This year’s Spinal Injuries Association (SIA) Rebuilding Lives Conference took place on 13 June 2024 at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes. Stewarts was proud to serve as the headline sponsor for this year’s event.

The annual conference brings together many in the spinal cord injury (SCI) community including industry experts of various disciplines to discuss current issues facing those that have sustained an SCI, as well as the individuals treating and acting for patients with an SCI.

Our representatives, including Megan Goodyer, Ben Rogers, Lucy Robinson, Clare Salmon, Nadia Krueger-Young and Kara Smith, heard moving personal stories shared by the speakers. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr Niall McGann, who sustained an incomplete spinal cord injury whilst speed flying in 2016.


Treating spinal cord injuries

This year’s SIA Rebuilding Lives Conference included numerous interesting breakout sessions. The first looked at unconscious bias in spinal cord injury care, focusing particularly on pressure sores and early detection of pressure marks on black or brown skin. The current guidelines on spotting pressure marks are based around detection in fair skin, so the early signs are often missed for those with darker skin.

Ben Rogers joined Rachel Hobbs from Hobbs Rehabilitation in a discussion titled ‘Rehabilitation Technology Myth Busters’, giving a useful update on technological developments to assist those living with paralysis.

Patient advocate Jane Hudson spoke of the struggles she has faced in the healthcare system in a session addressing health inequalities for women with a spinal cord injury. Jane focused on how to ensure that spinal cord injured women are undergoing routine health screens for diseases such as breast cancer or cervical cancer. There was further discussions on whether the lawyers handling the cases are factoring in sufficient compensation for assistance with IVF and/or pregnancy for women who have sustained a spinal cord injury.

The day ended with a main panel discussion considering a central question: “Does the panel believe a national spinal cord injury strategy would improve patient outcomes?”. The panel was made up of six experienced practitioners:

  • Harvey Sihota, founder and CEO of Neurokinex
  • John Chernesky, PLEX Engagement Program Manager at Praxis Spinal Cord Institute (Vancouver, Canada)
  • Dr Adrian Hayter, Medical Director of the Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Dr Jane Duff, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Head of the National Spinal Injuries Centre Psychology Team at Stoke Mandeville Hospital
  • Benita Hexter, Clinical Specialist and Lead Physiotherapist at the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre
  • Dr Mohammed Bell, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, who himself sustained a spinal cord injury whilst cycling in 2021.

The panel discussed building a comprehensive strategy to care for and support those that have sustained an SCI, and how to create a consensus of care in all spinal centres.



The day ended with the SIA Rebuilding Lives Awards, recognising dedicated individuals for their continued work in this field. Special mention must go to the team at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, who won the award for Team of the Year.

Stewarts conducts more spinal cord injury cases than any other law firm in the UK. Our team acts exclusively for patients who have sustained a serious injury, including where the injury is as a result of medical negligence. We understand the vital importance of the SIA’s work and their call for action to improve the lives of those who have sustained an SCI.



You can find further information regarding our injury expertise, experience and team on our Personal Injury page.


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