Dharmesh Mistry Testimonial
My name is Dharmesh Mistry, I am 49 years old and currently employed by West Yorkshire Police. In my current role I work in the Peoples Development Unit as an Assessor (assessing student officers). I am also an ambassador for West Yorkshire Police, helping out at Recruitment seminars, Police Open days and Community Engagement projects. Striving to get the best for my colleagues is important to me, this is why I am an executive member of the West Yorkshire Police Black Police Association in addition to having an affiliation with the West Yorkshire Police Disability Association.
I have always been a very active person, enjoying all manner of sporting pursuits throughout my life. I have been employed by West Yorkshire Police since May 2005, at which time my role was predominantly a response officer having been trained in Public Order/Taser/TACT Custody. Throughout my policing career, I have had problems with my knees, mainly cartilage clean-ups (arthroscopy), which eventually had resulted in many visits to hospital. I believe that these knee issues where a direct result of years wearing stab vests and utility belts. Subsequently, I have also had an ACL repair and a Partial Knee Replacement which was the cause of my visit to the PTC. I have also, unfortunately, been diagnosed with arthritis in both knees.
Since being diagnosed with arthritis, every movement in either knee has caused discomfort. It appeared to make no difference whether I sat, was walking, using the stairs or even sleeping, everything was painful. Subsequently, I was assessed by the Force Medical Examiner and the decision was made that I would be placed on restricted duties, despite this, even an office-based role led to issues.
Following my partial knee replacement, I completed my application for admission to the PTC and was given a date to attend. Upon arrival, firstly I met with a nurse, who assessed my physical and mental wellbeing. It was following this that I was introduced to my personal physio Dan, who looked after me for the duration of my stay. Due to having been through a major operation, Dan advised me to undertake a number of specific exercises to make up a programme that targeted my particular issues, whilst at the same time enabling me to live with reduced pain throughout the remainder of my career. My programme included an initial knee massage, this was then followed by band exercises accompanied by a light workout on various resistance training machines. Finally I was advised to use the hydro and swimming pools to slowly promote mobility.
Throughout my stay, I was made to feel so welcome by everyone at the PTC. Every member of staff from housekeeping to catering, admin and nursing all played a major part in my improved well-being and recovery. There were times when I needed to be pushed, I would like to make a special mention regarding Maggie in catering and Kate in nursing, who really went the extra mile. Both seemed to have natural mothering instincts and seemed to know exactly when someone might require their help. The Housekeeping team were excellent, making sure that no stone was left unturned regarding my comfort. My aim when arriving at the PTC was to see an improvement in my mobility whilst at the same time regaining a level of fitness as I was aware that I had gained some weight due to lack of activity and exercise. The catering team are great in this department as all meals are calorie calculated and at set times. Following my stay I had lost only a few pounds, but the bigger picture was that my body fat percentage had dropped significantly and muscle mass had increased.
My stay at the PTC revealed to me how vulnerable every serving Police Officer truly is. Spending time in such close quarters with colleagues suffering from many different injuries and wellbeing issues is quite eye opening. The PTC really helps give a little perspective and lets one understand that we are not alone and that issues we may have, personally and within our organisations are often shared. Support was there for everyone, physically or psychologically. One of the highlights of my stay was certainly a visit from the Therapy Dog, it is quite surprising how much this helps to reduce tension and stress levels.
As the PTC is blessed with some beautiful grounds, you can enjoy the calming atmosphere of the flowing stream or relax in the summer house. In addition to this, there is also a lovely wooded area located nearby which is perfect for a stroll.
I spent two weeks at the Police Treatment Centres and thoroughly enjoyed my stay, I leave feeling healthier, fitter and with a marked improvement in my mobility.
The PTC is, I believe, an essential service for every serving and retired officer. One cannot put a price on health and rehabilitation.