Bristol Centre for Enablement set to appear on national BBC programme

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The Bristol Centre for Enablement is set to feature on a BBC programme being broadcast as part of commemorations to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

Matron, Medicine and Me follows the personal stories of well-known faces and their experiences of using the National Health Service.

Thursday’s (July, 19) episode features former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell, who was born with one arm.

She looks at how the NHS has served disabled people across its 70-year history, and her own experiences as a child.

Cerrie Burnell with prosthetist Katy Leslie at Bristol Centre for Enablement

Cerrie visited the North Bristol NHS-run Cribbs Causeway Centre to meet staff and some of the people supported by our prosthetics and communication aid services.

The Bristol Centre for Enablement opened in 2014, bringing together services previously based separately at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals. It incorporates prosthetics and orthotics, wheelchairs and special seating, communication aids and electronic assistive technology, all under one roof.

Cerrie met Bristol Communication Aid lead speech and language therapist Vicky Styles and saw how she supports people with communication difficulties using a range of devices.

She also met prosthetist Katy Leslie and found out how she supports people of all ages to find the most appropriate limb to meet their needs. 

“It was great for us to have this opportunity to showcase the work we do at the Bristol Communication Aid Service and the wider Bristol Centre for Enablement. We know how much our service has changed since it was launched in 1981 – and since I joined 15 years ago.

“As technology has advanced over the years, this has led to more options being available. We are now in the fortunate position to be able to provide NHS-funded equipment to the most complex clients, which historically would not have been possible.

“Having access to this specialist technology means that more people with severe communication impairments are able to live independent lives and actively participate in world around them.

“I hope the programme highlights the importance of effective communication for both children and adults and the real life benefits that are resulting from the NHS’ investment in communication aid services such as ours.”

The episode, which was originally broadcast on BBC One at 9.15am on July 19, also saw Cerrie returning to the hospital where she was fitted with a prosthetic arm as a child, something that she found difficult at the time and addresses in the programme.

The programme is now available on the BBC Iplayer to watch again.