Table 1

 Contemporary views of Guttmann

DateNameComment
1944Prof G Gask21Impressed by spirit of self help and cheerfulness. “Guttmann very good. Astonished to hear that patient can be returned to the workplace”.
1944Dr FergusonChief Medical Officer—much impressed with what he saw
1945Dr DickCommented on new methods being tried out, much better staffing but most important there was an attitude of hope
1945Dr Riddoch22“I am personally satisfied that the work he has been doing is good…in fact his is the best spinal injury centre we have got”.
1945Mr C LeePatient who spoke of wonderful work being done by G and his assistant
1945Ministry of HealthRecommended that all medical superintendents and some sisters should be sent to Stoke Mandeville
1945Doctor“a wonderful show, he is of course madly enthusiastic and recommends that it be made THE centre for ALL paraplegics. Very generous staff and limitless physiotherapy trainees”.
1945Dr SykesDesirous to visit Stoke Mandeville to see G’s work
1947Dr NicollComments on how appalling death rates were at Wharncliffe compared with the USA and Stoke Mandeville Hospital
1948Dr Seddon“A very able German refugee, LG a pupil of Foerster has established a remarkable centre…No one in this country has ever made a comparable contribution to the treatment of these dreadful cases. He has a waiting list of 80 and needs more facilities”.
1948Dr Winner23“only the Ministry of Pensions Hospital can be regarded as satisfactory. He runs his unit very autocratically, he is a good showman. There is no question however that he has completely changed the face of the world for the paraplegic pensioner, that his single minded enthusiasm has moved mountains and that his patients are almost passionately grateful to him, his results speak for themselves and the difference in atmosphere between Stoke and the other spinal centres is remarkable. Incredible as it sounds, a patient walks with his shoulder girdle and upper trunk muscles. Exercises including definite drills designed to render patients independent eg. Dressing putting on calipers and getting from bed to chair is 7 minutes!”
1949Ministry of Health“A very efficient institution; other two units, Sheffield (Wharncliffe) and Liverpool (Winwick) are not up to Stoke Mandeville’s standard.”
1950Prof H SeddonThey are requesting that a doctor be sent over to Stoke for training before going to Stanmore together with two ward sisters and physiotherapists.
1950Prof H Seddon“Dr Guttmann’s experience must now be unique”
1948Patient“The hospital has come to be the principal spinal unit of the Ministry of Pensions and one of the largest spinal injury centres in Europe”