WELCOME FROM OUR RETIRING CHAIRMAN –
Dr Brian Ashton
Thank you for visiting our website. I am pleased to report continued progress in research and education and to see that many research initiatives instigated with the financial support of the Orthopaedic Institute are thriving. More importantly, now in their post-research phase, they are being integrated into the core clinical work of the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, a long standing centre of excellence in world orthopaedics.
We are extremely grateful to the Charitable Trusts, Foundations, patients and members of the public for your support. Because of your help we are able to continue providing these vital services along with education and training for our professional colleagues.
THE ORTHOPAEDIC INSTITUTE LTD
The Orthopaedic Institute Limited founded in 1971, is a registered national charity and through voluntary contributions, helps to support research and education for patient benefit in the specialist research centres and departments within the RJAH Hospital.
The research investigates conditions that affect the musculo-skeletal system and the advancement of care of these conditions including arthritis and rheumatism, orthopaedic conditions of childhood including cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, joint replacement and cellular techniques for repair and healing.
We also support the funding of educational facilities and organise specialist training courses for orthopaedic trainees and allied health professionals.
Our Research Panel, under the Chairmanship of Dr Robin Butler and along with stringent peer review, approve projects for funding. The range of research is impressive, from clinical trials in common orthopaedic problems to molecular biology approaches to less common forms of muscular dystrophy and gait analysis in children with cerebral palsy, all well designed studies on conditions affecting patients attending our hospital.
Education and Training
Our flagship courses, the Clinical Examination and Viva Courses, have earned world-class reputations. This has been built on the participation of our patients and the highest quality Lecturers and Examiners. We are grateful to all involved.
The Institute works closely with the RJAH Trust to take forward important initiatives such as the OsCell cell therapy unit, the Veterans’ Outpatient Centre and a new Education Centre. More updates will follow on the News page as we move forward on these and other projects.
The Orthopaedic Institute works to improve the treatment of patients with conditions that affect the musculo-skeletal system by supporting research and teaching at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust, a long standing centre of excellence in world orthopaedics.
Until March 2020, there was continued progress in teaching and research with more courses being held and with many innovative projects being funded through us by external Trusts and Foundations. The Covid19 pandemic has had a severe impact on that work, face to face courses have been cancelled and the researchers have been furloughed. We are adapting to the situation and the first webinars have been introduced and the first live meeting on surgical techniques will be held shortly.
The financial standing of the Institute remains sound and we are indebted to our treasurer Louise Osseleton and bookkeeper Fiona Bain for their careful management of our resources. The financial information available to the board and members is excellent. The Board keeps a watch on the management of our investments and is satisfied with the current performance. The Board is aware that our income from courses will be substantially lower in the financial year 20-21 and that, in line with other charities, donation income may fall.
Mrs Judy Harris continues to provide administrative support to the board and we are grateful for the care and attention that she brings to the post.
Our Course Organiser, Sian Jones, has continued to work hard and effectively. Since the Covid lockdown her job has changed significantly, and we are grateful for the adaptability she has shown in switching to the remote delivery of courses. Sadly, Sian has decided to move on to pastures new, we will miss her and wish her well in her future activities.
Debra Alexander has had a successful year in her role as Fundraiser. The Snowpaedic Challenge, a sponsored hike up Snowden for ex-patients and supporters, was held on a perfect day last September. Unfortunately, this year’s Challenge has been a casualty of the lockdown – we look forward to getting our boots back on next year. We are grateful to the external Trusts, Foundations and Charities that have supported our requests for support and to the individuals who have supported us through bequests.
There is a major restructuring of our website underway and I am grateful for the work that Sian Jones and Debbie Alexander have put in with the web designers to take this forward.
Our flagship courses, the Clinical Examination and Viva Courses, were delivered in October 2019 and January 2020, their future will be dependent on our ability to bring faculty, delegates and patients together in a safe environment. The reputation of the courses has been built on the participation of a huge variety of model patients and the commitment of the highest quality Lecturers and Examiners and we are grateful to all involved.
With an ever decreasing amount of charitable funds available we are extremely grateful to all our sponsors including Grant Giving Charities, Corporate Companies and Individuals for their kind and generous contributions to the Orthopaedic Institute. This allows us to continue to support the vital Research and Training here at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.
I am stepping down as Chairman at the AGM in September. I am grateful to my colleagues on the Board, to Judy Harris, Sian Jones and Debbie Alexander for the diligent support they have provided to me, it has been a pleasure to work with them. My successor, Mr Eric Evans, takes over at a time of considerable uncertainty but has the capacity and support to bring the Institute through, perhaps changed, but stronger.
Finally to the clinicians and researchers who are members of the Institute, thank you for the continued stimulation of ideas that you have brought forward which make working in the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust such a rewarding experience.
Dr Brian Ashton
Chairman, Orthopaedic Institute Ltd
Now widowed with one son, I was originally educated at Wrekin College, Wellington, thence studying business management in Coventry. I worked for Rootes Motors for a number of years in varying positions around the UK. I returned to Oswestry, owning and running a retail motor franchise representing Peugeot until retiring in 2008.
