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Treating conditions of the nervous system – namely the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves

If you need to see a neurologist in Suffolk, get in touch with our team at BMI ST Edmunds Hospital.

Neurology is a huge specialty, as it covers such a diverse range of symptoms and conditions. Patients are referred to a neurologist with a large variety of different issues. These include:

  • Headache
  • Pain
  • Visual symptoms
  • Balance problems
  • Episodes of altered awareness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Loss of coordination, and more.

These conditions focus on problems within the nervous system – namely the brain, the spinal cord, and the nerves.

Neurologists have expertise in managing patients with a diverse range of conditions that, first, involves taking a detailed medical history to help in making a diagnosis.

A neurologist will undertake a detailed neurological examination to find out if the nervous system is working normally and which areas are not working okay. We will often arrange some investigations to allow us to make a clear diagnosis.

Often, the diagnosis doesn’t need any further investigations, but sometimes some additional tests can be helpful. These tests include:

  • Imaging of the brain and spine
  • Some more detailed tests on the nerves themselves
  • Electrical tests on the nerves and muscles
  • Blood tests.

Some patients visit our neurologist with a headache, for example, and the most important thing is to diagnose what type of headache it is.

The reason for this is that different headaches need different treatments. Some patients come with episodes of loss of consciousness as their main symptom, and the job of the neurologist is to work out whether it might reflect epilepsy or whether it’s something else.

Some patients come with symptoms that don’t have a diagnosis – and our job is to assess whether it’s a significant neurological problem or whether it’s a problem with the hardware of the brain.

Other patients will come with, not just one symptom, but a whole range of symptoms, and it’s the neurologist’s job to work out whether that reflects a single diagnosis or whether it’s more complicated and whether there are other things going on.

Often, people will come to see a neurologist when the GP doesn’t know what is wrong with them.

We regularly see patients with very odd and unusual symptoms, for which the GPs don’t have an answer – and our team’s expertise is in working out if these reflect a significant neurological issue.

Our neurologist here at BMI St Edmunds Hospital will take a full medical history, before asking you about your symptoms and how they are affecting your day-to-day life. You will also be asked if you have any allergies.

In terms of diagnostic tests, mostly, we do CT or MRI scans of the brain or spine. We can also do an EEG, which is a brainwave test. Electrical tests on the nerves and muscles can also be performed, and our neurologist may need to take a detailed battery of blood tests as well.

There are a range of different treatments available for patients visiting our neurologist; these are dependent on the patient’s condition. For headaches, for example, there are several tablets or non-tablet techniques that can be helpful.

Our neurologist also has a particular interest in using mindfulness-based techniques for patients with headaches and has a subspecialty in multiple sclerosis. He also offers a regional service for people with MS.

It’s worth noting that up to half of the patients who see a neurologist do not have a significant neurological issue. Therefore, one of the main roles of a neurologist is to reassure patients when there isn’t a significant problem and to help them understand the nature of their symptoms – that’s very important.

Choose BMI St Edmunds and you will always see a Consultant, rather than a Junior Doctor. You get more time than you would in an NHS appointment, too – and you will be seen more quickly.

In addition, any investigations you may need are frequently done over days, rather than weeks or months. We can get someone from symptom onset to diagnosis much more quickly, says our Consultant, which is the nature of the private sector.

The team woks together closely, with inter-referrals to the most appropriate place to help you get the care you need. Every specialist working at BMI is an NHS- practising consultant, and infection control at the hospital is great, too.

With 26 beds, with all rooms offering the privacy and comfort of en-suite facilities, views of the gardens, and TV and high speed Wi-Fi, the hospital offers patients a warm and comfortable stay.

There are three main theatres, one of which has been installed with lamina flow (clean air filter system). Our third theatre is used for endoscopy and day case procedures.

We also have a dedicated day case recovery area in our comfortable conservatory, where you can relax after your day case procedure until you are discharged from our care.

Ample car parking is available around the grounds, too, with a drop-off bay and disabled spaces directly opposite the entrance to the main hospital entrance.

At a glance, here are some reasons why you might choose BMI St Edmunds for your consultation:

  • Reduced waiting times – Patients who visit BMI St Edmunds Hospital can, of course, benefit from shorter waiting times than they would if, say, they were to pursue treatment on the NHS.
  • Flexible appointments at a time to suit you – You can choose an appointment time to suit you and your schedule – and in some cases, remote consultations (via Microsoft Teams) will be offered.
  • Consultant-led appointments – Your appointment at BMI St Edmunds will always be Consultant-led – and you will see the same person each time you visit us here at the hospital.
  • Patient satisfaction and personalised care – In an independent survey* in 2020, 99% of our patients said they would recommend BMI St Edmunds Hospital, and the hospital has a CQC overall rating of ‘Good’. *Results compiled by Quality Health.         

We see people from the whole of East Anglia – from Harlow in the south to Bedford in the west, to Ipswich, Colchester and up to Norfolk as well.

People often visit from within Bury St Edmunds too, as well as from the towns, villages and cities surrounding it.

You can book to see our Consultant Neurologist online here on the BMI website – just use our online booking portal to choose a time and date to suit you.