Patient invites local MP to visit the community-based specialist rehab service that “saved his life”

Alison Woods Mike Palmer and Chloe Smith

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith has visited The Colman Hospital, Norwich, run by the Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), to hear more about the Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation Service that a patient credits with supporting his life following a brain surgery.

Mike Palmer, from Norfolk, was diagnosed with a 6cm brain tumour in August 2015 and was referred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridgeshire, for brain surgery. Following discharge from hospital, he was referred to the Colman Centre for Specialist Rehabilitation Services by his GP, to continue his recovery.

“A brain injury is for life”, said Mike. “I thought I would be ‘back to normal’ after a short while, but it’s much more complicated than that. Recovery is ongoing, lengthy process and the support I have received from the service has made all the difference.”

The Colman Centre’s outpatient service, based in Jubilee House, provides individually designed rehabilitation programmes for people with complex acquired brain injury. These programmes aim to maximise the patient’s functional ability and quality of life. By working with patients and their families and identifying the most beneficial goals for recovery the eventual aim is a return to the community.

Mike has been working with Alison Woods, Specialist Clinical Psychologist for the past year.

“If it wasn’t for Alison’s support I don’t think I would be here right now”, continued Mike. “She helped me to recognise the aftereffects brain surgery, such as fatigue, frustration and depression, to help me work through the sense of loss. That’s why I feel a real need to raise awareness of the service and why I invited Chloe to visit.”

Chloe Smith MP said: “It was incredibly interesting and informative to meet with Mike and the team at the specialist rehab centre. Leaning more about the high-demand for the service and the long-term care patients require highlights how important these services are to the community.”

Commenting on Mike’s story Rosin Fallon-Williams, chief executive of NCH&C, said: “Mike is a real inspiration. We know the theory of how brain injuries affect people’s lives, but it’s the real people who help us to understand the true impact and put it into perspective.

“We are working with local charities, GPs and acute hospital trusts to educate them about our services to help ensure patients are following the right pathway and getting the right advice and support.”


(Pictured, left to right: Alison Woods, Mike Palmer and Chloe Smith MP)


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