After general medical training in Bristol, Bath and Liverpool I trained as a neurologist in Liverpool, Middlesbrough and Newcastle upon Tyne.
In the latter post, I trained under Lord Walton of Detchant, widely recognised as one of the world's leading neurologists of the 20th century. After four years of training, including completion of my MD degree (A study of the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on chronic multiple sclerosis: University of Bristol 1987), I became interested in neurological rehabilitation. Unfortunately at the time (mid-1980s) there was no training at all in neurological rehabilitation and scarcely any interest in the subject. Thus, I diverted into the pharmaceutical industry as a clinical research physician in neurology working on antidepressant and anti-epileptic medication. Eventually, in summer 1986, I was appointed to the first training post in neurological rehabilitation based with Professor Lindsay McLellan in Southampton. That led to a senior lectureship in neurological rehabilitation at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. This enabled me to complete dual training and in 1989 I was accredited in both neurology and rehabilitation medicine.
I worked for the next five years as a senior lecturer/consultant neurologist and rehabilitation physician before being appointed to the first Chair of Neurological Rehabilitation in the UK in 1994 with the University of Newcastle. I was responsible for the formation of the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Centre at Hunters Moor Hospital in Newcastle. This became a nationally and internationally recognised centre of excellence for neurological rehabilitation and for the next 18 years I remained Clinical Director of the centre. In April 2007 the rehabilitation services moved to new purpose-built premises at Walkergate Park in Newcastle.
Between 1989 and 2008 I held a number of senior NHS management positions. In 1992/93 I was Chief Executive of Rehabilitation North, a NHS organisation bringing together physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, chiropody and clinical psychology staff across Newcastle. Rehabilitation North merged with the Newcastle Community Unit to become Unityne Health in 1993 and, as Chief Executive and Medical Director, was responsible not only for rehabilitation and therapy staff but also community services within Newcastle, including district nursing, school nursing and the community learning disabilities team. In 1994, after yet another NHS reshuffle, Unityne Health merged with Newcastle Mental Health Trust to become Newcastle City Health NHS Trust. This innovative organisation brought together all the community and psychiatric services in the city. I was Medical Director and Programme Director for Neurorehabilitation and Elderly Services.
In 2001 neurological rehabilitation services joined Northgate & Prudhoe NHS Trust and I remained Clinical Director of the neurorehabilitation unit and after a few years was appointed Medical Director of the Trust. This appointment lasted until 2007 when Northgate merged again and became Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.
I left the NHS in January 2008 to work in the independent sector and establish a neurorehabilitation centre in Birmingham. That unit (Hunters Moor Neurorehabilitation Centre for the West Midlands) was sold to the Christchurch Group in 2013.
Lifetime Achievement Award the field of neurorehabilitation
Presented at the Abu Dhabi Neuro Rehab Conference 2015 by brother of the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa.
Honorary Member: Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine (2001)
Awarded to individuals who have made a significant global contribution to the development of rehabilitation medicine
Lawrence Poole Prize, University of Edinburgh (1999)
This award is given for significant worldwide contribution to rehabilitation medicine
Honorary Member of the Società Italiana di Riabilitazione Neurologica
Awarded for exceptional contribution to the scientific and clinical development of neurological rehabilitation worldwide
1972 - 1977 University of Bristol
1977 MB ChB
1980 MRCP (UK) 1993: FRCP
1987 MD (University of Bristol) ‑ ‘A study of the effect of hyperbaric oxygen on chronic multiple sclerosis’.
1989 Accreditation in Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine