Christine Barber talks about cerebral palsy throughout the lifespan

In September 2017 Christine Barber, took up a long-standing invitation from members of the South African Neurodevelopment Treatment Association (SANDTA – Bobath therapists’ association) to lecture and teach in South Africa.

SANDTA Congress 2017

Christine opened their 2017 Conference on “Transitions” with a keynote speech outlining the crucial periods which affect people with cerebral palsy, their activity, participation and health throughout the lifespan. She emphasised the importance of medical professionals understanding the evolving clinical picture of cerebral palsy throughout the course of life, so that intervention in the early years is not only focused on increasing children’s functional activities to support their participation in everyday situations, but is proactive in minimising the secondary changes that are associated with having a long-term neurodevelopmental condition, so that participation and health are maximised and maintained in adult life.

Christine particularly focused on the difference between the effects of having a long-term neurological condition and the physiological effects of aging, both of which can result in premature loss of function, decline in health, and therefore restrict participation. She emphasised the importance of therapists understanding the underlying global process that over time may lead to increasing pain and fatigue, both key symptoms of Post Impairment Syndrome, or more specific pathological processes that can lead to specific secondary neurological damage associated with dyskinetic movements.

She highlighted the importance of physical activity and fitness in counteracting the effects of typical aging on adults with cerebral palsy, and the need to be proactive in slowing down and managing the effects on function of the decline in physical strength that is a feature of the aging process.

Here is Christine Barber in action at Malamulele Onwards in South Africa – a chrarity run by Dr Gillian Saloojee who trained and worked at Bobath in the 1990s. The charity runs Carer to Carer training programmes in rural South Africa.

Gemma runs for Bobath

Gemma Cook, our neurophysiotherapist, has volunteered to take on the Royal Parks Half Marathon challenge on Sunday 8 October 2017.

She will be running 13.1 miles around our beautiful scenic London parks, raising funds for the Bobath Centre for Adults.

If you’d like to sponsor her, donations can be made via mydonate

Meet a neurophysiotherapist

We are offering new clients with a neurological disability the opportunity of a free 45-minute face-to-face discussion with a Senior Neurophysiotherapist who will:

  • Listen to your concerns
  • Explain the role therapy plays in your independence, health and wellbeing
  • Offer guidance on an appropriate therapy plan
  • Carry out a manual handling assessment

The discussion will help you to get a feeling of what we do at the Bobath Centre, and what your individual needs and potential might be. It will not be a clinical assessment; that would still need to be done later. There will not be a written report.

You are welcome to bring family members or carers with you.

If you would like to meet a therapist, please email
or phone 020 8444 3355 to arrange a time, and to let us know if you need to bring someone with you.

The Bobath Centre looks for a new home

The trustees of the Bobath Centre have made a strategic decision to sell the building and land in East Finchley and relocate to new premises within the north London area. This decision will not immediately affect our services as the sale of the building is expected to be completed in some 18 months. Until then it will be business as usual, and treatment for patients will continue at the current premises.

Outside front 3

The decision to relocate has been taken in response to changes in the way health care is funded and organised. Over the last few years, the cost of delivering therapy has risen while it has become increasingly difficult for people to access our specialist services, particularly those who have historically depended on NHS funding. By selling the property now we will safeguard our ability to continue to provide highly specialised treatment for adults with neurological disability.

We are starting to look for new premises in and around north London that will meet our organisational needs, allow us to upgrade our treatment facilities for the people who use our services, and modernise our training facilities. Centre Director, Christine Barber, has worked at the Bobath Centre for 35 years. She sees the move as a great opportunity for the charity to grow. “This is the fifth time the Centre has moved in its 60-year history, and each has benefited those who use our services. The move will allow us to adapt how we deliver treatment and training in the changing health landscape as well as modernise our facilities and upgrade equipment.”

Stroke rehabilitation – key recommendations from RCP

The Royal College of Physicians has recently published its 2016 ‘National clinical guideline for stroke’ covering every aspect of stroke management.

Over 30 key recommendations are made, including:

  • Specialist rehabilitation should be offered in the outpatient setting
  • Specialist services should be capable of meeting the specific healthcare needs of people with stroke of all ages
  • Therapy should be offered if goals for specific functions and activities can be identified and agreed and the potential for change is likely
  • People with walking and mobility problems, including ataxia, should be assessed by neurological therapists experienced in neurological rehabilitation

The Bobath Centre offers specialist stroke rehabilitation

RCP 2016 National clinical guideline for stroke

Christine Barber teaches in Belgium

At the invitation of the Belgian Bobath Tutors Association, Christine Barber, Director of the Bobath Centre, taught on the ‘Cerebral Palsy in Adult Life’ advanced course for therapists in Belgium in October 2016.

24 participants, mainly from Belgium, were taught  in a mixture of English, French and Flemish. Two of the participants were trainee Bobath tutors.

Christine was assisted by Patrick Aloguet and Jos de Cat, both Belgian tutors. “I was excited and energised by the stimulating learning environment,” says Christine.

Henry Collier is Adult Centre trustee

Henry Collier is the latest addition to the Adults’ Centre trustee board.

Henry enjoyed a 20-year career with Ford Motor Company as an analyst programmer before becoming an independent IT consultant specialising in web based technologies.

On taking up his appointment he said “I use Bobath therapy to maintain my mobility and manage my cerebral palsy, so as a service user I can give a patient perspective to decision making. I also believe my experience of working in industry and my skills in new technologies can help the charity develop, particularly in digital communication.”