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Wednesday 20th June 2018

Campaign for better NHS care for spinal injuries

16th November 2009

Spinal care facilities offered by the NHS have been criticised by a multi-millionaire whose son was hurt in a snowboarding accident.


Andy Stewart has launched a campaign, along with spinal charities, to improve the standard of care offered in Britain.

Mr Stewart's son Paul broke his back after being caught in an avalanche while snowboarding in the Alps in 2008.

Doctors at the Stoke Mandeville hospital in Buckinghamshire - the UK's leading spinal injuries treatment centre - told him that he would face life in a wheelchair.

However, Paul decided to receive private treatment at the Royal Buckinghamshire hospital and in Florida.

He received physiotherapy and electrical impulse therapy which have enabled him to walk again using a stick.

Mr Stewart said the treatment his son was given should be available to everyone who needed it on the NHS.

He said: "The NHS is third-class and totally inefficient. Why don't we understand in Britain what the top spinal researchers are doing? It's bonkers."

He added: "I cannot change the world or the NHS but I can focus on people learning from the best spinal research around the world. The University of Miami is doing stem-cell research on guinea pigs, which could lead to a breakthrough in spinal research; we want to share this knowledge and make it available in the UK."


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