News

Dancers Shocked at Sudden Closure of Dance Injury Clinic

21 Jun 2019

 

The recent sudden closure of the Sports and Exercise Medicine clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), which housed the flagship dance injury clinic, has left injured dancers without a treatment plan and has increased waiting times for treatment at other London Dance Injury Clinics.

Helen Laws Head of the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) comments “This decision by the RNOH to close the service without consultation or sufficient planning, after 7 years establishing such vital care for dancers, is hugely disappointing. Specialist dance services such as this enable dancers and dance teachers with training/career threatening injuries to return to work quickly and receive the support they need from a broad team of healthcare experts.”

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital dance injury clinic was established in 2012 as the first NHS dance specialist service in the UK. NIDMS has worked to raise awareness of this service and developed further NHS clinics in Birmingham, Bath and an acute clinical service in London, based upon this flagship model at the RNOH. Specialist dance medicine services are imperative for dancers and the trailblazing RNOH clinic has been a vital source of support.

Kim Hutt, Head of Physical Support, London Contemporary Dance School comments “The RNOH dance injury clinic has provided an exceptional opportunity and service. This clinic quite literally supports the training and careers of hundreds of dance students, teachers, choreographers and dancers. This clinic is an asset to the NHS.”

The NHS service is essential for dancers who would otherwise struggle to access appropriate care:

“This is the best dance specific care I have ever received, and it was provided completely free. This meant that I was always able to go to treatments, no matter how much I was struggling financially after slowly returning to work”.

Dr Roger Wolman, Consultant in SEM and Medical Advisor to NIDMS issued the following statement recently

“As you are now aware the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has decided to close their Dance and Sport & Exercise Medicine department.  As the Consultant running this service I am very sorry that this has happened but unfortunately it was out of my control. I am sure that this has been very distressing for many of you.

Please be assured that we are in the process of putting into place a solution to address this set back.  As the Medical Advisor to the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science, I have been involved in setting up several NHS clinics around the country since 2012 and we are therefore in a strong position to address this problem. In 2018 we set up a 2nd NHS Dance clinic in London at the Royal London Hospital under the stewardship of Dr Ian Beasley, a very experienced Dance Medicine specialist. He and his team have agreed to take over from the RNOH and provide an ongoing NHS service for dancers. Although there will be some differences in how their clinics operate, the quality of your care will not be affected. We hope to have this in place within a matter of weeks. If you have any concerns please contact One Dance UK on manager@nidms.co.uk

Those seeking referrals in London are also advised to contact NIDMS on 020 7713 0730  or manager@nidms.co.uk for advice and support. All referral information can also be found on our website www.nidms.co.uk

We invite anyone concerned at this closure to show their support for the work of NIDMS in campaigning for the provision of dance specific injury clinics and wider healthcare services. You can do this by signing our petition  and participating in the#dancersmatter campaign to highlight the importance of dance specialist healthcare and the lifeline this provides for professional and non-professional dancers.