Head injury patients treated in an unsuitable ward
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Head injury patients are being treated on an inappropriate ward at Southampton General due to staff shortages. This is very worrying, when the Wessex Neurological Unit, deemed to be a centre of excellence for neuro surgery and acute care is attached to Southampton General. Rehabilitation is just as important as acute care.
This is a crucial time for patients with head injuries. They can learn new skills and adapt to their limitations provided they are in the right place receiving the right care.
I recently acted for Kevin Cleightonhills. He received initial surgery at the Wessex and was then transferred back to St Mary's, Isle of Wight where he was placed on a ward with stroke patients.
I had to issue proceedings and apply to the Court for funds to enable him to be moved to a specialist unit. Without this intervention, Kevin would not have been able to make the recovery that he has. Prof. Derek Wade, neurological rehabilitation expert who reported on Kevin's case said "This case illustrates what can be achieved in terms of rehabilitation for someone with a very severe problem given both adequate resources and more importantly, a supportive social and physical environment."
It could be said that Kevin was lucky. He was injured at work for an employer who had adequate insurance cover. Specialist NHS resources for head injury are scarce across the country. It is worrying if a centre of excellence aren't able to provide the right environment and adequate resources.
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