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SPINE Newsletter July 2017

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Spine logo

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Sponsored by Wellspect HealthCare, manufacturers of LoFric® and Navina Systems®

Registered Charity Status Charity No. 1163910

In this issue: 
Proud to be Pinders Gala Dinner, New Patrons Join SPINE, Louisa Tempest SIA Volunteer of the Year, Personal Independence Payment, Yorkshire Lions tournament, Jonny Haigh’s Pioneering Surgery, Grant News, Art@Pinders, Continuing Health Care – Louise Barker’s Story, SPINE AGM, Contact Us

Proud to be Pinders Gala Dinner

Proud to be Pinders Gala Dinner Ticket

On Saturday October 7th 2017, SPINE will hold its first Gala Dinner.  It will be held at the Centenary Banqueting Suite, Elland Road, Leeds. Tickets cost £30 and guests are encouraged to ‘dress to impress.’ There will be a band and, we’re assured, speeches will be kept to a minimum. Thanks go to the Organising Committee, Carol Ramm, Lynne Baker, Joyce Jones, Joyce Harrow, Mandy Patrice and Karen Kenyon along with Liam Serrant who designed the leaflet and tickets. To get your tickets contact the SPINE Office. You’ll also be able to purchase them online shortly. Come along and help us celebrate 67 years since the Spinal Injuries Centre was established!



New Patrons Join SPINE

SPINE is both pleased and honoured to announce three new Patrons. Older patients will be familiar with former Spinal Injuries Consultant and Stepping Stones Director, Dr Andrew Burt, who is joined by the Chair of Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust, Jules Preston MBE, and Sir Rodney Walker. They will add to the support given by our first Patron, Baroness Masham of Ilton.



Louisa Tempest, SIA Volunteer of the Year

Louisa Tempest receiving her award

Congratulations to our very own Louisa Tempest for winning the ‘Spinal Injuries Association’s Volunteer of the Year Award.’ The Annual Awards Ceremony was held at the prestigious Williams F1 Conference Centre in Oxfordshire. Not only is Louisa to be seen regularly on the Unit but she is an active member of the SPINE Trust Board.

Louisa wasn’t our only representative at the ceremony. Phillip Dixon, Physiotherapist, was nominated for the ‘Rising Star Award’ and although he didn’t win, he was commended for his work.

Finally, our Liaison Team, Linda Haigh, Kay Hinchcliffe and Kath Redpath were nominated for the ‘Outstanding Team of the Year Award.’

Photo courtesy of the SIA.



Personal Independence Payment

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged between 16 and 64 who, because of a long-term illness or disability, may need help with getting around or daily activities. PIP has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and is available for anyone making a new claim.

There are two parts to PIP. A mobility component and a daily living component. They are paid at different rates depending on the level of difficulty you have performing particular activities, such as moving around, or preparing food and drink, dressing and undressing. You may be able to claim one or both components. The amount of benefit is currently:

Mobility Component

Weekly Rate
Standard £22.00
Enhanced £58

Daily Living Component

Weekly Rate
Standard £55.65
Enhanced £83.10

This can make a real difference to your income. It is not a means tested benefit so getting it doesn’t depend on how much you earn, or whether you have savings or capital. It is also important if you are considering applying for a Motability Car. You will not be eligible if you do not qualify for the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component. In fact some DLA claimants, who have been re-assessed as not being eligible for the Enhanced Rate, have had their car taken off them!

The application process is complex and you would be well advised to seek advice when filling in the forms. SPINE can help you with this. We are delighted that Angela Tranter, from the Department of Work and Pensions, is available to help you with this procedure. To arrange to meet with Angela, contact the SPINE Office.



Yorkshire Lions tournament 

Lions Logo Master

Yorkshire Lions Wheelchair Rugby Team are holding their first ever tournament on Saturday 26th August called ‘Yorkshire Bash’. The event will be a three team tournament including Yorkshire Lions, Liverpool Lions and Caledonian Crushers.

It will be held at Minsthorpe Sports Centre, Minsthorpe Lane, South Elmsall, Wakefield, WF9 2UJ. Games will begin at 9am. So come along, support your team and see some great wheelchair rugby!



Jonny Haigh’s Pioneering Surgery

Photo of Jonny Haigh painting

Jonny Haigh is a talented artist. He is also only one of two Pinderfields patients who have undergone groundbreaking surgery when he had a Phrenic Pacemaker inserted in 2002 by former Spinal Injury Consultant, Mr Y Ahmed. These operations are not usually undertaken outside of the U.S.A.

