AHP CYP Blog – Melville Dixon Paediatric Orthotic Service Lead RHC Glasgow
It is the start of a new year and the last one seemed to fly by quicker than ever. I have the honour of leading the Paediatric Orthotic Service for Greater Glasgow and Clyde and as I move into 2020 I am reflecting on the previous 100 years of the service and what the next 100 years might look like. Yes that’s right the service has just turned 100 years old, being established before the NHS was created and being based in the Yorkhill Children’s hospital in Glasgow in 1919. Over that time there have been many hard working staff serving thousands of children and that is the best part of the job, the relationship that we build with the children whom we serve, many of whom return year after year for their orthotic treatments. One such girl Bethany, as part of her media degree, has gone on to make a short film about her and others journey with orthoses called “Splints”. You can see it here
Kids like Bethany are inspirational. Even though she and her family have had more difficulties than most of us and at a very young age, they have fought to push forward with Bethany’s development and life to help her to attain and achieve. The video says more than I ever could about why I find my job so satisfying and we are only a small part of the input that is given across health and social care however our small part like all the other small parts makes a big difference. This is the wonder of our NHS. There are many people, human beings, working hard, training, specialising, going the extra mile to bring together all these small parts for each patient to give them a better quality of life than they would otherwise have regardless of their wealth, social standing or abilities.
So what does the next 100 years look like? Well who knows what medical developments and cures may be discovered but for sure our human bodies and frailties will remain similar, if not the same, and our passion to help achieve and progress will hopefully remain just as strong.
I watch with keen interest the development of robotics and exoskeletal suits, perhaps one day we can be using these for our children instead of the current technology you can see in the picture from a newspaper article about Aiden which works well and is influential in the journey of children and their families like Aiden’s, but I want to help so much more.
So here I sit at my computer looking out at the darkness in the middle of our winter as the working week draws to a close and contemplate what this year will bring. I aim to embrace it all with optimism and good attitude. In my 20 year career so far, the joy of working with children and their unending energy and straight forward view on life keeps me smiling and young at heart, they just want to go play. Here’s to the next 100 years, let’s all keep playing.