Finalist in Case Manager/ Rehabilitation Employee of the Year awards

Deborah Harrison, Clinical Lead at Neural Pathways, has been chosen as a finalist in the Case Manager/Rehabilitation Employee of the Year category at the Insurance Post Claims Awards 2018.

Neural Pathways nominated Deborah because she is an advanced neurological physiotherapist, highly skilled in treating clients with catastrophic brain and spinal cord injury. She leads the field in pioneering the bespoke use of Functional Electrical Stimulation and generously share her expertise to improve the skills and knowledge of others.

Deborah’s dedication in helping clients achieve their rehabilitation goals is an inspiration to her everyone who meets her. Deborah shines bright and is tireless in her aim to help others. Her innovative approach and dedication to go the ‘extra mile’ is why we believe that Deborah deserves to win the ‘Rehabilitation Employee of the Year’ Award. 

Deborah manages a team of highly skilled, experienced therapists, and along with her input and leadership ensures that the delivery and application of best therapy practice.  She also seeks to measure the results achieved, monitor and adjust them accordingly and in line with Neural Pathways ethos, always seek to create client sustainability to reduce reliance on therapy and care over time.  

Neural Pathways has developed some pioneering highly specialised neurological rehabilitation services.  Deborah has been at the core of this process, and one of the things she has helped initiate is a unique approach to neurological pain management including home based acupuncture. There is an increasing evidence base that supports the need to proactively manage chronic neurological pain. Deborah has a number of staff that are able to offer acupuncture at home; this gives very disabled clients a chance to relieve chronic pain that they may have suffered with for several years without access to effective relief. 

Deborah has taken the lead in implementing a number of rehabilitation processes that are not traditionally available in the NHS.  An example of this is the development of Neural Pathways’ community based Constraint Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) service. CIMT is a highly effective upper limb treatment and Deborah has overseen the development, implementation and availability of a 4 week CIMT programme across our North and Yorkshire teams.

Deborah makes a difference by listening to her client. She then listens to the people who love and support her client and to the people who care for them on a day to day basis. She also listens to people who have worked alongside her client’s and the wider team of agencies and services that might have helped them along their way on their rehabilitation journey. 

By having a client-centred focus, Deborah is able to consistently build unique and effective rehabilitation programmes which will meet the rehabilitation needs, goals and aspirations of the client.

Deborah continually looks for opportunities to extend her own skills and knowledge and that of her rehabilitation teams, constantly striving to provide excellence in neuro rehabilitation provision. 

An example of this is her voluntary work with spinal injury clients, and her support of a local initiative ‘Pop Up Gym’ (Delivering Spinal injury Rehabilitation). Pop Up Gym is a not for profit organisation which has the aim of providing a rehabilitation and fitness maintenance service for people who have spinal cord injuries. 

This service is attracting younger people with catastrophic Spinal Cord Injury, a catchment group which is traditionally  hard to reach, and this has led to peer to peer support being established. Deborah has imparted her expertise in regards to the development of the physio programmes within the Pop Up Gym programme, especially in the use of Functional Electronic Stimulation (FES) equipment.

With Deborah’s wide network within the neuro rehabilitation field and her interest in spinal cord injury, she managed to access specific equipment donations from all around the UK, which led to the establishment of the Pop Up Gym. In turn, she has introduced the Trustees of the Pop Up Gym to other supportive organisations such as Anatomical Concepts and relevant Personal Injury Solicitors.

With Deborah developing and implementing the physio programmes at the Pop Up Gym, the Trustees officially opened the Pop Up Gym in January 2018 and over 20 clients have benefited from their service.  This has all been done on a voluntary basis by Deborah.  Such was the impact on the clients that it led to the Pop Up Gym being featured on the local BBC News in January 2018 –

In her nearly 10 years with Neural Pathways Ltd, Deborah has had a direct impact on the neuro rehabilitation of nearly 400 clients, which has enabled these clients to live a more independent life in their local community.


Pop Up Gym (Delivering Spinal Injury Rehabilitation) 

Deborah has been a huge asset to Pop-Up Gym. She has volunteered her time and expertise to help members test out FES for the first time. Several people with paralysis have been able to see their legs move for the first time since their accidents by using our functional electrical stimulation bikes, thanks to Deborah. Deborah has a great relationship with everybody she works with thanks to her great interpersonal skills and friendly demeanour. She also has gained a lot of respect and has a lot of credibility thanks to her extensive knowledge and skills as a physiotherapist. We feel very fortunate to have her on board helping us with this project.

Drew Graham – Pop Up Gym