Jonny, who had his accident in 2001, is a C2 Complete break which brings, among other problems, complications with breathing. Patients, such as Jonny, can lose the ability to breathe without need of a ventilator to help them. Many will need a tube in the windpipe; others may use face a face mask. Unfortunately, ventilators can also impair the ability to cough and limit speech.

An alternative may be possible if the nerves (called the phrenic nerves) to the diaphragm still work. The nerves can be stimulated with a device similar to a heart pacemaker, which allows the patient to breathe without a ventilator. This is called phrenic nerve stimulation. This is a system whereby an electrode(s) is surgically implanted around the phrenic nerve(s), which are stimulated by a radio-frequency receiver usually implanted in the chest wall. Keyhole surgery is used and, for Jonny, the operation lasted just four hours. He was up in three days and has used it successfully for the last fifteen years. Innovative surgery that improved Jonny’s life for which our Spinal Injuries Centre can be justly proud.



Grant News 

The SPINE Small Grants Fund continues to help our members. In this case we’ve enabled two of them to continue in quite different sports. On the left is Jason Richards who received a grant towards the purchase of new disc wheels for his racing wheelchair. Jason said, “These were taken at the Woodall Spa 10k where I finished in 2nd place. I had tried to get photos from the Thirsk 10 mile race in March that I won, and the London marathon in April, but sadly no one managed to get a good shot with the wheels in. Many thanks for the grant.”

Jason Richards at the Woodall Spa 10k

Chris Snell is passionate about motor racing. Recently, the sport’s governing body introduced new standards for safety equipment. Chris said, “Once again thank you for your kind help with my safety equipment. My next event is at Elvington, York on Saturday and Sunday 29/30 July. There will be the fastest cars in UK and, hopefully, my race car will be ready. To be awarded the money towards the safety gear has now enabled me to further my race activities, it keeps me fit both mentally and physical. Thank you again guys.”

Chris Snell's safety equipment drapedovver his racing car

The Grant is available to all Full Members. There’s £40,000 allocated this year with a maximum of £1500 per grant. To find out more contact the SPINE Office.



Sale of Aids

SPINE offers our members the opportunity to purchase a Freewheel wheelchair attachment for £350. We buy bulk so that we can pass on at a reasonable cost for these useful aids. We also have supplies of RADAR Keys at £3 so that you can unlock any wheelchair accessible toilet in the country. We are considering purchasing two travel commode/shower chairs. We realise that these are expensive items, but believe that we can offer a rental service for members to use for a holiday. Please let us know if this is something that would interest you.




You may still be basking in the summer sunshine but for the Arts@Pinders Group, it’s Christmas! Work has already begun on the 2017 Christmas Cards because of the length of time required for printing and packing in time for them to be on sale in October/November.

Les JonesCheryl ScarthPictured are Cheryl Scarth, left, and Les Jones.





Continuing Health Care – Louise Barker’s Story 

Louise Barker

Louise Barker has been a C6 Tetraplegic since 1993. She found out about Continuing Healthcare (CHC) through her friend, Carol Ramm, who asked her about the care she received. At the time this was receiving 20 hours a week provided by her Mum, whom she employed as her Personal Assistant (PA) through Direct Payments.

Carol advised her to request a CHC assessment and helped her with a new care plan as they both had similar needs. Louise said, “This was the most important part as my previous care plan didn’t have much information about me or my disability. I’ve always been very private so I found it embarrassing answering some of the questions about my personal care and chose to ignore them, which was the worst thing to do as my benefits were cut.”

A social worker helped her draw up a new care plan making sure Louise was happy with it before sending it for assessment. Unfortunately it was turned down but this was overturned on appeal. Louise was awarded an extra 30 hours a week and could start looking for a new PA.

After looking at several applicants she found some that suited her needs and arranged interviews with the help of Choice and Rights, the Centre for Independent Living based in Hull. They allowed her to use their office, sat in on the interviews and helped her with the questions. She finally found someone and decided to take her on. “She’s been doing a great job and in the short time she’s been with me my life is improving day by day,” Louise told us.

CHC is a package funded by the NHS which is designed to help those whose primary need relates to their health.




This year’s SPINE 2017 AGM will be held in the Spinal Centre Sports Hall on Tuesday, 11th July at 7pm. Tea/Coffee will be available in the Spinal Dining Room from 6pm. Please make every attempt to attend. SPINE works very hard on your behalf each year and this is an opportunity for you to hear about the work and to elect your SPINE Director/Trustees for the next year.



Contact Us 
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SPINE Members can be either Pinderfields Spinal Patients, Family of Patients,  or Staff on the Centre. Associate Membership is also available. Membership is FREE. For those who want to join SPINE, or find out more about us contact:

Kevan Baker OBE, SPINE CEO:

Tel Office – 01924 546114 


Or sign up at our website:

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