Dr Clive Bezzina

Dr. Clive Bezzina is a distinguished Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, renowned for his pioneering work in the advancement of specialised neurorehabilitation and trauma services in Stoke on Trent. Dr. Bezzina’s passion for neurorehabilitation extends not only to clinical care but also to his role as a medico-legal expert.

A Senior Fellow of the European Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, Dr. Bezzina holds a Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Malta, a Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine, and earned his MRCS in 2007 from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh).

A journey into Rehabilitation Medicine

After qualifying as an MD in Malta in 2001, Dr. Bezzina worked across a range of specialties within the surgical rotation, including general surgery, vascular surgery, intensive care, neurosurgery, trauma and orthopaedics, plastic surgery and urology. Though he initially commenced training in trauma and orthopaedics, it was his passion for Sports and Exercise Medicine that paved the way for his eventual focus on rehabilitation.

While serving as the doctor for Malta’s National Youth Football Teams, Dr. Bezzina’ worked alongside Malta’s only Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine, who recognised Dr. Bezzina’s potential and encouraged his exploration into the field of rehabilitation medicine.

Dr. Bezzina went on to develop his neurorehabilitation skills at Cambridge’s Addenbrookes hospital, Norwich’s Colman hospital, and Glasgow Southern General hospital, undergoing specialised training in spinal injury rehabilitation.

As a speciality registrar in Rehabilitation Medicine at Addenbrookes in Cambridge, Dr. Bezzina collaborated with peers to establish the chapters ‘Ongoing care and Reconstruction’ and ‘Rehabilitation’  in the Trauma East Manual of Operations and Procedures (TEMPO) guidelines. Inspired by military protocols, these guidelines aim to bring a systematic and standardised approach to emergency response.

The TEMPO guidelines provide meticulous directives for every conceivable aspect of trauma response and rehabilitation. What made this approach distinctive was Dr. Bezzina’s unique ability to merge his surgical background with a rehabilitation perspective. Dr. Bezzina developed the rehabilitation guidelines for the TEMPO approach, ensuring that the regional trauma units adhered to a consistent protocol, particularly for head injuries and other significant traumas. This consistency not only ensured uniformity of care but also established clear checkpoints for a range of medical professionals, from doctors and nurses to therapists.

Developing a rehabilitation approach in Stoke on Trent

In 2013, Dr. Bezzina embarked on his role as a Consultant in the Rehabilitation Unit at the North Staffordshire Rehabilitation Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, specifically within Haywood Hospital’s Broadfield unit. Managing neurorehabilitation medicine clinics as well as spasticity clinics, Dr. Bezzina pioneered the establishment of trauma rehabilitation pathways at the Royal Stoke Hospital, transforming what was essentially a blank slate into an award-winning service.

Specialising in spinal and orthopaedics, Dr. Bezzina took the lead in training rehabilitation coordinators and spinal Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANPs). Under his guidance, the intensive care and  trauma services  expanded their capabilities to support complex spinal cases, including patients requiring ventilated care. He spearheaded the creation of the spinal cord injury pathway in Stoke on Trent, collaborating with the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries at Oswestry Hospital, as well as establishing a pathway for patients with cauda equina syndrome.

Developing award-winning services

By 2016, Dr. Bezzina had assumed leadership of the spasticity service. He refined the team’s approach, pioneering the introduction of outcome measures and patient-initiated follow-ups—an innovation that, though being promoted across services today, was first implemented by his team.

Reflecting on his earlier work at Addenbrooke’s, where the creation of an Acute Rehabilitation Unit had proved invaluable, Dr. Bezzina saw the potential benefit of a similar service for Stoke-on-Trent’s patients. He championed the development of the Acute Rehabilitation Trauma Unit (ARTU) in 2016. This 27-bed unit caters to patients needing acute care post-stabilisation from intensive care, theatres, or the emergency department. Though the Trust initially funded ARTU, it later secured specialist funding from NHS England, distinguishing itself as one of only five Level 1a Hyperacute units in the country, joining the ranks of Liverpool, Manchester, London, and Cambridge.

The unit, comprising 10 hyperacute beds and 17 for neurosurgical, spinal and complex orthopaedic care, saw Dr. Bezzina assemble and train a dedicated team to ensure outstanding rehabilitation. This commitment to excellence was recognised in 2019 when the ARTU team was honoured as the ‘Clinical Team of the Year’.

Establishing a medico-legal career

As a highly experienced expert witness, since 2018, Dr. Bezzina has brought his wealth of medical knowledge to the medico-legal sector, standing out not just for his expertise, but also for his dedication to continuous learning. He undergoes annual CPD-accredited training, ensuring that his proficiency remains at the forefront of medicine and law, making him a sought-after authority in medico-legal reports and testimonies.

Speaking about his work with legal teams, Dr. Bezzina explains,

“I firmly believe in efficiency. I usually respond to emails within 24 hours, regardless of their nature. I prioritise organisation and value keeping my commitments. For example, if I promise a report within six weeks, I ensure it’s delivered on time. You’ll hear of professionals with waiting lists extending from six to twelve months. I’ve structured my time to deliver quicker results. If someone needs a report, they won’t be left waiting.

 I have experience from both the claimant’s and clinical negligence perspectives. My reports are straightforward and don’t use unnecessary jargon. When I use medical terminology, I make sure to explain it. I aim for clarity and directness, writing my reports so that those without a medical background can understand the content and recommendations.”

Dr. Bezzina offers specialised insights for a broad spectrum of cases. His areas of focus encompass traumatic and acquired  Brain Injury including people with tracheostomies and prolonged disorder of consciousness, Spinal Cord Injury, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Complex Neurological Disability, Progressive Neurodisabilities, and Musculoskeletal Injuries.

Dr. Bezzina speaks three languages: English, Maltese, and Italian, and is based in Staffordshire/ Cheshire.

The insight of a brain and spinal injury expert witness in court cases

When it comes to personal injury claims and clinical negligence cases involving brain and spinal injuries, having an expert witness can make all the difference.

Our medical expert witness directory allows you to search and browse our medical and legal experts to find the right expertise for your case. With over 40 highly experienced medical consultants and therapists specialising in neurorehabilitation in our directory, we’re the biggest and most experienced company in the sector, offering an unparalleled level of service and providing objective and impartial reports and evaluations for legal professionals, solicitors, and the courts.

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From spinal cord injury, stroke, and traumatic brain injury to cerebral palsy, from personal injury and clinical negligence to catastrophic injury, our neurology expert witnesses can support your case.

To instruct consultant Dr. Clive Bezzina, please contact NRC Medical Experts.