Paul Charlton
Paul Charlton, Senior Orthotist at Peacocks Medical Group.

Medical equipment supplier, Peacocks Medical Group, hosted its annual orthotics conference as an online event this year, which was attended by 250 medical delegates.

The event helped to raise awareness around stroke rehabilitation amongst healthcare professionals, including physiotherapists, orthotists and podiatrists, of the role of orthotic treatment, as well as complementary interventions in delivering best practice.

Speakers included Dr Akif Gani, Consultant and Lead of Stroke Rehabilitation at Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust, who provided an overview of pathology and early stroke treatment. This was followed by a discussion based on physiotherapists using the Bobath approach by Bobath tutor Paul Johnson.

Established in 1903, Peacocks Medical Group is a family-run group based in the North East of England which specialises in the delivery of both clinical services and medical equipment to the NHS and the private sector nationally.

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The company has a long tradition of developing and supporting the orthotic profession and its role in treatments.

Prior to Covid-19, the firm hosted an annual orthotic conference at the Centre For Life, in Newcastle, for the last 17 years. As Peacocks has grown to a national company, the conference has been rebranded as FORTH, Forward Orthotic Thinking.

Colin Peacock, the immediate past chairman of the company, was instrumental in the development of the profession as a science and recognised allied health profession. He was also the first orthotist to chair the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics UK.

The second orthotist to be chair was Paul Charlton, a senior orthotist at Peacocks. Paul also sits on the executive committee of the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO).

Paul Charlton, Senior Orthotist at Peacocks Medical Group, who presented the orthotic perspective at the online conference commented: “This was our first online event where we welcomed a range of speakers, all experts in their respective fields. 250 delegates attended, many of whom were physiotherapists, working directly with stroke patients.

“Whilst initially reluctant to switch online, we had an overwhelming response. The aim of the conference was to highlight and share the different thinking and approaches when it comes to stroke rehabilitation and I have also created a professional working group to follow up these discussions.

“As a senior orthotist, this is a subject close to my heart. For many years there has been a considerable gulf towards treatment methods with some physiotherapists reluctant to use orthotic intervention, whilst others make it an integral part of their treatment.”

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