I was interested in becoming a Trustee, when invited, as I hoped to bring a broader range of commercial experience to the running and administration of the Trust.
I was one of the initial members helping to establish Oswestry Rugby Club and still enjoy watching rugby and supporting Wales, especially in Cardiff. I have a lifelong interest in messing about in boats of all shapes and sizes, and thoroughly enjoyed cruising the Scottish Islands and South and West coasts of Ireland.
I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2007, having worked mainly in audit throughout my training and since qualifying. I have moved between jobs and across the country but settled back to the Oswestry area in 2014 to be close to family, having grown up near the Orthopaedic Hospital, and give our children stability for schooling. I am a director of CBSL Accountants, an independent accountancy practice based in Shrewsbury, where we have a broad mixture of clients from owner-managed family run local businesses to international groups – I love the challenge and variety of my role, working with a great team and building strong relationships with our clients and their families.
My work passion throughout my training and to date is working with charities – from audits and independent examinations to preparing accounts for charities and working with Trustees to look at controls and management reporting. I am fortunate to have worked at accountancy practices in both Cambridge and Oxford, where I worked with a considerable range of charities and university affiliates, many of which were involved with research and training.
I enjoy being involved with the Orthopaedic Institute – as a local charity that focuses on research and training with a leading reputation. Its also really interesting to be on the other side of the table being audited rather than auditor & understanding first-hand the challenges facing Trustees and our members.
Prof Wagih Shafik El Masri
FCCS Ed, FRCP
Hon. Clinical Professor of Spinal Injuries (SI), Keele University
WSEM trained in Spinal Injuries and the allied surgical specialities in the Oxford Group of hospitals, Guys Hospital, Stoke Mandeville hospital and the USA between 1971 & 1983. He was appointed Consultant Surgeon in Spinal Injuries and Director of the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) at the RJAH 1983. He personally treated and provided ongoing total care to about 10,000 patients with and without Spinal Cord damage. Between 1983 & 2000 he raised £6 million from Charity to rebuild and equip the MCSI in order to ensure a safe and fit for purpose environment for patients and staff and in collaboration with the scientists of the Institute to carry out research on regeneration of the injured spinal cord.
He published over 140 manuscripts, lectured worldwide, contributed to the National Health Service Framework and to the National Institute of Excellence (NICE). He is Past President of the International Spinal Cord Society and Past Chairman of the British Association of Spinal Cord Injury Specialists. He advised and prepared a report on Spinal Injuries for the WHO and won many National and International awards.
WEM and the service of the MCSI are acknowledged nationally and internationally for their excellence and contribution to knowledge, teaching, training and research in the field of Spinal Injuries and have been quoted the in House of Lords Parliamentary Debates as examples of good practice (Hansard) 8th April 2003, vol 647, no.79, p204; 9th March 2006 vol 679, no 117, p88 and 28th February 2009
The Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries (MCSI) is unique in being the only Centre in England with an active basic research science department in in the same hospital. The support of the Institute of Orthopaedics to both the MCSI and the research department has benefited both from a very successful collaboration that resulted in a number of publications that have added value and knowledge to both fields. WSEM believes that with support to the Institute further good collaborative work can improve both the management of the patient as well as our scientific knowledge
WSEM is married to Bettina who is a paediatric oncologist and they have one daughter Hannah May Emmeline who has graduated from Kings College Medical School in London and is hoping to serve as a General Practitioner.
Val is a local girl – born and bred in Trefonen near Oswestry where her family have lived for many generations. She still lives there as does one of her sons and she feels a very strong connection to the local community. She attended the local village school and then Bellan House Preparatory School. From age 11 she attended Oswestry Girls High School and after O levels and A levels she took a law degree at the University College of Wales Aberystwyth.
She completed her legal studies at College of Law Chester and then trained at Hatchers Solicitors. Over 40 years later she is still a partner there!! She specialises in commercial and agricultural property law and has wide experience of both. She is also involved in the management of Hatchers and runs the firm’s marketing and property needs. She is President of the Shrewsbury Business Chamber and a member of the local Bank of England Panel.
Val’s Grandfather was badly injured in WW1 and received much of his treatment at the Orthopaedic. They literally saved his life! The hospital and the research work it does have therefore always been close to her heart and it was for that reason she accepted the invitation to become a Trustee.
Val has three adult children and four small grandchildren. She is very much a country girl and is never happier than when she’s out in the fields. Horses have always played a major part in her life. Although she does not ride very often these days, she breeds sports ponies and loves spending time with her youngsters. All of Val’s children have competed since Pony Club days and one of her proudest moments was when they rode in the Prince Philip Cup at the Horse of the Year Show.
