Published on 4 November 2019
Clinicians celebrated 10 years of helping people in east Kent overcome complex strokes, brain injuries and other neurological conditions with a packed anniversary conference.
The neuro-rehabilitation team at East Kent Hospitals Trust marked a decade of success at the 10th anniversary Kent Regional Brain Injury conference, bringing together healthcare staff, academics, researchers, and charities from across Kent and further afield.
It was held at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital last Friday, and Dr Mohamed Sakel, director of East Kent Hospitals’ neuro-rehabilitation service, told around 100 delegates the next 10 years would be equally as exciting.
The conference was opened by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Cllr Terry Westgate, Dr Peter Nicholls, Dean of Kent Health, and Jane Ollis, the hospital trust’s deputy chairman, who said there was plenty to look forward to.
She said: “Dr Sakel’s neuro-rehab service is an absolute beacon of healthcare, in Kent and further afield.
“The vision now is to take this service to the next level in terms of capability and capacity to provide outstanding care for even more people.”
Dr Sakel spoke about the challenges and achievements of the neuro-rehabilitation team over the past 10 years, and outlined some of the research that has taken place.
This includes pioneering treatment for stroke patients and people living with Parkinsons Disease, as well as using an innovative robotic approach to improve balance for people living with multiple sclerosis.
Karen Saunders, Consultant clinical and research neurophysiotherapist, gave a presentation on the ground-breaking clinical trial using a robotic exoskeleton.
It helps MS patients re-learn how to work by improving balance, mobility and strength, The trial hit the headlines over the summer and the team appeared on This Morning to talk about their work.
Dr Sakel said: “It has been a privilege to work with so many people over the past 10 years and the conference presented an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved.
“We are at the forefront of research and innovation, and the research we are doing is able to really make a difference to people’s lives.”
The conference also included presentations from visiting experts, including Professor Chris Holland, Dean of the Kent and Medway Medical School; Major General Doctor Fashiur Rahman, Director of General Medical Services for the Bangladesh Armed Forces; Professor Kim Manley, CBE; Professor David Wilkinson from the University of Kent; and Professor Rafey Fauqui.