Meet the expert: Dr Julian Harriss
13 September 2019
Dr Harriss, FRCPS(Can), FRCP(London) is a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor, who has worked in the UK and in Canada during his career.
A Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine in private practice and Managing Director of the Independent Rehabilitation Medicine Assessments (IRMA), Dr Harriss is a leading medical expert with over twenty years’ experience. He has been a much-valued member of the NRC team for over four years.
Dr Harriss’s clinical interests were developed over two decades of international experience of adult and paediatric rehabilitation. Committed to ensuring that each patient is considered from all medical, surgical and specialist rehabilitation perspectives, he tells us, “While recognising that most of my patients present with neurological diagnoses, I am most interested in considering every other aspect of their condition and potential recovery. It is often challenging to take a broad and multidisciplinary perspective, but people are complex, and they deserve nothing less.”
Dr Harriss feels that the UK is ‘well-served’ by internationally respected NHS neurologists and neurosurgeons, whose diagnostic and technical skills have saved countless lives. He goes on, “It is regrettable to see that longer-term rehabilitation, both in hospital and the community, is under-resourced. There is a growing and robust body of evidence that outcomes greatly benefit from comprehensive, goal-directed neurorehabilitation. It is often only following introduction of a multi-disciplinary specialist-led rehab program that patients can make the most of their recovery following life-saving early interventions.”
When it comes to sharing his expertise with the courts, Julian is motivated by providing full and accurate reports and expert witness testimony, which can help resolve difficult legal decisions. NRC Medical Expert reports begin with a review of a patient’s medical and surgical history and condition, before concentrating on how they can best be supported in every aspect of their recovery. Dr Harriss explains: “I take the long view, placing emphasis on the functional real-world implications of someone’s condition and prognosis. While a neurologist’s diagnosis is often helpful, often of greater relevance is someone’s ability to live in the community, to work, and manage his or her own life. Patients want simply to get on with living life to the full, and that is where good neurological rehabilitation can make all the difference.”
Recovery following a brain or spinal injury, or other neurological disability or condition, can be long, slow and hard-won. It takes the commitment and dedication of a range of professionals, individuals and their families.
Dr Harriss concludes, “As a medical expert, I become a key player in a person’s journey towards independence and I’m incredibly proud of being part of some inspirational transformations. My greatest satisfaction has come from enabling severely injured people to return to their community to live with dignity and some independence with their family. Several clients are now enjoy fulfilling lives - supported by carers and therapists - with family in their own home, having only a couple of years before been found bed-bound and helpless in a care-home.”