Victims of Spinal Cord Injury Need More Support
British solicitor repeats call for greater SCI victim care after Lords AGM
Spinal cord injuries are life-changers and the standard of treatment for sufferers in the UK has been described as ‘unacceptable’ by one of the country’s most esteemed solicitors.
John Spencer first spoke out against negligence in care for SCI victims during the summer of 2012. His concerns were ignited following an AGM at the House of Lords on the subject, where sufferers spoke of their post-injury struggles and revealed to Spencer just how low the level of care for SCI victims actually is in Britain today.
Months down the line, a follow up meeting was held. This time, Spencer’s colleague and Chief Operating Officer, Allison O’Reilly attended in John’s absence and was equally ‘moved’ by what she heard on the day – particularly from one of the suffering speakers:
Roger Hearn spoke about his injury sustained on a cricket tour in India. Like many others unable to afford the cost of private treatment, Mr Hearn was forced to live in a care home. He spoke of his experiences in the home, explaining how as soon as nursing staff were familiar with his needs, they could suddenly move on and be replaced – restarting the relationship-building process with staff all over again. Also, he mentioned how some nurses were not native Brits and how difficult that could sometimes make communication.
Further to that, Allison was ‘angered’ by how undignified Mr Hearn’s treatment within the home was as a person: He praises his wife for maintaining an optimistic outlook on things – but even that slice of positivity was immediately countered by the fact the couple cannot sleep in the same bed together…Mrs Hearn sleeps on the floor.
Spencers Solicitors were infuriated by the findings at the AGM - Allison’s report on the follow up conference has only heightened that fury, as little seems to have changed. Spencer’s original question still stands:
‘Why, in a civilised society such as Britain, is it so difficult for people whose quality of life is so dreadfully curtailed to obtain adequate care?’
His law firm specialise in securing serious injury compensation, so will no doubt continue to hear stories like Mr Hearn’s until the health care sector undergoes a dramatic transformation. During the interim, it might just take the enraged opinions of authoritative individuals like Spencer and O’Reilly to help kick-start change.
The spinal injury solicitors are in good company on this – Doctor Brett Smith of Loughborough University is a key campaigner in the fight for better SCI victim care. His extensive research in 2012 revealed how lives are being put at risk because of poor treatment. To find out more about what Dr Smith had to say at the House of Lords follow-up meeting on spinal cord injuries, http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/Spinal-Cord-Injury-Victims-Neglected-National/story-17929906-detail/story.html.