"Hope the NHS will recognise the value of specialist clinics"

About: Hertfordshire and the South Midlands Stoke Mandeville Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I am a complete lesion paraplegic as a result of a car accident in 1959. I was lucky enough to be sent, after 2 months in hospital in Nyasaland, now Malawi, to the new unit set up at Stoke Mandeville Hospital for spinal injury patients. My rehab was spent during 9 months there and since then I have been attached to what is the National Spinal Injury Centre, still at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in the Bucks Health Care Ass.

During those 55 years I have been able to continue to lead a reasonable, full life due to the regular care received from the Spinal Injury Unit. Every year I have had a check up to make sure my paralysed areas were in good order. On several occasions I have been hospitalised in the unit for such things as pressure sores, bladder and bowel problems. I have been able to attend the spinal outpatients clinic on numerous occasions related to my spinal injury. This has included being part of ground breaking new treatment one of which made my life infinitely better, called a sacral anterior root system making bladder control easy.

The main point of my story is to say how important it is for spinal injury patients to remain attached to their spinal injury centre for life. With the number of spinal patients increasing because of longer life due to research, more accidents due to faster pace of life etc, it is becoming more and more difficult to get appointments in the 12 spinal units in the UK. I feel that GP's and Local NHS Hospitals are missing signs and symptoms due to lack of knowledge and reluctance to refer spinal patients correctly.

I can only stress that my long life as a paraplegic is due totally to the ongoing care received at Stoke Mandeville and I hope the NHS will recognise the value of all specialist clinics.

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Response from Anthony Banton, Patient Experience Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear responder

thank you for your comments.

I will post a fuller response shortly covering new aspects of our spinal centre.

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