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Meet Julie Edwards, trailblazer for unusual nurse specialist role

A small number of neurology nurse specialists have become experts in helping patients suffering from headaches

As one of only a few dozen clinical nurse specialists for headache in the UK, Julie Edwards, pictured, is a rarity.

But when her role was first piloted back in 2004, she was nothing less than a trailblazer. ‘It was a unique post and had never been tried before,’ says Ms Edwards of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals (SWBH) NHS Trust.

Having worked in neurology for a decade as senior ward sister, she was offered the opportunity to be trained by consultants in diagnosing different headache disorders.

‘I was nervous to begin with,’ she admits. ‘There was the trepidation of getting it wrong. But I was also excited about trying something new.’

Headache and migraine are common, affecting around one in six people in the UK and making up almost 40% of referrals to SWBH’s neurology department. With money


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