Hand and Upper Limb Centre opens at Shenton House in Joondalup

Jeff Ecker, Sophie Ecker, Melita Ryan, Lucinda Cunningham and Yestin Rees.
Jeff Ecker, Sophie Ecker, Melita Ryan, Lucinda Cunningham and Yestin Rees.

A CLINIC offering therapy for people with hand and arm injuries recently opened in Joondalup.

The Hand and Upper Limb Centre (HULC) opened its northern-most clinic in Shenton House in mid-June.

Occupational therapists based at the clinic will provide non-surgical assessment and management of hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder injuries and disorders.

HULC founder and director Jeff Ecker officially opened the clinic with Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard, and said staff would support patients through their treatment.

“These people are often scared; they are frightened; they need support,” he said.

Mr Ecker said treatment usually focused on moving joints after injury because if people “don’t move it, you come out with a stiff hand”.

Occupational therapists Yestin Rees and Lucinda Cunningham are based at the Joondalup clinic, with manager Melita Ryan.

“Our main work is with fractures,” Mr Rees said.

“We do some tendon, or what we call plastic, work as well.

“We take care of that rehab side of things, holding (a patient’s) hand so to speak through that experience.

“The hand is such a complex structure.

“It’s a really great job that you have to think regularly out of the box.”

Mr Rees said previously with the main HULC clinic based in South Perth, patients were travelling from as far as Two Rocks for treatment, so the Joondalup clinic would benefit northern suburbs residents.

Ms Ryan said local residents booking appointments at the other clinics had previously had to factor in traffic.

“This is our first clinic in the northern corridor,” HULC managing director Sophie Ecker said, adding that people could self-refer or be referred by their GP.

Mrs Cunningham said her passion for hands came when she injured her hand aged 12.

“I fell off a horse, crushed my finger,” she said.

Having to undergo nine months of therapy set her on the course of becoming an occupational therapist and she studied in the US before returning to Perth and joining HULC eight years ago.

The clinic is located in Shenton House, opposite Joondalup Health Campus.