Rob is a technology & social care expert, entrepreneur and keynote speaker based in Leeds. He sustained a high level spinal cord injury in 1998 leaving him completely wheelchair and 24 hour care dependent. Following a year of rehab in hospital he returned to full time education, completing three A-Levels, followed by a Joint Honours degree from the University of Leeds. In 2004 he was one of the first undergraduates requiring 24 hour care to study abroad on the Erasmus program, spending four months in Germany.
Since 2005 he has lived independently managing his own team of carers through a range of personalisation schemes including Direct Payments, Personal Budgets and Continuing Healthcare. Rob regularly speaks about his unique health and social care experiences that have enabled him to live freely and run a successful marketing and technology consultancy. In 2010 Rob placed sixth in the Stelios Disabled Entrepreneur of the Year award. As a founding member of the Free To Live Leeds peer support group he was selected as a finalist in the Putting People First category of The Yorkshire and Humberside Great British Care Awards in 2011, before joining the management board of Leeds Centre for Integrated Living later that year.
His business consulting and contacts encourage organisations to adopt modern technology to engage with users and improve their service, driving the innovation, development and marketing of a range of assistive technology products similar to those he uses.
In September 2014 Rob became one of the first recipients of a Personal Health Budget which has transformed his life. He joined the Personalised Care Strategic Coproduction Group in September 2017, working directly with NHS England on the national rollout of Personalisation across the health and social care system. Events have taken him everywhere between Blackpool and Copenhagen, and this knowledge is shared with health and social care course students at the Universities of Huddersfield and Leeds Beckett in his role as an Associate Lecturer.
His work alongside healthcare professionals has enabled Leeds Wheelchair Services to become a gold standard for Personal Wheelchair Budgets, with his own story converted into a recent case study. His key areas of work now include: Coproduction, Digital Technology, Long-Term Neurological Conditions; Delegation of Healthcare Tasks; Personal Wheelchair Budgets and Continuing Healthcare.
If that didn’t sound like enough, he’s detailing all of his experience and knowledge over the last 21 years in an autobiography, which at this rate may take some time to complete.