The Royal London and Queen's Romford Neurosurgery Society


The fluffy stuff – what people need to know about Traumatic Brain injury

Alice Kershberg, CNS Neurotrauma

Alice Kershberg, was appointed as the Clinical Nurse Specialist in Head Injury at The Royal London in 2016


As the Clinical Nurse Specialist for Neurotrauma at the Royal London I am a huge fan of the fluffy stuff.

It’s the intricacies of brain injury that worry patients and families long after the sutures have been removed and the wounds have healed.

I choose to discuss a number of key issues with the Neurosurgical trainees; rehabilitation, seizures, loss of taste and smell, driving and where families can go for support.

Many of the Neurosurgeons who attended will be part of Head Injury clinic where these issues arise time and time again, so the session aimed to educate the Neurosurgeons so that they feel comfortable discussing these matters with patients and families.

The session enabled us to have discussions about seizure management and it was clear that there are a lot of unknowns a theme common throughout most neurosurgical units. It also highlighted the need for close working with Neurology teams in order to provide the patient with the best advice.

Driving was another topic of discussion the trainees were shown the DVLA’s Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals. A must for anybody giving advice or completing DVLA paperwork, with some admitting this was the first time they had heard of this document.

The concept of rehab was discussed with the trainees being shown the types/levels of Rehab and their geographical location, this is often something families ask about and therefore I felt it was important for people to have a basic understanding of it.

I didn’t expect a talk entitled the fluffy stuff to appeal to a room of Neurosurgeons most of whom with academic laden CV’s, I didn’t have a single graph or P value! However the talk was met with enthusiasm and started multiple discussions and hopeful future work streams.

I am thrilled to work in a unit where the patient’s journey and recovery is a priority to all involved, long live the fluffy stuff!


Painting by a patient who suffered a head injury and received support through the Headway Charity. This painting was donated to The Royal London Department of Neurosurgery by two of our Neurotrauma Consultants Mr Barber and Mr Uff.

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