbrella would expand their presence in Sydney and help them continue to provide important services to those in need.

“MetroRehab Hospital is an established rehabilitation facility providing best-in-class physical rehabilitation services to the people of the Inner West,” he said.

“We are pleased to take MetroRehab into our fold and continue providing quality medical, allied health and nursing expertise.”

MetroRehab Hospital general manager, Denise Thomas, said they were looking forward to “joining the family”.

“Royal Rehab is an iconic facility with a long history of delivering excellence in rehabilitation,” she said.

“There is natural synergy between our organisations and we look forward to a seamless integration and becoming part of the Royal Rehab story.”

Mr MacKay said there were plenty of plans for expansion, and further research, in the future.

“We’re interested in pushing the boundaries particularly with adaptive and assistive technology in the rehab space – there’s not a lot of work being done in that area in Australia,” he said.

“We want to bridge the gap in that area from research, to trials, to clinical practice.”


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