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Perfect partnership helps Nadine rebuild her life

Nadine Millard with specialist neurological physiotherapist Sally Bayliss and community officer Sandra Walker.

When Quinton resident Nadine Millard was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years ago, her whole world was turned upside down.

Nadine had been suffering from symptoms including knee pain, fatigue and loss of balance for seven years, forcing her to leave her job as an admin officer with the armed forces.

But it was only after she was referred to a specialist clinic at University Hospitals Birmingham that MS was diagnosed.

A specialist MS nurse referred her to the Birmingham neuro-rehab team, which is funded jointly by BCHC and Birmingham City Council. Now, with their support, Nadine is slowly rebuilding her life.

The team provides short-term community-based rehabilitation programmes for adults with neurological difficulties. Rehabilitation is provided in the form of individual or group work, delivered in the community.

In addition to community officers, the team consists of therapists, rehabilitation assistants and a clinical psychologist so that care can be tailored to each individual’s needs and circumstances.

The therapists and community officers work together with the clients to achieve independence in everyday life and re-integration into the community. Examples of this include access to leisure, social  and educational activities and return to work.

Nadine Millard with specialist neurological physiotherapist Sally Bayliss.

In Nadine’s case this included reducing pain, improving balance and walking, managing her fatigue, and enabling her to take part in swimming and community exercise groups.

“I’m a naturally positive person but it’s very upsetting and demoralising to lose so much independence,” says Nadine.

“The neuro-rehab team has been fantastic, taking me swimming, accompanying me to exercise classes – showing me that life was still there to be lived; I just had to find a way to adapt.

“I would describe the staff in the neuro-rehabilitation team as ‘PERFECT’ – professional, efficient, reliable, friendly, expert, caring and trustworthy!”

Community Officer Sandra Walker is seconded from Birmingham city Council to BCHC long-term as part of a partnership model integrating health and social care services.

She said: “Most of our clients are new to disability so we pick them up at a time when they need support to re-build confidence and get them straight back into the community by providing a flexible package of health and social care.

“Nadine is a great example of someone whose positive attitude has gone a very long way to helping her recover.”