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Tel: 01733 555988

    • img 3417 valerie and gill at the clinicv2

Shine Health Hub

Since 2014, the Shine Health Hub, based at the Peterborough office, has provided a free, one-stop health check and advisory service for a number of Shine members. Many people with spina bifida and hydrocephalus are not getting regular health checks, and few get to speak with professionals familiar with their conditions. These clinics offer adult members opportunity to meet Shine’s health team – including specialists in mental health, continence management and occupational therapy.

A visit to the clinic will give you a chance to talk to three Shine staff members who are familiar with the health challenges faced by many of you: Gill Yaz will address various aspects of physical health and conduct health checks, Robin Barnatt will look at mental wellbeing issues, and Kathy Allen will consider factors such as coping with daily living, difficulties with cognition and memory, and help that might be available for you.

The Health Suite has an adapted, wheelchair accessible kitchen area where people can see useful equipment and adaptations to aid independence in everyday activities. Clinic facilities available include wheelchair scales, a bladder scanner which enables Shine’s specialist team to spot urinary problems which are a common cause of incontinence, infections and kidney damage, on top of blood pressure and pulse monitoring.

If concerns come up, we can discuss these in a little more detail, and think about ways of dealing with things that arise, such as looking at activity planning or goal-setting. If it seems that you could benefit from further help, we would be able to support you in contacting your GP, health professionals, or relevant organisations.

Shine members who have attended the clinic have found the experience very valuable, sharing various comments:

“Coming here gives me confidence – it’s like having an MOT – you can have all your checks in one go. You are treated as a whole person, rather than in ‘bits’...”

“Some of us are getting older. We need to think about the future. There are things I need to do – I know I need to lose weight and strengthen my arms. Here you can get weighed. There is also a kitchen where you can try different equipment and practical tips, such as buying a new kettle so it doesn’t strain my shoulder.”

“There is a lack of information, knowing where to go for help. It helps to go through everything together here. Knowing you are not alone. Knowing where to get information. Knowing there is someone there. Even though things are tough you can cope. I can go home happy; I’m alright.”

To make a referral to the clinic, please contact Shine on T: 01733 555988 or email E: firstcontact@shinecharity.org.uk 

If you would like more details about the Clinic or the Health Team, please contact us:

Gill Yaz, Health Development Manager:  

E:

Robin Barnatt, Health Development Officer:

E:

Kathy Allen, Occupational Therapist:

E:

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Hydrocephalus can be congenital or acquired.

NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) is an excessive build-up of fluid in the head.

Hydrocephalus is a build up of excess fluid in the brain.

Some 11 - 35% of people with Intracranial Hypertension recover spontaneously!

Most babies with spina bifida undergo surgery within 48 hours of birth.

“Every effort should be made to ensure that all children are immunized, no opportunity to immunize should be missed.”

If you have spina bifida +/or hydrocephalus you should receive the same vaccinations as any others, when going abroad.

Hydrocephalus comes from the Greek "hydro" meaning water and "cephalie", meaning brain.

Some forms of hydrocephalus require no specific treatment.

Medical advice should always be sought if shunt infection is suspected!

Shunt: a device that diverts accumulated cerebro-spinal fluid around the obstructed pathways back to the bloodstream.

Possible signs of chronic shunt blockage include: 
fatigue, general malaise or behavioural changes.

A shunt alert card should be carried at all times by people with hydrocephalus treated by a shunt.

Possible signs of acute shunt blockage may include: visual disturbances, drowsiness and seizures.

Symptoms of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus are similar to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease or simply increasing age.

NPH (Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus) occurs most often in people aged over 60.

Benign Intracranial Hypertension aka Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension affects about one or two in every 100,000 people!

Symptoms associated with raised intracranial pressure; headache, visual disturbances, photophobia, vomiting, problems with balance...

Diagnosis of Intracranial Hypertension is by scan + measurement of the CSF pressure.

Babies born prematurely are at increased risk of developing hydrocephalus.

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Para-athletes with spina bifida and hydrocephalus compete in sports ranging from cycling to dressage.

Hydrocephalus may affect memory, concentration and behaviour.

The usual treatment for hydrocephalus is to insert a shunt into the brain.

CSF stands for cerebro-spinal fluid.

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