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Award-winning patient support group celebrates six-year anniversary

This article is more than three years old.

Over 40 patients and relatives gathered at the John Radcliffe Hospital West Wing on Tuesday 29 October 2019 to celebrate the sixth birthday of a group that has given them a great deal of support in their recovery from subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH).

Head2Head is a free service set up in 2013 after feedback from our subarachnoid haemorrhage patients highlighted the need for a support service after discharge for both them and their families.

A subarachnoid haemorrhage is an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It is a very serious condition and can be fatal.

People who survive can be left with long-term problems. Recovering can be a slow and frustrating process, and it is common to have problems such as extreme tiredness, headaches and problems sleeping.

Caring for someone recovering from a SAH can be difficult as patients can often have complex needs and engage in challenging behaviour.

Head2Head offers continuous support to those treated at the John Radcliffe Hospital and their carers once they have been discharged home, with an opportunity to talk to other people with similar experiences. They meet every four months and often clinicians come along giving their time for free to offer advice to the members of the group.

The service has proved to be so successful and effective in supporting SAH patients and their families after discharge that in 2015 they won the Nursing Times Award for Emergency and Critical Care.

Catherine Lamb, SAH Specialist Nurse, said: “We are so proud of the success of the group and it's great to see more people coming along every year, including clinicians, to celebrate our birthday.

"Head2Head has helped create a community around SAH patients and their families where they can find the support they need while they face such a complex and challenging recovery."

Subarachnoid Haemorrhage support group -