Training Programme Director - Dr Alison Burbidge
Specialty Programme Coordinator - Dave Roxborough
HR Officer - Ally Ashwell & Christian Collins (email)
Rehabilitation medicine is the specialty that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation management of people with disabling medical conditions. It was developed primarily to meet the needs of young adults and those of working age, but aspects of the specialty, particularly relating to technical aids, provision of wheelchairs, orthotics or prosthetics, are relevant to people of all ages. The principal aims are to identify the impairments that limit activity and daily tasks; optimise physical and cognitive functioning; and modify personal environmental factors to enable greater participation and quality of life.
Rehabilitation medicine covers a large number of disabling conditions. The majority are acquired, such as traumatic brain injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis and limb loss. Congenital conditions or those arising in childhood, such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies and limb deficiency, will continue into adulthood and require ongoing support, advice and assistance. The specialist services that deal with these are neurological and spinal cord injury rehabilitation, limb loss or deficiency rehabilitation and prosthetics, and musculoskeletal rehabilitation. Rehabilitation medicine consultants also have specialist expertise in assistive technology, including environmental control equipment, wheelchairs and orthotics; these are not disease specific and cover a wide range of complex disabilities.
Rehabilitation medicine consultants work in various facilities from acute care units to community settings. They are part of the multidisciplinary team and have responsibility for the medical aspects of rehabilitation. This includes establishing a diagnosis and prognosis, appropriate medical management of disease, health promotion and prevention of secondary damage and complications. They use specific diagnostic assessment tools and carry out treatments including pharmacological, physical, technical, educational and vocational interventions. Because of their comprehensive training, they are best placed to be responsible for the activities of the multidisciplinary team in order to achieve optimal outcomes in the treatment of the whole patient.