Entries by Scott Richardson

New senior appointment for Pace Rehabilitation

  • Nicole Bennett helped to deliver world class rehab services to HM Armed Forces.
  • Former lead orthotist at Headley Court running the Ministry of Defence’s only orthotic service.
  • Previous role at Blatchford helped develop pioneering new orthotic products.
  • Early focus on orthotics for seriously injured patients is key for successful clinical outcomes says Pace Rehabilitation

We are pleased to confirm that we have expanded our clinical services for people who have experienced serious lower limb trauma with the appointment of one of the UK’s leading orthotists.

Nicole Bennett is a HCPC Registered Prosthetist/Orthotist who specialises in complex trauma orthotic management and high activity orthotic solutions.

Graduating as a Prosthetist/Orthotist from Strathclyde University in 2005, Nicole initially started her career working in the NHS followed by a spell working clinically in New Zealand.

She then spent more than seven years as the Lead Orthotist at DMRC Headley Court running the Ministry of Defence’s only orthotic service. As part of the complex trauma team, she was responsible for providing a world class rehabilitation service to injured members of HM Armed Forces.

Prior to joining Pace Rehabilitation, she was responsible for new orthotic product patient trials and provided technical authority for Blatchford globally in relation to orthotics.

Toby Carlsson, founding director of Pace Rehabilitation, said:

“We are delighted that Nicole, a leading expert in her field, has joined our team. Nicole has vast professional experience in guiding seriously injured patients through their rehabilitation with the early introduction of orthotics.  We already see many patients who have suffered lower limb trauma, some of whom are considering an amputation.  Nicole’s appointment strengthens our expertise working with this cohort and we are dedicated to developing our multidisciplinary lower limb trauma service during 2021 and beyond.

“Nicole’s credentials are unique and her work will make a positive impact on the outcomes we are getting for our patients. We will continue to make first-class appointments like this as we develop our range of services for people who have sustained serious lower limb injuries”

Nicole Bennett said:

“I’m looking forward to playing a role in delivering positive clinical outcomes for our patients here at Pace Rehabilitation and being part of such a highly skilled, experienced clinical team.

“Access to high standard orthotic provision in early rehabilitation supports the foundation of a rehabilitation journey right from the outset of an injury.

“Having an early focus on orthotics enables patients to acquire the strength, skills and psychological strategy for preventing, or preparing, for an amputation, if that is ultimately considered the best solution. New orthotic solutions continue to be introduced that significantly enhance the quality of life and experience for people who have sustained serious lower limb injuries. It’s certainly an exciting time to be involved in the world of orthotics.”

In 2015 Nicole travelled to the Centre for the Intrepid (Texas, USA) to be trained by the US military rehabilitation specialists involved in the creation of the IDEO. Nicole is still the only clinician in the UK to have been trained personally by the team who created this innovative orthotic device.

She was also a key member of the team at Blatchford that commercially launched this AFO design within the UK as the Momentum brace. As the subject matter expert in this field, Nicole has since trained over 50 UK Orthotists as well as the Dutch military on the provision of this style of bracing, sharing her knowledge and expertise. See https://www.pacerehab.com/nicole-bennett/ for full clinical profile.

Patients are referred to Pace Rehabilitation by law firms, insurers and case managers working with individuals who have sustained major trauma in road traffic collisions or workplace incidents.

Pace Rehabilitation was launched in 2003 by a small team of experienced clinicians who wanted to provide a more integrated approach to the treatment of people who had sustained limb loss.

We now employ more than 40 staff across three sites in Amersham (Buckinghamshire) Bredbury (Cheshire) and Glasgow.

Jake’s story

On the 3rd November 2019, as 24 year old Jake Portrey from Leamington Spa rode his beloved motorcycle,  a car reversed into his path, knocked him off and changed his life forever.

Jake’s rehabilitation journey – during the middle of a global pandemic – is a remarkable testament to the power of his mindset and approach to his recovery.

With the support of his friends, family and the professionals we’ve worked with, Jake is positive about the future and is a great example for other young adults who find themselves in a similar situation.

Read of Jake’s rehabilitation journey and speak to us about our services for people who have experienced lower limb trauma.


