An osteopath who was treated at Hurstwood Park after a stint in a Dubai prison has praised the neurosurgery department ahead of its move to Brighton.
Tracy Wilkinson, who works at Fountain Therapies in Handcross was ‘patched up’ by neurosurgeons after she was imprisoned in Dubai and experienced torturous conditions.
She said the facility, which is part of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath is ‘close to her heart’.
“Without Hurstwood Park, I would not be able to stand or function,” she told the Middy.
“I love the place. It is basically run on charity and donations. Just a huge thank you to the teams surgeons, osteopaths, all the therapists who have helped me and others.”
Tracy, who used to live in Balcombe, was imprisoned for eights weeks in 2005 after codeine was found in her body.
She was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing after it was discovered the drug, which is banned in Dubai, was prescribed to her in the UK as a painkiller for a back problem.
But Tracy said her imprisonment caused her lasting injuries – describing her treatment as ‘disgusting’.
“From now to then Hurstwood Park has been patching me up,” she said.
“I have the greatest respect for these pain management experts and surgeons on the coal face, so to speak.
“The neuros are a highly specialised team who work on brains, spinal cord injuries.”
Tracy said she is upset that Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust is moving the department away from Hurstwood Park where she has received regular treatment and believes Mid Sussex patients will also suffer.
“There is no reason to close it,” she said.
“Keep Hurstwood Park open and fund two trauma units.”
Hurstwood Park Q&A
Neurosurgery is being moved to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton as part of its Trauma Unit Status.
Will the changes will eventually mean that outpatient appointments, diagnostics and physio, will be moved out of PRH?
No. Mid-Sussex patients will continue to have outpatient appointments, physiotherapy etc at the Princess Royal Hospital. The move of neurosurgery is about the Major Trauma Service we provide for the most seriously ill and injured patients.
Why can’t BSUH keep two trauma units?
Princess Royal Hospital will continue to have a full A&E and is able to treat the full range of emergencies for which most people are taken to hospital.
A trauma system is a model of care designed to care for patients with multiple serious injuries that could result in death or serious disability.
Major trauma centres are set up to provide this specialised care. They are hubs that work closely with a series of local trauma units. Regional trauma networks went live across England in April 2012.
There are 22 major trauma centres for adults in England. The Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton is the closest major trauma centre.
National experts estimate that this organisation of trauma care across England could save an additional 450 to 600 lives in NHS hospitals.
Find out more about the changes here: Neurosurgery will move from Hurstwood Park