Calendar presenter makes a date with NHS Heroes

Christine Talbot, centre, with Kay Birmingham and Community staff nurse Sarah Ingham, who received the award on behalf of all the staff. d309a345
Christine Talbot, centre, with Kay Birmingham and Community staff nurse Sarah Ingham, who received the award on behalf of all the staff. d309a345
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District nurses have been hailed heroes for the professional and compassionate care they give to their patients.

The team has received a national NHS Heroes award after being nominated by Kay Birmingham who, three years ago, suffered a serious injury in her left arm which needed neurosurgery.

However her recovery did not go as well as planned and she was then diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).

The rare condition, which can follow an injury or surgery, is caused by damage to nerves.

“The main features are excruciating pain, dramatic changes in skin colour, temperature, hypersensitivity to touch and swelling of the affected limb,” Kay explained.

“The pain I have is sometimes burning, sometimes stabbing, sometimes like electric shocks down my arm, or like somebody squeezing my arm really tight.

“It has left me with reduced function in my left arm and hand, and even just a very light touch may cause me severe pain.”

Kay said the condition had completely changed her life and she was now reliant on strong pain medication, which also had severe side effects, and she had had to give up work due to ill health.

“That in itself has been extremely hard to cope with and come to terms with,” she added.

As the medication is now failing to control her symptoms, Kay faces more surgery soon to fit a stimulator into her spinal cord.

“As part of my treatment I have needed the care of the Cleckheaton District Nurses,” she said.

“They are an amazing team who show so much compassion and empathy. Having worked for the NHS I know all too well the pressures they have to work under so appreciate the excellent care even more. You always hope that if you ever need to be on ‘the other side’ somebody will care for you the way you always tried to care for others.

“The nurses will be well known around Cleckheaton, they are always cheerful and despite working under pressure, they never let that come across when they are delivering care.

“I hope this award makes them realise just how special they all are. I could not have got through the last year without them.”

The award was made to the nursing team by ITV Calendar news presenter Christine Talbot at Cleckheaton Health Centre.