Jake’s mother, Jenny Lane, an experienced A&E nurse at Warwick Hospital recalls the moment she was told her son was involved in the collision:

“Jake called his father first, who called me and told me ‘Jake’s foot’s hanging off’. When he arrived in resus at hospital he was on a spinal board and refusing painkillers.”

Jake was given two options: to amputate the leg or undergo a procedure to try to save it.

As Jenny recounted, “Jake chose the latter, so we signed some consent forms and the doctors began the process of salvaging his leg. It began with two weeks of antibiotics, followed by 18 hours of surgery which resulted in a procedure to replace a lost tendon and shinbone.”


Following that initial operation, twelve weeks into his recovery, a setback occurred when, with his mobility still restricted, Jake collapsed at home and was immediately ‘blue lighted’ to hospital alongside his mum.

 “I called Jake’s plastic surgeon, Mr Wallace, on the way the hospital to warn him that we were on the way. He met us there and Jake was whisked straight to theatre,” recalls Jenny.

An hour later, Mr Wallace emerged to explain that options to save the leg were limited. The bone was infected with osteomyelitis,  to the extent that the bone literally crumbled in the experienced surgeons hands.


On Friday 13th March 2020, just days before the first national ‘lockdown’, Jake underwent the procedure to amputate his limb below the knee.

The operation was a success and in the words of his mother, it was the ‘start of a better life’with the daily physical pain he had been living with, since that Friday in November, now gone.

 Jake was finally ready to begin his rehabilitation. However, in the hospital where he was due to receive his treatment, two people tested positive for Covid-19, so he was referred to a local NHS rehabilitation centre.

 The effect of lockdown on the local NHS provision was devastating.

At a time when Jake was supposed to be receiving the most intensive phase of rehabilitation and therapy, in reality he was getting very little practical support.

Attempts to start effective rehabilitation were delayed as the NHS mobilised its resources to deal with the pandemic and restrictions were launched across the country. The challenges faced by the NHS meant that Jake’s recovery was in risk of being jeopardised.

Often, if an individual sustains serious injuries and there is a litigation claim,  a case manager is appointed, who’s role is to identify, recommend and support the right course of rehabilitation for the injured party.

Introducing Pace

Jake’s solicitor, Caroline Morris of Fletchers Solicitors, appointed Liz Haunch, an experienced case manager at Bridge Case Management, who immediately identified the issues faced with the NHS provisions for her client and swiftly contacted Natalie Clarke at Direct Line Group who rapidly agreed with her referral of Jake to Pace Rehabilitation.

A new life

Thanks to proactivity of Liz and Natalie – with the support of his family – within 24 hours, Jake was a new patient of Pace Rehabilitation in Amersham and immediately received physiotherapy exercises and was sent the equipment to help him commence  his rehabilitation journey.

“If it was left to the NHS, I firmly believe he’d still be lying in his bed due to the issues caused by the pandemic. Having a case worker refer us to Pace was incredible. Jake has come on and got better and stronger ever since. The team are amazing and he’s in a very happy and positive place in his life now,” says Jenny.

Within a few weeks, Jake was walking on his prosthetic leg without any mobility aids.

The positive impact of the rehabilitation has been both physical and psychological for Jake who has already resumed his career as a mechanic, passed his driving test and is now working on growing his own business.

He’s also back on a bike – currently a quad bike, but with a view to getting back on his beloved motorcycle very soon.

Refer your client to Pace Rehabilitation by calling Scott Richardson on (01494) 790 490 or email srichardson@pacerehab.com

“This is an excellent example of everyone – the solicitors, the insurance company and the case manager – working together to provide Jake with the best opportunity for successful rehabilitation  in unprecedented times. By working collaboratively, with the support of the family, Jake has been able to make real progress in his rehabilitation and now has a tremendous opportunity to pursue his career and life ambitions.”

Just some of our friendly and professional team dedicated to providing rehabilitation for amputees across the UK.

With clinics in Buckinghamshire, Cheshire and Glasgow - we are accessible for patients.


Webinar for case managers and personal injury lawyers

Amputees in Scotland - a free webinar for case managers and serious injury lawyers who represent amputee client cases in Scotland

Date:   Thursday 15 April 2021

Time:  11am – 1230pm 

The launch of our new Glasgow clinic sees us team up with the Case Management Society UK to pull together legal and rehab experts to share knowledge and experience on the advantages of working collaboratively to get positive results, locally in Scotland for people who have been seriously injured and subsequently become amputees.

