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Headway continues to develop in the right direction and, while I remain aware of my inability to attend much of Headway House’s activities, my enthusiasm for Headway remains as high as ever. Headway North Staffordshire was highlighted in Melbourne at the World Congress of Neurological Rehabilitation in May 2012 as an example of developing a partnership between health services and community re-integration for people following brain injury. It certainly attracted a lot of questions and interest and I was able to tell delegates with pride of my association with Headway North Staffordshire. Its international reputation therefore goes ahead of it and it is testament to all the people who contribute to making it what it is.

However, Headway North Staffordshire keeps its feet on the ground through its development with the local community and I am always so impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of members and helpers to ensure that it is a success. To have such a supportive group is a real asset. Headway North Staffordshire is thus held in high esteem in the local population as well as nationally and internationally. I am tremendously proud to be associated with it and I look forward to continuing my association with members and helpers.

Despite the financial restrictions, The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Haywood Hospital has continued to attract well-deserved accolades. The Department of Health’s National Trauma Initiative refers to the preferred model for the rehabilitation of people following brain injury as the “Haywood Model”, as we seem to have impressed people there with our ideas on how it should be done. Thanks should go to Alex Ball, Mahesh Cirasanambati (whom we appointed as a consultant at the end of last year) and Trudi Massey. Trudi continues to be a link between the Haywood and Headway, but we also appointed Samantha Smith to work with Trudi as the other Trauma Rehabilitation Coordinator and, together, we plan to create a seven day per week system to ensure that early rehabilitation is as optimal as it can be.

Headway North Staffordshire is crucial to brain injury rehabilitation pathway, as it plays a central role in getting people to participate in life and in society again. Long may it continue to do so.

Professor Anthony B Ward
President, North Staffordshire Headway

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