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Professor Stephen Powis and Dr. Yvonne Doyle provide insight into an extraordinary year

QEF held an insightful Audience With…. Professor Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England and Dr. Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director and Director of Health Protection for Public Health England on the one year anniversary of the first national lockdown in the UK.

They were joined by QEF’s Director of Operations, Rita Asamoah, who talked about how QEF has worked in partnership with the NHS to support people directly out of hospital throughout the pandemic and opened the new Care and Rehabilitation Centre despite the challenges of COVID.

This event is now available to watch online   

Listen as Dr. Yvonne Doyle guides us through Public Health England’s response to the emerging pandemic in January 2020 and the research and planning involved in understanding how the population would tolerate significant restrictions on our way of living, as well as how people with vulnerabilities were supported as evidence emerged of the differing impacts on different groups in society.

She says “This is a time to look outwards and work together for the benefit of the pain that we’ve been through, so that we can build on the opportunities that might have come through this, to learn to do better, but also to work together for a better future, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged now and have been most disadvantaged through this pandemic

Professor Powis talks about how the NHS has responded to the challenges of the pandemic and how emergencies require innovation, creating more agility and flexibility in our healthcare services.  He also talks about the importance of working in partnership with healthcare partners such as QEF in the voluntary, social care, community and social enterprise sectors and how the first ever vaccine vial is now a historical artefact in the Science Museum.

He says, “As we go forward, I know the valuable partners that we work with, such as QEF, will all be with us on this long term journey, as we all share a commitment to provide world class multi-disciplinary and personalised care.”

This is the latest event in QEF’s  ‘Audience With…’ series where we invite expert guest speakers and QEF specialists, to discuss the latest developments in neuro rehabilitation therapies and how COVID-19 has impacted the delivery of holistic, client-centred therapy and care.  Previous events are also available at   

The series forms part of the charity’s ‘Edward Guinness Appeal’ which is raising £2.7m towards the development of QEF’s Care and Rehabilitation Centre (CRC); a state-of-the-art centre for neuro rehabilitation and nursing care, providing life-changing expertise for hundreds of people a year, after a stroke, acquired brain injury, incomplete spinal injury or other neurological condition

Karen Deacon, QEF’s Chief Executive says “We were thrilled that Professor Powis and Dr. Doyle generously gave their time to QEF and joined our Audience With event on March 23rd. Their talks were genuinely fascinating and I would encourage everyone to watch the video for insight into what we have all experienced over the last year and the importance of working together.”

Karen continues: “QEF are a key part of the healthcare pathway for people requiring neuro rehabilitation and ongoing care and we are currently working with 15 NHS Trusts and CCG’s across South East England. We are also supporting people who have had a stroke or seizure during their treatment for COVID.  We opened the Care and Rehabilitation Centre during the pandemic, despite significant financial challenges, and this has more than doubled our bed capacity. We can admit more people straight out of hospital, helping to ease pressure on the NHS and enable clients to start their rehabilitation despite the pandemic.”

Find out more about supporting QEF’s Edward Guinness Appeal 


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