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Dr Dimitrios Sampanis

Programme Lead - Physiotherapy (Pre-Registration)

About Research

Biography

Professional qualifications and memberships

  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, University of Athens, Greece (2004)
  • MSc in Advancing Practice, University of Birmingham, UK (2010)
  • PhD in Stroke Rehabilitation, University of Birmingham, UK (2014)
  • Lokomat, Saebo, Adago by Hocoma user and trainer
  • Bioness FES user and trainer
  • Basic Bobath course by BBTA (2015)
  • Tracheostomy care and management (2018)
  • Injection Therapy (Neurology) 10-week course accompanied by six-month mentored practice in spasticity management (2016)
  • Member of Chartered Society of Physiotherapists
  • Member of Advanced Practice Physiotherapists
  • Member of Health Professional Council
  • Saebo trained
  • Leadership Development Programme (10 months course) via CSP

Dimitrios is Programme Director for the pre-reg MSc in Physiotherapy Programme at St Mary’s University. His research focuses on stroke rehabilitation and upper limb rehabilitation with the use of functional MRI pre and post intervention. His research started during his PhD years at the University of Birmingham where he graduated from in 2013. Before that he did an MSc in Advancing Practice in the Scholl of Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham and his BSc Hons degree as Physiotherapist in Athens, Greece.

Previously he was the Head of Physiotherapy in a Private Neurorehabilitation Unit in the South East and Highly Specialist Neuro Physiotherapist working with private clients taking up case management and expert witness work. Dimitrios currently works as a private neuro physiotherapist as part of an interdisciplinary team that visits clients at their homes. Dimitrios works with clients with moderate to severe neurological disability and he often works in intensive care and neurosurgery units across London. From his previous post he has been actively involved and led the creation of care pathways for stroke and spinal cord injury patients as well as for amputees. Dimitrios is also involved in active supervision and competencies and he took lead role in projects like accreditations from international organisations such as CARF and CHKs and he achieved outstanding physiotherapy practice and neurorehabilitation as approved by CQC (Care Quality Commission) in his current service. Dimitrios has currently undertaken the case management pathway training.

He graduated from University of Athens, School of Physiotherapy with distinction in 2004 and has since worked in National Health Service and private neurorehabilitation settings including St George’s NHS Trust, The Wellington Hospital and Ascot Rehab. During his career Dimitrios has worked extensively with inpatients, outpatients and outreach clients.

Dimitrios has over 15 years of experience working as a physiotherapist and key worker with patients who have:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Amputees
  • Orthopaedic Injuries
  • Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness
  • Tracheostomy
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Neuropathies, Dystrophies

Dimitrios has been actively involved all his professional life in interdisciplinary units and he has a deep understanding of the importance of different members of the rehabilitation team to be involved and communicate with each other. Over the last 4 years from his post as Head of Physiotherapy, Dimitrios has developed a spasticity clinic that treats neurological impaired patients with orthotics, functional electrical stimulation, cutting edge robotic equipment, Botulinum Toxin Injections, 24-hour fatigue and postural management, wheelchair clinic, hydrotherapy and splinting on top of his hand on approach under the Bobath Concept. During the last ten years Dimitrios has worked closely with health professionals such as Neurologists, Rehabilitation Consultants, Nurses, Carers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Neuropsychologists. Dimitrios is attending weekly meeting with the above members of the team from the post of key worker and leads conversations that will enable the best outcome and rehabilitation potential for his clients. Dimitrios is highly specialised in construction of rehabilitation programmes for his patients under an interdisciplinary approach for a different setting of clients. Key role of Dimitrios is to understand each client’s needs and personally manage their rehabilitation journey towards successful realistic and always updates goals in parallel with the most up to date technology in rehabilitation. Dimitrios is able to ensure that his clients will receive the best care and that he will be on top of their needs when it comes to planning and management of expected and unexpected needs.

Strong point of Dimitrios is to set up realistic, effective and time specific goals that will be measurable and will make a change on his clients’ quality of life. Another advantage of Dimitrios’ personality is that he can create close relationships with all the members of the treating team and also with the family of the client respecting at the same point the privacy and confidentiality. Dimitrios is able to work with tracheostomy patients and patients with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) and efficiently create a treatment and disability management long term plan that will be updated in parallel with latest research. Main priority is to maintain his up to date knowledge of technology in rehabilitation so that he will ensure that his clients have the best chance of progressing to their quality and reach their maximum potential. This always takes place under the application of principles in an interdisciplinary level of other health related clinicians so that more opinions will be heard. Dimitrios from his role as Head of Physiotherapy and highly specialist clinician is able to manage complex situations and he is especially keen to avoid escalation of these situations by applying excellent managerial and leadership skills.

