Friday, July 1, 2022
NewsLeeds disabled doctor delivers vital care to elderly during pandemic

Leeds disabled doctor delivers vital care to elderly during pandemic

A Leeds GP trainee with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, is helping elderly and vulnerable people recover during the COVID-19 crisis with support from her WHILL powerchair from TGA.

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown is a British Medical Association Council member, speaker, and gender and disability equity campaigner.

She is a practicing GP however is currently working for Leeds Community Healthcare which supports an increasing number of senior patients who have been rapidly discharged from hospital.

As she has reduced mobility due to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, she uses a technologically advanced powered wheelchair known as a WHILL Model C.

Hannah is the UK Ambassador for TGA who supplies this multi-award winning product in the UK.

In addition to her career, charity work and media commentary, she gives motivational talks and for the second year running, was included in the Shaw Trust’s Power 100 list – making her one of the most influential disabled people in the UK.

Hannah is currently caring for elderly people who require support during rehabilitation from hospital before returning to their homes.

Dr Hannah Barham Brown with her WHILL powerchair from TGA. Image supplied

Hannah said: “When I went to medical school, I trained for many unexpected things however nothing could have prepared me for everything I would face working during Coronavirus.

“In many ways, I am very lucky. I’m currently based in the Leeds NHS ‘Recovery Hub’ for older patients who have been discharged from hospital, but need some rehabilitation or a care package starting before they are able to go home.

“However COVID 19 is now everywhere, with many of those who have it appearing to have no symptoms at all.

“I am spending much of my day in my WHILL wearing a facemask, visor over my glasses, apron and gloves. 

“My patients aren’t able to have visitors so sometimes I have to make difficult phone calls to loved ones to explain the situation and the options we may or may not have.”

Hannah is able to complete her rounds and consultations with her TGA WHILL which she calls ‘Merida’. As walking is very challenging, she moves around using ‘omni-wheel’ technology which allows pioneering manoeuvrability – with the ability to position herself in tight spaces and closer to patients. This contemporary product can be dismantled and stored in a car boot and ‘parked’ using a remote-control smartphone app.”

Hannah will be a keynote speaker at Naidex later in the year, 9th and 10th November, NEC.

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