Health care

Your Voice, Your Vote: Reviving Reuben, 3, after stroke – BBC News

Image description, It seems that Reuben had an unusual reaction to chickenpox that left him paralyzed

  • Secretary, Michele Paduano
  • part, Health Correspondent, BBC West Midlands

As we approach the general election, the BBC is focusing on the issues that matter to you, as part of Your Voice, Your Vote.

In Worcestershire, the family of a three-year-old who suffered a stroke say they have been left stranded by recovery services.

Reuben was left paralyzed on his right side after suffering a stroke last month, but his parents are wondering how long the treatment will take and are looking to raise funds extra for physiotherapy services.

Reuben, from Bromsgrove, appears to have had an unusual reaction to chicken which left him paralyzed, his family said, and is awaiting vital community physiotherapy to help him recover.

His parents said it took eight hours for his stroke to be recognized by the NHS and for the Royal Worcestershire Hospital to give him blood-thinning aspirin to restore oxygen to his brain.

The injury left him paralyzed on his right side and his parents were told he might never walk again, but six weeks later he is back on his feet the first.

His father, Liam, said they now want Reuben to make a full recovery, but have been told he will have to wait a year for community rehabilitation by staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

After raising the issue on social media and starting a Go Fund Me page, they have been informed by Worcestershire Community Healthcare that it will now be weeks rather than months or years, but Liam says they are not -not yet told when.

“Children should have at least one hour a day, but physios are stretched and they need more money to provide a good service because they want to provide the best service they can able.

“But they give it with one hand tied behind their back,” he said.

His wife, Holly, added that Reuben is staying at Birmingham Children’s Hospital so they can keep the patient’s physiotherapy because they cannot get it in the community.

They also know that if he gets physio early in the weeks, other kids won’t.

“If Reuben is being moved up the list, another kid is going to fall down and if people are waiting a year before they can get physio, it’s crazy,” he said.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapists says that rehabilitation services are worth less than money.

Practice manager Ash James said it could have a huge impact on the recovery patients can achieve.

Image description, Officers are working to arrest people “with one hand tied behind their back”, Reuben’s father said

“All this is compounded by the shortage of physiotherapy staff across the UK, where we know we need a 7% increase in NHS physiotherapy positions every year to meet the growing demand.

“We’re at a point where we need to change the script and recognize that rehabilitation is as important as medicine and surgery, because it is for an increasing number of people.”

Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust said the family were advised of a general assessment of hospital staff which did not reflect how they prioritize patients.

Those who come with urgent or pressing needs are usually seen immediately, urgently or on a priority basis according to NHS guidelines.

“We work closely with our Collaborative Care Board colleagues to design the patient’s continuum of care.

“We are aware of the concerns and worries at the time of hospital discharge being considered and we hope that those concerns have been alleviated.”

Voters respond

Bradley Anthony-Thomas, a Conservative, says he wants to see a reform of public services that his party will deliver.

“To make sure that everyone, man, woman, adult, young person who needs health care can get it as soon as possible to deliver to meet their needs.”

Labour’s Neena Gill said tackling the NHS was a priority for her party.

“It is important that we have quick access to consultants, quick assessments and invest in other services such as physiotherapy,” he said.

Liberal Democrat candidate, neurologist Dr David Nicholl, said he was keen on reform.

“We have to do better. There has been a lack of investment in rehabilitation which is very important to get people out of the community.

“I think it’s a symptom of the problems we have in the health service.”

The Reform UK candidate is Glen Brampton. He said the party would put patients in charge of the NHS voucher scheme.

“Patients will receive a private treatment voucher if they cannot receive treatment on time,” he said.

Independent Sam Ammar said it’s about your local area: “If you have a problem, you really need a strong district MP to stand with you to protect your rights.”

The Green candidate is Tallia Ellis and she said the Green party’s manifesto set out strong plans to invest in the NHS.

“This includes physiotherapy which is an important part of helping people recover from illness,” he said.

Britain’s Labor Party’s Ahheesha Zahir said that as a mother, she would fight tirelessly to ensure treatment waiting lists were reduced while restoring local services such as the Princess of Wales Hospital.

What is really important to you in this general election? What one thing will influence your choice? Click the button below to submit your comments, and they could be featured on the BBC.

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