Dimitrios has keen interest in latest stroke rehabilitation and especially gait and upper limb rehabilitation was part of his PhD and personal research. Before he returned to clinical practice he also managed to successfully finish a postdoctoral research project of one year from the prestigious Oxford University which reveals his passion for research and cutting-edge technology. He has developed the Physiotherapy Departments in the private setting that he works and he transformed the level of rehabilitation that is offered to the service that he works.

Dimitrios is able to speak several languages including Greek, English and some German

Personal profile

Dimitrios is married with currently two young children who they keep him happy and joyful. Dimitrios believes that a balance between personal and professional life is the most important factor of happiness in life and he always seek to spend time with his family. Dimitrios enjoys running in parks and going to the gym. He has currently run three marathons so far including in Athens and in Paris. It is also important for Dimitrios to spend time with friends and his social life is always very busy.

Dimitrios was raised in Greece and he lives in UK the last 10 years and he is a strong advocate of making people better, achieving their goal and succeeding in returning back to leisure activities such as holidays abroad. Dimitrios is humbled to see improvement in his clients and for them taking the opportunity to gain back their independence as much as possible.


Research

  • “Motor Implications in Autism and Rehabilitation”. (2013, Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience) Dr. Joseph McLeery, Dimitrios Sampanis, Chrysi Stefanidou
  • “Motor Neglect syndrome – Future directions – Letter of Opinion”. (2013, Frontiers in Neuroscience). Dimitrios S. Sampanis, Prof Jane Riddoch
  • “Functional Electrical Stimulation recovery in chronic stroke population with motor Neglect. An fMRI study”. (under submission – Brain Journal) Dimitrios S. Sampanis, Prof Glyn Humphreys, Prof Jane Riddoch, Dr. Michael Grey
  • “Functional Electrical Stimulation promotes recovery in chronic stroke population with motor neglect”. (under submission, Stroke Journal) Dimitrios S. Sampanis, Prof Glyn Humphreys, Prof Jane Riddoch, Dr. Michael Grey
  • “Weekly Mirror Therapy promotes recovery in chronic stroke population”.(under submission) Dimitrios S. Sampanis, Prof Glyn Humphreys
  • “fMRI results on Daily Mirror Therapy suggesting promotion of recovery in chronic stroke population. (under submission) Dimitrios S. Sampanis, Prof Glyn Humphreys

Research projects

  • 2012 (January – December) University of Oxford Prof. Glyn Humphreys Post-Doctoral Researcher (part-time, Band 7) NIHR funded programme. Birmingham Cognitive Screen light version. Assessment tool for neurological patients with aphasia, neglect, cognitive and attention deficits. Application of a computer intervention for the rehabilitation of attention and cognition related impairments post stroke (CPAT).
  • 2012 January University of Birmingham Prof. Alan Wing, Dr. Kris Hollands Research Associate on RfPB NIHR funded programme with title visual cues training with the first ever implemented CMILL equipment (treadmill with projection of visual cues) in UK. Physiotherpist of the gait rehabilitation programme with the use of the tredmill.
  • March, 2010 - today University of Birmingham Prof. Glyn Humphreys, Prof Jane Riddoch School of Psychology in collaboration with School of Sports and Exercise at the University of Birmingham are running a project on the application of functional electrical stimulation (FES) in subacute stroke population with visuo-motor neglect.
  • March, 2010 - 2012 University of Birmingham Prof. Glyn Humphreys I organised an intervention research project for sub-acute stroke population. The intervention used in the project is Mirror Therapy on a daily basis with patients to be scanned before and after the intervention (intervention lasts 6 weeks). Pre and post therapy fMRI are also used for the investigation of the intervention’s impact on the patient’s brain activity.
  • March, 2010- April, 2011 University of Birmingham Prof. Glyn Humphreys for 6 months I organised in MatLab environment a programme to run on the fMRI scanner at the University of Birmingham’s Imaging Centre. The project enabled a daily intervention using Mirror Therapy in chronic stroke survivors including pre and post fMRI.