Our Speech and Language Therapist, Kristina Brocklesby, shares her perspective on a patient’s journey at Blackheath

Our Speech and Language Therapist, Kristina Brocklesby, shares her perspective on a patient’s journey at Blackheath


Action for Brain Injury Awareness Week is 16th May – 22nd May 2023. 

James wanted to share his story (see here) and Kristina Brocklesby, Speech and Language Therapist at Blackheath, made it happen.

Kristina is extremely passionate about her job, her team, and her patients. Here is Kristina’s perspective of James’ journey.

I’ve worked as a Speech and Language Therapist at Active Care Group for nearly 4 years. I love working in the neuro-rehab inpatient setting. It’s great here as the team work really closely together to deliver a patients’ treatment.

In Speech and Language Therapy we support and treat communication and swallowing difficulties. Both are vast areas. We were seeing James for communication only. In this setting, we might see a communication patient for a range of acquired impairments, such as: speech, voice, language, and cognitive-communication. James had both cognition impacting on his communication, such as attention causing him to go off track in conversation, or memory affecting his ability to recall conversations. He also had word finding difficulties, for example he may say a word out of context when meaning to use another one, and could not type on the computer initially.

We worked intensely with the other therapy disciplines – psychology, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy – and his family, to raise his insight into his diagnosis and the difficulties caused by this. Our sessions were high intensity, working on word retrieval, typing for different functional activities, and supporting him to implement strategies for cognition which, in turn, improved some of his cognitive functions to a level where he could go home with support. This is a very broad description of our work with James, and working with Psychology played a large part in his progress.

It was a pleasure working with James. He was considerate, polite, and humorous. He always showed us his appreciation and was very motivated for sessions, making each session more engaging for himself, and building rapport with therapists and his peers on the ward. It was great seeing him progress on the ward and it was really rewarding to be able to discharge him home, which was what he wanted. To be able to support him to achieve this goal, was a huge success for the team also.

When James set the project for himself, which was to write an article for the internal Active Care Group newsletter, it showed just how far he had progressed with his language abilities. He said it made him feel like he was doing something more ‘normal’ for him and work related.

It gives a sense of pride and joy, to see patients fulfilling their self-set goals and feeling more like themselves, after such a life-changing and difficult journey.