This interactive, networking Zoom webinar will discuss the advantages of local, private treatment and tips and techniques to ensure cases run smoothly.

Insights will be supported with real life case studies and scenarios for case managers and personal injury lawyers to consider in 2021.

We are proud to be delivering this insightful free webinar with the support of the Case Management Society UK for members and legal professionals.

If you have clients in Scotland who have been seriously injured – this is a brilliant opportunity to get fresh insights on:  

  • Private clinics v NHS: the difference for amputees in a post-Covid climate ✅
  • The increasing importance of local provision for amputees ✅
  • The importance of a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment ✅
  • How to work with insurers to process a claim smoothly and swiftly ✅
  • The legal issues to consider when dealing with amputee cases ✅
  • The game-changing tech available for amputees in 2021 and cost v benefits considerations ✅
  • Real life case studies of patients ✅
  • The ‘golden rules’ of getting a positive outcome for your amputee client ✅

Expert panel includes:

Helen Scott is one of Scotland’s senior physiotherapists with clinical responsibility for amputee rehabilitation. Helen graduated from Robert Gordon’s School of Physiotherapy, Aberdeen in 1981 and has worked in London and Glasgow for the past 30 years specialising in amputees. 

David Morrison is a leading  prosthetist in Scotland.  David has  worked at a number of NHS services in the UK, including Wolverhampton, Preston, Leeds and Glasgow. David leads our new clinic in Glasgow. 

Jodi Gordon is a partner at Motorcycle Law Scotland and is an expert in helping clients who have been seriously injured, including amputees, secure financial compensation and rehabilitation plans to help them get their lives back on track.

Steve Love QC is a co-director of Compass Chambers in Edinburgh. he has considerable experience in dealing with claims arising out of road traffic accidents and is highly experienced in conducting catastrophic injury and high value claims. 

Register for our free webinar in partnership with the CMS UK

Register for the free webinar on 15 April 2021 at 11am.

Register for the webinar for free on the Case Management Society UK website using the link below.


International Women’s Day 2021

Monday March 8th 2021 is International Women’s Day and we are proud to highlight some of the positive female role model patients who attend Pace Rehabilitation.

We are showcasing the achievements and talents of individuals who show a determined attitude and positive approach, in the face of life changing injuries and challenges. 

Their individual social media links are included, so you can learn more.

#ChooseToChallenge  #IWD2021

Julie Rogers

Julie is a congenital through-the-knee amputee and GB Sprinter (100m, T63), who has competed in Paralympic sport since 10 years of age and is currently training towards her third Paralympic Games! Since recently graduating university, she also works for a financial planning firm.

Activities & Interests: “Outside of athletics and strength training at the gym, I really enjoy good food (which can be a terrible trait for an athlete!) with good company. I think meeting and speaking with people from different walks of life is one of the best ways to educate and open the mind.”

Proudest achievement: “London 2017 World Championships 100m Final. Having a home crowd cheer you on is a crazy feeling.”

Future plans: “I hope to compete in Tokyo for a hat trick of Paralympic Games and in this journey be able to reach out and help amputees in an authentic and genuine way. I feel that 22 years of physical fine tuning and continuous growing (mentally as well as physically), some amputee challenges I have ‘cracked!’  I’d love to share that with anybody it can help.”

Julie (Jue) Snell

Six years ago Jue had an amputation below the elbow, after a traumatic accident and the development of CRPS. 

The former Business Transformation Manager has been focusing on making changes to her and her families life since the accident. She focuses on mindset, positivity, health and fitness. 

Activities & Interests: “I’ve created a business since my accident to coach on mindset & life after disability & accidents.  I love training and keeping fit, pushing myself to see what I can do next.”

Proudest achievement: “To not see my amputation as a bad thing to happen, it’s actually the best thing to have ever happened to me and given me an outlook that I never thought possible.”

Future plans: “I’m currently studying to be a psychotherapist and psychology, so I can continue to help and support people, who have lived with or living with complex trauma.”

