Medical Rehabilitation Centre
152 Camden Road, NW1 9NL
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1955 - 1974

Rehabilitation (Out-Patients only)
The Medical Rehabilitation Centre opened in 1955 in the premises of the former Institute of Ray Therapy.  It was the first such centre for out-patients and had been set up by Dr Jamie O'Malley, who had established the residential Garston Manor Rehabilitation Centre near Watford.

Rehabilitation centres had originally been used during the war to provide intensive physiotherapy and thus rehabilitate RAF crewmen (expensive to train) as quickly as possible so they could return to duty.  After the war, similar techniques were employed to rehabilitate civilians to enable them also to return to work as quickly as possible.

When Dr O'Malley died in 1958 he was replaced as Medical Director by Dr James Sommerville, a pioneer in medical rehabilitation.

Teams of members of the remedial professions worked closely together, treating up to 90 patients a day.  Some were treated individually and some in groups (which enabled far more to be treated). The purpose was to make the majority fit enough to be discharged on a Friday so that they could return to work the following Monday.  Stroke victims were also treated by physiotherapy and speech therapy.  Weekly meetings were held with the staff to review each patient's progress.

The Centre was made a demonstration centre by the Department of Health, as an example of good practice.

However, medical rehabilitation fell out of fashion and the Centre closed in 1984.  

Present status (October 2008)

The site now houses offices for the New Routes Mental Health Outreach Team of the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
154 Camden Road
154 Camden Road.
(Author unstated) 2005 Obituary.  Jimmy Sommerville.  British Medical Journal 331 (7509) 164.

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