Professor Dr Mohamed Sakel, MRCP, FRCP, UK

Positive Role Model Award

Positive Role Model Award for Age: Sponsor - The Open University

Nominee Profile

Location: Canterbury
Professor Dr Mohamed Sakel, MRCP, FRCP (UK) is the Director of the Neuro-rehabilitation Service for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust. Dr Sakel founded this specialist service in 2003 to provide multi-disciplinary team clinical care for people, who have experienced brain injuries and complex neurological conditions.
Throughout 28 years of service to the NHS, Dr Sakel has acted selflessly and generously driving positive change and development in support of patients and their families, colleagues, services, teams, charities, research and wider communities across age, cultural, institutional, language and geographical barriers.
Dr Sakel is an extremely positive role model for the NHS and Neuro-rehabilitation Services. He invested extensive time and energy to support service improvement and succeeded single-handedly in developing the Neuro-rehabilitation Service that he founded in 2003 to achieve National Level 2 Status in 2012 (ie. The service became recognised as a specialist neuro-rehabilitation service and is now the only specialist neuro-rehabilitation service in the South East of England, serving a population of about 1 million people).

This is an outstanding achievement and has enabled numerous individuals, who have experienced life changing catastrophic brain and spinal injuries to not just survive, but to endeavour to rebuild their lives with specialist care and support to move forwards on their lifelong journey of recovery.

During his distinguished career, Dr Sakel has pioneered Research and Innovation and held 2 other Lead positions: Director for Research and Innovation (2008-2012) and the Lead for the East Kent Motor Neurone Disease Service (2004-2010).

Professor Dr Sakel has received National and local Trust Awards for exceptional service to the NHS and the wider health and care sector. He is regularly approached and invited to present and discuss his clinical research projects by television and radio media channels both in the UK and Bangladesh. Professor Dr Sakel was born in Bangladesh and is bilingual in Bengali and English and has been interviewed on numerous occasions by television channels in Bangladesh. He was interviewed twice on his BAME research project during the COVID-19 pandemic by a London based radio station.
On September 6th (2019), Professor Dr Sakel, his team and his patient, were interviewed live by presenters on ‘This Morning’ ITV Show because he was Principal Investigator for an innovative clinical research trial into balance using an exoskeleton and participants were achieving unique personal goals that they set during the trial. Dr Sakel and team demonstrated how the exoskeleton was being used to assist the individual trial participant to improve their balance and mobility. The viewing audience was estimated to be around 1 million people, and so this had a widespread positive impact.
Professor Dr Sakel is the Chief Investigator for and is leading a unique innovative clinical research trial of neurofeedback via a Brain Computer Interface device system for the treatment of chronic neuropathic pain. He is leading this trial to explore the potential benefits of a non-invasive, non-pharmacological intervention for people living with long standing chronic neuropathic pain, which has the potential to significantly improve many sufferers lives if it is found to be beneficial.
As a bilingual speaker, Dr Sakel has presented talks to school students in Bangladesh when visiting, as well as Kent, which has highlighted the importance of education and learning in the achievment of life goals.
During his career, Professor Dr Sakel has contributed regularly to the teaching and education of medical, healthcare and research colleagues in the UK and overseas communities. He has presented numerous courses, workshops and webinar sessions on Neuro-rehabilitation for India and Bangladesh. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he chaired, organised and presented over 15 webinars for the UK and internationally including the WFNR, India and Bangladesh. Most webinars were live streamed by video media and included TV interviews in UK and Bangladesh. In recognition of this role, Dr Sakel was appointed as an Honorary Professor in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation at Jashore University of Science and Technology in Bangladesh.
Dr Sakel has been and continues to be the clinical lead of a diverse Neuro-modulation research programme of UK-US collaboration since 2008. That programme led to several PhD grants, an MRC (UK) grant and Industry collaboration. This has led the recent FDA approval of CVS in Migraine and Parkinson’s Disease. The neuromodulation studies included post-stroke Hemi-spatial Neglect, Aphasia , Minimal Conscious State, Episodic Migraine, Alzheimer’s Dementia and PD. He led the Instructional course in Neuromodulation in ACRM 2018, Chicago. Dr Sakel also organised a full day international conference in Bangladesh in 2019, where he gave the keynote lecture on Neuromodulation with demonstration of CVS. Alongside co-authoring several peer reviewed publications, he has given 5-6 TV interviews on Neuromodulation in UK and Bangladesh. He will be the Clinical Director of the new Kent Neuro-stimulation Centre, which has already received grants from a UK based PD Charity and a nationwide campaign is about to be launched by this charity and the University of Kent.
Dr Sakel has organised and chaired numerous conferences on Brain Injury and Neuro-rehabilitation. He has organised annual Brain Injury conferences for the Trust for 11 years. In May 2021, he organised the first National conference on ‘Long Covid’ in Bangladesh. Dr Sakel created and founded the Cross Specialty Research Team during the COVID-19 pandemic. He then inspired the team to initiate several research projects without funding (including one project researching the vulnerability of people with Black and Asian ethnic backgrounds to Covid-19 in the UK). This has resulted in the generation of new research knowledge and publications to the benefit of global communities, for example, the largest study on the prevalence of ‘long COVID’ in Bangladesh recently published in BMJ Global Health in 2021.
Professor Dr Sakel is widely respected, which was recently recognised when he was invited and appointed as an Associate Editor for Frontiers Publishing Journal for Rehabilitation in Neurological Conditions and Open Science Platform.
Professor Dr Sakel is considered a key opinion leader in Botulinum Toxin, Spasticity and Robotics and has over 50 publications focused on improving neuro-rehabilitation care.
Professor Dr Sakel serves and supports the following UK and Bangladeshi charitable organisations:
He is the appointed Global Ambassador for the Sir William Beveridge Foundation charity since 2015. He is the elected Chairperson of Kent Brain Injury Forum charity since 2016. He founded the Kent Brain Injury Foundation Charity in 2021 and is the Chairperson of that charity.
Please refer to these weblinks for further details: