Brenda Buzzard: a pioneer of haemophilia physiotherapy

It was with great sadness that Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals and The Haemophilia Chartered Physiotherapy Organisation learned of the passing of Brenda Buzzard, a renowned ex staff member and haemophilia physiotherapist.

Brenda started her career as a physiotherapist in Newcastle at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in 1976, experiencing different areas of physiotherapy. She progressed over the years in orthopaedics and haemophilia, where she had a team lead and clinical specialist role.

Haemophilia and allied bleeding disorders were Brenda’s passion. She set up joint haemophilia/orthopaedic clinics for the patients in Newcastle and started to record the joint health of these patients annually. After working with this patient group in Newcastle for a number of years, she was one of four founding members of the Haemophilia Chartered Physiotherapy Associated (HCPA) in 1990. Since its foundation the HCPA has developed and meet annually at conference and continually work to advance patient care for people with haemophilia and allied bleeding disorders.

During her time as a physiotherapist Brenda got to know families of people with haemophilia and was passionate about developing education and increasing participation in sport and exercise. Alongside the rest of the haemophilia team in Newcastle, Brenda also organised activity weekends at home and abroad for the patients with the aim of increasing confidence and empowering them to take ownership of the condition.

Brenda was also keen to pass on her knowledge to other parts of the world and worked with physiotherapists in India educating them in haemophilia management and developing their skills, and building international relationships. Throughout her career she worked tirelessly to make a difference in people’s lives. It was this determination and spirit that many patients and colleagues found inspiring.

During the years Brenda became a musculoskeletal committee member of the World Federation of Haemophilia (WFH). She was author of numerous haemophilia textbooks and journal publications, presented at conferences all over the world and became a leading physiotherapist in haemophilia settings. Brenda was instrumental in getting haemophilia physiotherapy on the map, changing the face of haemophilia care as we know it today. A true pioneer for physiotherapy.

In 2006 Brenda was awarded the prestigious Pietergrande prize on behalf of the WFH for her significant contribution to further the mission of the musculoskeletal committee, the first physiotherapist to win this award.

Alongside all the ground breaking work in haemophilia Brenda also had a team lead role in the orthopaedic team, supporting her staff and helping them progress their careers, always leading by example. In this role she helped oversee the transition of orthopaedic care from Newcastle General Hospital to RVI.

Brenda Buzzard’s expertise, hard work and compassion reverberated throughout the bleeding disorders community during her lifetime and will continue to impact on the community for many years to come. Her career impacted on so many lives, and she will be sadly missed.