Saturday, 20 June 2015

The Oxford MND Centre

I've often referred to our excellent MND Care Centre in Oxford. It's based in the West Wing of the JR Hospital and the Centre of Enablement at the Nuffield. About a month ago I had my annual check-up there, seeing both the consultant, Professor Kevin Talbot, and the OT, Jenny Rolfe. The beauty of the place is its humanity and its flexibility. Once you're signed in, you're met by a real person, rather like cabin crew on a plane, but it's someone who has first-hand experience in caring for a person with MND, and they keep you informed about who you are going to see, how long you might have to wait (usually not long), who you'll see next and so on. It's so much better than the impersonal announcement over a tannoy or that annoying digital pinging display summoning you to a consulting room. The MND Centre's air hostesses are all volunteers - so valuable.

Mark Stone in the sort of wheelchair I hope to get
Anyway there are two points to this story. One is that talking to Jenny about fitting hoists to get electric wheelchairs into the boot of our car, she was anxious for me not to have an unsuitable hand-me-on chair and recommended a proper neuro-wheelchair with a folding back, which are now being made. She subsequently came out with an engineer to show me the possibilities. I'm now in the process of choosing and looking forward to Jane not having to lug my manual wheelchair in and out - and not having to push me whenever we're away from home.

The cyclists with the reception party outside the hospital (Photos: Lesley Ogden)

The other point is that we then learned about the sponsored cycle ride being done by the Centre's nurse, Rachael, the two consultants and a physio. They started off from the MNDA headquarters in Northampton and went via the centres in Milton Keynes, Aylesbury, Reading, Swindon ending in Oxford - a total of 170 miles, including a gruelling section along the ancient drovers' road, the Ridgeway. Since we'd been the recipients of a generous gift of tickets to Wimbledon, we felt the least we could do was to sponsor them - apart from the fact that we are continually grateful for the care I receive from the MNDA and the NHS. So far they have exceeded their target but just in case here's the Just Giving link. In fact we joined a group to welcome them back at Sunday lunchtime in front of the JR's West Wing. Quite an achievement! And they'd be back in clinic the next day. "Dedication is what you need," as Mr Akabusi used to say.

No comments:

Post a Comment