Val’s children continue to compete in Mounted Games (an obscure but hugely enjoyable equestrian sport) and she is an international judge, past Chairman of Great Britain and a representative of it on the British Equestrian Federation Council. Her her two sons have been top international riders and have won both the World and European Championships. . Val loves going to the cinema and tries to see all of the Oscar nominated films each year. Any time left is spent in her garden and kitchen.
Dr Brian Ashton
Brian studied biochemistry at the University of Wales (Bangor) and undertook his doctoral work on skeletal proteins at the University of Oxford. His post-doctoral work at the University of Munster, Germany and the MRC Bone Research Lab in Oxford focussed on stem cells in bone marrow.
In 1985, Brian moved to the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital to become the Head of Arthritis Research. The Orthopaedic Institute helped enormously to develop the research laboratories at the hospital, and in 1996, following a national appeal run by the charity, the Leopold Muller Arthritis Research Centre was opened. The new facilities allowed them to recruit and train excellent researchers working on projects as diverse as the mechanisms of the movement of blood cells into joints of patients with inflammatory arthritis and the behaviour of stem cells and cartilage cells grown in culture. Working with orthopaedic surgeon Prof James Richardson, and with the support of the Orthopaedic Institute, he set up the cell therapy facility at the hospital, the only one of its kind in the UK, producing cells used clinically to repair damaged cartilage.
Brian became a director of the Orthopaedic Institute in 1996 and in 2014 became Chairman, taking over from Robert Parry who had to step down suddenly for family health reasons. Having seen the benefits that the charity has given in the promotion and development of research, teaching and learning, it has been a pleasure for him to take the responsibility of leading the charity until stepping down in September 2020.
I am a Chartered Civil Engineer and spent my whole career working in Infrastructure Engineering, Construction and Facilities Management, from delivery of projects and services through to management of businesses in these sectors of industry.
I have lived in the Oswestry area since the mid 1980’s and always felt pride in the area’s association with the Robert Jones and Agnus Hunt Hospital and it’s position as a world class centre of Orthopaedics. When introduced to the Orthopaedic Institute by another Trustee I became interested in the importance of it’s work and the essential role that RJAH based research and education has on the continued success of the hospital and broader contribution to development in the Orthopaedic practice.
I settled in the Oswestry area in the mid 1980 having moved to work on the construction of the Oswestry Bypass and now live with my wife in West Felton. We had three daughters with one of them now working at the RJAH. I still work in the construction industry and also sit on the Shropshire Business Board. I am a keen Rugby enthusiast, sail, cycle and walk to keep fit and with my wife travel whenever we can.
Prof Sally Roberts
Being a local yokel, I was born, bred and educated largely in and around Oswestry.
Starting work in RJAH in 1980 in Mr Norman Nisbet’s Charles Salt Centre, I began a long tradition of working with surgeons, firstly the spine surgeons, Mr John O’Brien (Jack the Back!)and then Professor Stephen Eisenstein before linking up with Professor James Richardson and his successors, Pete Gallacher and Paul Jermin.
I undertook my PhD on hip osteoarthritis at Birmingham University during this time and subsequently the hospital has linked up with Keele University.
Research interests are generally cartilage based, understanding its biology and function, what leads to its demise and how we can turn back the clock and repair or regenerate it when it goes wrong.
Having been very fortunate to have had the support of the Orthopaedic Institute Ltd for our group’s research over the years, it is an honour to have become a Trustee recently.
Will there be any bio?
Stephen is Chairman of Biocomposites.
My career path through BT led me to work as a Business Sales Administration Manager for a number of years then moving into Event Management as an Operations Director before relocating back to Shropshire.
In my spare time I love to walk, ride, dance, cook and spend time with family and friends.
I am the Orthopaedic Institute’s Course Organiser, organising some 26 clinical courses each year. The majority of my career has been in the Travel and Tourism industry, starting off as an apprentice within a high street travel agency, working my way up to management. My most recent role was with the Tour Operator Jet2holidays, I was responsible for regional trade relationships including events, conferences and marketing.
I have lived in and around Oswestry throughout my life, and have always felt very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. When I am not working, myself and my family enjoy exploring new places, both within the UK and travelling abroad. Over the past few years my husband and I have been working on our home and garden improvements having moved into a 200 year old house with gorgeous views over the Shropshire.
I am married with a 8 year old son, Reuben.
I am the Institute Administrator and work for the Orthopaedic Institute Ltd on an ad hoc basis. My main job is that of Postgraduate Administrator and my role is to assist the Core Members of the Training Committee to provide a quality service in postgraduate medical education and training within the Trust, thus, enabling orthopaedic trainees to gain the relevant competences, knowledge, skills, attitudes and experience to pass the Intercollegiate Exams, achieve their Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) and become competent NHS Consultant Staff, delivering safe and effective patient care.
I have worked at the Trust since 1981 in various Departments; firstly in the Administration Department, secondly as PA to the Principal of the School of Physiotherapy. I have been in my current role, which has developed over the years, since 1983.
When not working I enjoy socialising with friends and family, cross country fence judging for British Eventing and travelling.
I am married with a grown-up son.