Lisa Eagleton-Muir

Lisa became a below-the-knee amputee, after being run over as a pedestrian in 2007. As she recalls, “So far I have had 47 operations to walk again, so treat each day that I can take a step further as a gift.”

Activities & Interests: “I am a mother of four and a limb loss counsellor/positive speaker, to raise awareness of life after amputation.  I also am a kilt and costume maker, model and love reading, foraging, walking, yoga running and to dance I can.”

Proudest achievement: “This year my proudest achievements has been raising funds for over 50 charities by getting back to running. I may be slow, but a little every day, I get there.”

Future plans: I plan to walk/run at least 250km a month through this year for charities, health permitting.”
ing funds for over 50 charities by getting back to running. I may be slow, but a little every day, I get there.”

Suzannah (Suzi) Unsworth

In 2012 Suzi lost her leg above-the-knee when she was hit by a truck, as she cycled to work. Despite her life-changing injuries she remained positive, “I have always been a positive caring person and during my own recovery I encouraged others, finding that focusing on the needs of others helped me as well.”

Activities & Interests: “My hobbies are live-action role play. Which is basically outdoor drama/fantasy re-enactments. It involves dressing up as various fictional or fantasy creatures and people, then running around a field or rented house somewhere with prop weapons.

Proudest achievement: “Being able to walk again independently. This may not seem like a big achievement, no awards or certificates, but just being able to put one foot in front of the other and plodding around my local park and being able to re-join my friends in their outdoor activities was my proudest moment.
“Also, as part of my rehabilitation with my personal trainer, I made a workout video for above-the-knee amputees, to help others. It’s called Limb-itless and can be viewed on YouTube.” (see link below)

Future plans: “I climbed and hiked before my accident, completing the three peaks Yorkshire challenge, as well as climbing England and Wales tallest mountains. I was booked to do Ben Nevis when I had my accident. I did try to climb it only a year after getting out of the hospital, but only got halfway as I was in too much pain. It is my goal to complete that climb and prove it did not beat me. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted, that is exactly what I am going to do. The Hobbit takes on mount doom!”

Milly Pickles

When aged 20, Milly lost her right leg (below-the-knee) in a traumatic accident. 

Activities & Interests: “I’ve always been into sports and since my amputation new doors have opened up for me, including becoming a Gymshark supported athlete.  I also love learning, so I’m always doing extra courses in various subjects including social media (Milly has +290k followers across various platforms)”.

Proudest achievement: “Despite losing my leg mid-way through my marketing degree, I achieved a 1st without taking a year out.  That was pretty rewarding!”

Future plans: “I hope to help as many people and charities as I can, I am passionate about this and believe that anything is possible when you set your mind to it.  There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

Gill Knowles

Following a road traffic accident in 2015 Gill sustained an above-the-knee amputation.  

As she proudly explains, “Yes I am disabled.  I use a wheelchair upstairs and downstairs and have a stair lift, BUT I also walk well!” adding, “I manage a mile on my own, three if I have company!”

Activities & Interests: “I enjoy life, friends, music (Gill plays the lute) and I like archaeology, driving my adapted car, gardening, my allotment and dance exercise class twice a week.” (Ed. -so never bored then!?!?)

Proudest achievement: “Walking those three miles, which included a very steep up and down bit!”

Future plans: “I will continue to build up my strength, so that I can walk further distances and improve my balance and movement.”

Go Gill!


Annabelle Turner

In 2011, whilst a Law student at university, Annabelle sustained an above knee amputation following a traumatic road traffic accident. She is now a qualified solicitor at Novum Law, representing clients who have sustained catastrophic personal injuries.
“I absolutely love my job. I find nothing more rewarding than watching my clients’ inspiring recoveries and knowing that I had a part to play in that.”

Activities & Interests: “I have always been a passionate dancer and fitness fanatic. Thanks to my Osseointegration surgery in 2016, I have been able to return to these much-loved activities that I’d once written off as unachievable. I am also a qualified as a spin instructor.”

Proudest achievement: “Aside from getting back to fitness and dance, professionally my colleagues & I worked on a personal injury claim for a successful businessman, who had sustained a serious brain injury in a road traffic accident. We worked effectively with the family and the claim was brought to a successful conclusion, securing a significant compensation settlement.”

