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Rehabilitation

Mr George Cochrane, a consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation at the DRI attracted national funding for setting up the National Demonstration Centre for Rehabilitation in 1975. It included an orthotics workshop, a workshop making special seating for children with disabilities, and an area for heavy workshop rehabilitation. A bioengineer, Garth Johnson, was appointed – he is now Professor Johnson and is still working in rehabilitation engineering/bioengineering at Newcastle University. Subsequently Dr David Pratt and Steve Attfield have held the post. The centre was built with a grant from the DHSS (as it was then), during Sir Keith Joseph’s time as Secretary of State for Health. The centre demonstrated good practice in rehabilitation techniques and philosophy. Subsequently many innovative ideas based on bioengineering principles have been developed such as the Derby Nail for pinning femoral fractures and novel orthotic designs and development.