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‘It Helped Me Feel Alive Again’

West Yorkshire Federation
Photography by Jason Bye
t: 07966 173 930

Brian Booth, Chair of West Yorkshire Police Federation, talks about how The Police Treatment Centres helped him go “from strength to strength” following a recent operation:

“Having paid into The Police Treatment Centres for 27 years, I can’t believe I hadn’t booked in sooner. Over the years I have had so many injuries that would have benefited from intensive treatment.
Following a foot/ankle operation in February this year, which involved the removal and replacement of my heel bone and the reconstruction of ligaments and tendons, I was feeling pretty broken.
Not being able to walk properly for three months led to wider issues around muscle loss, tension and fatigue around most of my lower body. On top of this, the lack of exercise had left me unfit cardio-wise and a lack of sleep and general feeling of being exhausted no doubt delayed effective healing.

I arrived at the The Police Treatment Centre in Harrogate and was greeted by smiling reception staff who allocated me my room. En route to my room I was met by cleaning staff who greeted me with a friendly hello; one even offered to help me with my bag. This level of service was mirrored throughout my stay with all staff that I bumped into.

Seeing the nurse was the first reality check on how I hadn’t been looking after myself, and I was told that my blood pressure was high.

The next step was meeting with my allocated physio, Niki. Niki took time listening to my tale of pre- and post-surgery life, examining my ankle and foot and working out how it was affecting the rest of my body.

I had some initial exercises to do, as well as a list of things I should avoid for the time being. I booked onto plenty of classes to get the most out of my stay. Pilates and yoga are two classes that I would not have chosen ordinarily, but I had my eyes opened. They were concentrated on muscle groups that you normally miss, and vital for the core strength that underpins your whole body. These became regulars on my programme.

I had classes on sleep and nutrition and started to learn that recovery would be hampered massively if I didn’t get the basics right. This was aided by excellent healthy food options and the fact that I got more restful sleep.

Chatting with resident colleagues over meals confirmed to me that, whichever programme people were there for, it was hard not to get a benefit. I didn’t hear a bad word being said.

Getting physio every day, working out, eating healthy and sleeping well meant I felt the difference in a week. My blood pressure was remeasured and back to normal, I felt alive again, and I started to feel real strength in my ankle.

This had a positive effect on my mental ability and my fear of further injury, because I had been shown what the limits were while exercising.

Over the two weeks I went from strength to strength and, although I can’t yet run again, I feel positive that if I follow my exercises I should be able to in the next couple of months.

These two weeks gave me a break from the normal aspects of day-to-day life and allowed me to focus on getting better. Seldom have I done this before, but now I can see the results. For those colleagues who pay into the Police Treatment Centres and have never attended, please bear it in mind if you want excellent recovery and treatment.

For those of you who don’t pay in, this could be the best £7.80 per month you pay – you are investing in your future, should you fall on hard times mentally or physically.

West Yorkshire Police Federation has supported The Police Treatment Centres for many years and, having had first-hand experience of it, I now really understand why.”

Date posted: August 13, 2022

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