December 09 @ 04:19am

Healthcare synergies- Spinal Injuries Ireland working with NOCA.

Naomi Fitzgibbon from Spinal Injuries Ireland talks about her experience in her role as a Patient and Public Representative on NOCA's Major Trauma Audit.

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People who endure major trauma such as a fall from a ladder or a road traffic collision can develop a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Many may not make a complete recovery and life changes irreversibly. Learning to adapt and cope with this change takes longer than recovering from physical injuries alone. They need to be supported both in hospital and beyond on their journey to recovery.

Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII) engage with people with SCI (and their family members) in order to address barriers to full participation in society, empower them to work towards achieving their personal, social and vocational goals. Our strategic goals include collaborating with specific key stakeholders such as NOCA, to ensure the seldom heard voice of people with severe spinal injuries is shared.

In 2019, I became a member of the NOCA Major Trauma Audit (MTA) Governance Committee as a Public and Patient Interest (PPI) Representative. In my role as Head of Services in Spinal Injuries Ireland, I act as an advocate to support those living with a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) in addressing issues encountered across a variety of health and social care settings. As a new member of the MTA Governance Committee, I contribute to NOCA MTA by highlighting experience of people living with a SCI which can sometimes get lost when the focus is primarily on clinical outcomes.

Importantly, the MTA report 2018 highlighted “Think Safety First”. Very often accidents and injuries can be potentially been avoided by better falls prevention measures or improved safety in the workplace and on the roads. SII is committed to supporting NOCA and this vital campaign to prevent SCI occurring in the first instance.

Very often people with SCI are forced to tolerate long waiting lists for specialist rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Hospital. They remain in a vacuum not knowing what the next steps will be or when they will receive these life changing services. In 2018, 17% of people recorded in the MTA suffered a spinal injury and indeed the experience of Shaun who experienced a SCI was included in the ICU report (2018). As a PPI representative, I will apply my experience from SII support those who have suffered a major trauma.

For more information visit Patients and Public Involved at NOCA

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