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Date of Incident






This is more about the after effects of an incident and highlighting follow up actions. I fell approximately 10 metres and hit the ground on the first route of the day. This is all I can really tell you as I had a serious head injury, in addition to 2 broken vertebra, and have no memory of the incident or much of the following 3 weeks. I do know the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Coastguard helicopter and local mountain rescue did a superb job in getting me to Leeds hospital, I know this because it was later televised on Helicopter ER.
My reason for submitting this is to make people aware of the long term effect of a head injury. I received a referral to a specialist for my back injury but nothing for my head injury. I work free lance in the outdoors and did not work for 4 months, I also took the decision not to drive for a month as I did not feel safe. I am fortunate that my wife is a senior physio and could ask advice from other professionals to help me out. I recovered sufficiently to return to work but knew I was not operating at the level I had previous to the accident, 2 years down the line I felt I had plateau'd and went to my GP who referred me to an Acquired Head Injuries Unit and am now waiting for an appointment due to the high demand.


The point of this is that there is poor follow up for head injuries in some parts of the country and the effect of severe concussion are quite long lasting. There will be impacts on family, friends and work colleagues, some of which you may not be aware of. It is important to get someone you trust to monitor you after a head injury and help you get the right advice if things do not go right. The NHS is wonderful but some services are under strain and you might have to be proactive to get help, however by their nature head injuries sometimes do not lend themselves to proactive thought! This report is maybe more for the family, friends and colleagues of the injured party to let them know it can be really helpful to have someone take an interest and help you put your thoughts in some sort of order.


Trad rock climbing




Serious injury requiring medical treatment


Slip, trip or fall



Reported By


Wearing Helmets?


Rescue Services Involved?


Rob Coles

11 February 2020 at 16:19:50

For more advice and guidance on good practices visit BMC skills

All reports are self-submitted and have not been edited by the BMC in any way, so please keep an open mind regarding the lessons and causes of each incident or near-miss. 

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