New brain recovery centre

Traumatic brain injury sufferer collaborates with clinical neuropsychologist on community centre. Ella Rhodes reports.

A man who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) following a one-punch attack has opened a community centre in Hull for others in the same position and their families. With the support of a consultant clinical neuropsychologist and the specialist rehabilitation service at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, Paul Spence now hopes to give support through motivational talks and sessions on coping strategies, nutrition and wellbeing.

Paul Spence also works as an ambassador for Hudgell Solicitors, which specialises in medical negligence claims and specifically brain injury and rehabilitation, and suffered his own injury in 2012. He has worked mentoring some of the solicitors’ clients and wanted to extend this work into the broader community.

He said: ‘Nothing could prepare me or my family for the battle of brain recovery and the difficulties it brought. We’ve really tried to focus the new centre on providing the kind of support we felt was lacking in communities when people leave hospital and start trying to rebuild their lives.’

The PAUL (Positivity, Awareness, Understanding, Love) For Brain Recovery Centre was set up with the advice of Dr Selen Osman, who is a consultant clinical neuropsychologist working within the specialist rehabilitation service at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals Trust. She spoke to The Psychologist about the importance of support for patients with acquired brain injuries.

Dr Osman said: ‘It is essential that people with acquired brain injuries and their families are provided with ongoing support after leaving hospital, as the effects of such injuries are often lifelong and can be devastating. Paul Spence has succeeded in setting up a centre that fills a large gap in community support services for people with brain injuries within Hull and the surrounding areas, and will provide an invaluable resource to anyone that feels they need information, guidance or general support when navigating the day to day challenges that often occur when adjusting to life after a brain injury.’ 

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