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 entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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