More than saving face

The recovery made by Davinia Douglass following the 7/7 bombings 5 years ago (featured here in the Mail) is a testament to both her tenacity and plastic surgery. The appalling revelation however comes in her story of not having had any psychological support from the NHS. The Consultant who treated her said:

We’re not magicians, but we do what we can to get the best possible outcome for patients. Some people’s burns heal better than others. But even people who have almost no scarring at all can be very traumatised by the incident that cause the injury, and their families can be traumatised. The mental healing process can be incapacitating for some individuals, who withdraw from day-to-day society.’

Davinia is now campaigning for a dedicated psychologist to be attached to the burns unit at the hospital. Plato was on the same track when he said, “The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated”. Davinia was lucky – not just because she survived and was healed – but because she had the strength of character to overcome the trauma. As the Consultant intimated, it could have been a very different story both physically and mentally, but not to provide mental health services at all after such an experience is a huge mistake. We are a poorer society in every way when we fail to treat body and mind together.


About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social pioneer, writer, campaigner and commentator. Formerly a clinical optometrist specialising in diabetes and visual impairment, she is the founder and Director of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal and Social. 2020health has through research, events and campaigning influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. In 2014, 2020health were founding partners of the Health Tech and You Awards with Axa PPP and the Design Museum. Since 2016, 2020health has increasingly focused on digital health and public health in the community. Julia is a Fellow of the RSA and now also a part-time PhD student at the UCL Interaction Centre, studying the use of digital technology for stress management in the workplace. Julia has shared 2020health's research widely in the media (BBC News, ITV, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions & Victoria Derbyshire, BBC Radio 4 Today, PM and Woman's Hour, LBC) and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week.
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