Future plans: “To continue to represent clients who have suffered life changing injuries, through no fault of their own. I can talk from personal experience and know the importance of accessing the appropriate rehabilitation and support to get you back on your feet – quite literally in my case! – and to find meaning and purpose again in your day-to-day life.”

Leah Washington

In June 2015, Leah sustained an above-the-knee amputation in a traumatic accident.

The former teaching assistant has been focusing her attentions on her health and fitness, as she explains,  “It is very important to me and having a good fitness level helps with using my prosthetic leg.”

Activities & Interests: “My passion is to raise awareness and assist others with body confidence.  I also enjoy pilates, skiing and dancing.”

Proudest achievement: “It has to be when we raising £22K for Air Ambulance; Stoke Hospital; & Fire Service at a charity evening.”

Future plans: “Prior to lockdown, I was training to do a 5K run on the 5th anniversary of my accident.  I still hope to do it and raise funds for the Air Ambulance, for saving my life.”

Zoe Smith

Former trainee PE teacher, Zoe’s career path has taken a completely new direction since her below-the-knee amputation in 2015.

She can often be found being extracted from military encampments or burning buildings by the armed forces and emergency services, in simulations with Casualty Resources (warning – contains graphic images).

More recently, she has put her admin skills and personal experiences to good effect by helping at her friend’s private occupational therapy company, OT33.

Activities & Interests: “I’m an adventurer at heart and love to travel. I have travelled to over 20 countries, living from time to time in some to immerse myself fully in the culture. I have a passion for water sports and have surfed in Australia, Mexico, India, New Zealand and my favourite place, Wales!” 

Proudest achievement: “When I lost my leg I lost my career path and in some ways my sense of self.  Through the support of my friends and family I steered myself onto a new career path and now enjoy a diverse and exciting career.  Currently I am working for a private Occupational therapy company, working with people whose independence, daily living and quality of life has been affected by physical and neurological injury, mental health symptoms and conditions, or illness and disease.”

Future plans: “I am hoping in the Spring to start training with Adaptive Surf England in an attempt to become a part of their active squad.   My main objective in life is to enjoy every day to its fullest and never take anything or anyone for granted.”

Pace Glasgow Clinic

We are very proud to confirm we are launching our first clinic in Scotland to enable patients to get rapid, local private rehabilitation.  We have assembled a trio of Scotland’s most experienced clinical professionals to launch multidisciplinary private services specifically for amputees from premises in Glasgow. The practice is led by David Morrison (left) who is […]

2 Million Steps

Update: Week 3 progress Pace-Makers hit 2.5 million steps!! On schedule to get to 3 million. Money raised +£1K!!! Average daily step count 10,372 Biggest stepper for week 3 and overall was Mike with average daily step count of 17,176 – fantastic achievement. Ian and Steve deserve a mention as the most improved walkers, with a […]

New Senior Professionals Join Pace

We are delighted to welcome a trio of new senior professionals to the team at Pace. Practice manager Ankita Mistry, workshop technician Matt Harding and prosthetist Abdul Hakim have joined our team in Amersham (Bucks) and are already playing a key role in supporting our patients on their rehabilitation journey. Abdul Hakim is an experienced […]

EchelonER (Extended Range) Prosthetic Ankle

Pace’s multidisciplinary team continue to be at the forefront of the latest prosthetic technology, recently working with the EchelonER prothetic foot from Blatchford.  As our physiotherapist Anna Housley explains, “The twenty-five degrees of ankle movement offers terrific compliance to terrain and slopes, providing a natural gait for the user.” (see video) Luke Kimberley, Pace prosthetist added, […]

FREE Amputee Webinar (7/10/20)

We are delighted to announce our latest FREE webinar, ‘Amputee cases: Legal & Clinical best practices in a Covid world‘, in association with Gerard Martin & Exchange Chambers For a taste of what the event will cover on 7th October, please watch this short video Event & registration details can be found here  

Traumatic Injury Amputation Webinar

Experts in amputation team up to deliver online event Experts are teaming up to raise awareness about the key issues impacting the  clinical outcomes for people who undergo an elective traumatic amputation. Pace Rehabilitation, STEPS Rehabilitation and Stewarts are jointly hosting the event on 11 August which explores the medical and legal journey for people […]