Putting the Spotlight on Stress – a dedicated service

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Stress Treatment at Nightingale Hospital

Nightingale Hospital unveils plans for new Stress & Trauma Service led by Professor Gordon Turnbull – the first of its kind in the UK – to tackle the marked rise in the number of patients manifesting symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other stress-related conditions.

Although Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is traditionally associated with the military, the reality is that it is the most prevalent of all psychological conditions, with an estimated 10% of the population likely to experience PTSD at some point during their lives. With stress-related conditions also on the rise – it is now the top cause of long-term workplace ‘sickness’ – Nightingale Hospital’s new Stress & Trauma Service will offer the UK’s first dedicated platform to efficiently manage and treat the condition. Often incorrectly described as illnesses, stress and PTSD are in fact our natural reactions to a traumatic situation – a highly subjective description which can include rape, car accidents (even if the patient escapes unharmed), professional stress and even childbirth.

The Stress & Trauma Service will be led by Professor Gordon Turnbull – one of the world’s leading authorities in this field – whose team will be using a combined programme of therapies and other pioneering techniques to treat patients. These will include EMDR and Gestalt therapies (where patients are encouraged to place an emphasis on personal responsibility and their role in the present moment) as well as a pilot study to trial the latest Biofeedback techniques. Biofeedback is the latest tool in the treatment of trauma whereby patients are connected to ECGs which illustrate the connection between the physiological and the psychological helping them to manage the symptoms of stress as they process the memories.

As well as the external manifestation of stress highlighted during the use of Biofeedback, chronic stress and trauma will often lead to patients suffering from a range of other physical symptoms such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, high blood pressure and even in extreme cases inflammation of the skin, the bowel and the joints – all of which can be successfully resolved by following an appropriate treatment programme. With so many people living with these conditions oblivious to the eminently treatable root cause of the problem, the number of cases of chronic stress and trauma in the UK is likely to be significantly higher than currently recorded.

Commenting about the launch of the service, Professor Gordon Turnbull, PTSD Lead Consultant said: “PTSD is often mistakenly associated with human vulnerability when the reality is that it is a reaction to a specific episode and a perfectly normal and natural processing mechanism not an illness. Left untreated, it can have a hugely detrimental impact on a patient’s quality of life, however with swift intervention – particularly in the first “Golden Month” after the incident – the symptoms can be processed permanently and efficiently. The new Stress & Trauma Service at Nightingale Hospital has been established in response to an increased awareness of the signs and triggers for PTSD and chronic stress and an accompanying demand for a dedicated treatment centre.”

The Stress and Trauma Centre at Nightingale Hospital will offer a unique programme of trauma and stress therapies led by a team of eminent specialists in this field to offer – for the very first time in the UK – the chance for patients to tackle their trauma and stress efficiently and permanently.

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