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Over his 30 year career in the neurorehabilitation and brain injury sector, Prof. Barnes was a pioneering force behind the growth of neurorehabilitation as a medical speciality, raising the discipline's profile, understanding and knowledge and ultimately improving medical outcomes for countless patients globally.


Professor Barnes trained as a neurologist under Lord Walton of Detchant, widely recognised as one of the 20th century's leading neurologists. Although interested in neurological rehabilitation, in the mid-1980s, there was no training and very little interest in the subject. Prof. Barnes instead worked in the pharmaceutical industry on antidepressant and anti-epileptic research before being appointed to the first training post in neurological rehabilitation in the UK. In 1989, Prof. Barnes became accredited in neurology and rehabilitation medicine and worked as a senior lecturer/consultant neurologist and rehabilitation physician.


In 1994, Prof. Barnes was appointed as the first Chair of Neurological Rehabilitation in the UK and developed the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Centre at Hunters Moor Hospital in Newcastle.  Soon becoming a nationally and internationally recognised centre of excellence for neurological rehabilitation, Prof. Barnes served as its Clinical Director for 18 years.  During his time in the NHS, Prof. Barnes also worked as Chief Executive and Medical Director of Rehabilitation North and later Medical Director and Programme Director for Neurorehabilitation for Newcastle City Health NHS Trust.  Throughout his career, Prof. Barnes worked as a specialist expert witness in neurorehabilitation and in 2016, founded NRC Medical Experts.  

Over his career in neurorehabilitation, Prof. Barnes gave over 350 international plenary and guest lectures wrote over 50 book chapters and wrote or edited 13 books.​

Prof. Barnes was instrumental in the development and growth of brain injury charities and alliances throughout his career. He has held the following positions:


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