British Polio Fellowship Appoints a New CEO
The British Polio Fellowship has announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive, Dr John Hooper, who joins the organisation from the Institute of Clinical Research.
The British Polio Fellowship was founded in 1939 to help people with Polio and has been raising the awareness of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) for a number of years. Dr Hooper joins the team to help promote the organisation’s support to those with Polio and those affected by PPS.
PPS is a neurological condition which can occur in people who have had Polio. After a long time without any significant change in their condition, people may develop new or increasing weakness, stamina problems, fatigue and pain.
Dr Hooper explains: “PPS is often difficult to recognise as symptoms may develop slowly and may be mistaken for other conditions and we are communicating with GP’s to make them aware of the symptoms to look for.
“Through our own research we have found that 55 per cent of GPs are unable to diagnose the debilitating effects of PPS which affects an estimated 100,000 people in the UK. We have also found that only 18 per cent of GPs know how to treat PPS when diagnosed.”
Awareness of Polio will get a timely boost next year with the release of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, a film about the life of singer and actor Ian Dury. Dury was a pioneer of the new wave and punk movements in the UK and contracted Polio during the 1949 epidemic that gripped the nation. Dury is played by Andy Serkis in the film, which premieres on January 8th.
Dr Hooper continues: “The developing world is still plagued by Polio and, combined with the increasing trends to travel and migrate to and from these countries, poses a real problem. Many citizens have moved to the UK after the age we immunise children, and then travel to their country of origin for family visits – running the risk of contracting the illness and bringing it back to the UK.
“It is believed there are around 120,000 people in the UK who have had Polio and there are still some parents not immunising their children, so we can’t get complacent and ignore the risk that Polio still poses.
“It’s this sort of challenge that gets me up in the morning, and that’s why I’m delighted to be leading the British Polio Fellowship forward at this critical time in its development.”
For further information, please contact:
Chrissie Walker or Samantha Prince
BCS Public Relations
Tel: 0115 9486901
Image caption: Dr John Hooper has joined the British Polio Fellowship as its new Chief Executive.
About Dr John Hooper
Dr Hooper became Chief Executive of the Institute of Clinical Research (ICR) in August 2004.
Before joining ICR, Dr Hooper was Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
He worked for many years in Glaxo Pharmaceuticals before taking on the leadership of not for profit and charitable organisations.
Dr Hooper has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health, (RSPH), The Institute of Directors (IOD), The Chartered Management Institute and the Royal Society of Arts. He is Patron of a charity, Lifeskills and was a Trustee of the RSPH and the Science Council and on the Examination Board of the IOD and the RSPH.