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Dr Piera Santullo

Clinical Chair and Lead Consultant

Practices at: Circle Rehabilitation Birmingham

A photo of Dr Piera Santullo

Personal Profile

Dr Piera Santullo is Rehabilitation Clinical Chair and Lead Consultant at Circle Rehabilitation in Birmingham, also retaining a post as Consultant in Rehabilitation Medicine within Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Her specialties are:

  • Physical rehabilitation medicine
  • Pain medicine and musculoskeletal management
  • Neuro rehabilitation
  • Spasticity management
  • Spinal cord injury rehabilitation

Her approach to rehabilitation is at the heart of the aims of Circle Rehabilitation - seeing the patient rather than the condition and helping them towards their health and rehabilitation goals.

Dr Santullo graduated from the University of Naples in Italy in 2009, having completed her thesis on ‘The relation between disability and impairment in patients with muscular dystrophy’, thereafter choosing to specialise in her clinical focus of rehabilitation medicine.

She completed physical and rehabilitation medicine training in Bologna and Salisbury (Duke of Cornwall spinal cord injury centre) in 2015, with a thesis on ‘The comparison between recumbent rehabilitation vs early mobilisation following spinal cord injury- possible effect on neurological status’. Her interest in osteopathy and physical medicine took her to Bologna and France completing  Le Diplôme Inter-Universitaire (DIU) – a university degree at the Bobigny University in Paris in 2014.

Dr Santullo has been member of the European Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Board since her completion of the European exam in 2015. She worked at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury national spinal injury centre and The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in London before commencing her consultant post at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust.

She is a member of the British Society of Rehabilitation Medicine, and a group member of its trauma special interest group and musculoskeletal special interest group. She collaborates nationally with colleagues in the British Society of Medicine on developing rehabilitation pathways and innovation through these two interest groups. She collaborates internationally with pain specialist colleagues through the Pain School international situated in Hungary following completion of a Pain fellowship in Hungary. She is a certified pain interventional sonologist, granted by the World Institute of Pain.

Dr Piera Santullo was drawn to rehabilitation through both a personal family experience and being part of a medical family - both her parents are doctors. She aims to make a difference in how rehabilitation is perceived, both directly in Birmingham and throughout the UK.

"For me, rehabilitation is how all the medical specialties come together," she said. "Rehabilitation is not just about a condition, it's about the person, their mental health, their social connection, the person they want to be, the people and family around them. So, I see 'rehabilitation' as a really broad specialty.

"This is what attracted me to Circle Rehabilitation in Birmingham and Circle Health in the first place - they adopt the European model of rehabilitation that I really miss, and that I see is not present in the UK. In the UK, rehabilitation largely means neuro rehabilitation and it's not available widely for other patients. Like the rest of the team here, I am keen to make a difference, and to help the UK achieve the benefits of rehabilitation for the health of the country as well as for the person - as other countries in Europe are doing.

As Clinical Chair and Lead Consultant at Circle Rehabilitation in Birmingham, Dr Santullo oversees and leads rehabilitation programmes in conjunction with patients and the wider team, including therapy leads, nurses, neurosurgery experts, fellow leading rehabilitation consultants, and colleague medical doctors and health specialists. All Circle Rehabilitation programmes are medically-led and delivered at the highest level by a multi disciplinary team, whether at the Circle Rehabilitation centre of excellence in Birmingham or at one of Circle's UK clinics.

The world-class equipment at Circle Rehabilitation represents a significant investment in Birmingham and the West Midlands and an important part of the service and specialist clinics. In addition, Dr Santullo has access to further diagnostic equipment and expertise at Circle's sister health providers The Priory Hospital and Edgbaston Hospital - both also in Birmingham - as well as other Circle Health Group Healthcare hospitals across the Midlands and the UK. These include functional imaging, and advance applications of MRI and other diagnostic tools.

In her free time, Dr Santullo is often to be found doing any kind of sport - "If I see a ball, I am like a dog chasing it" - and playing her acoustic guitar. She is plays in a band called the Rehab Pandemaniacs formed during the COVID pandemic to raise funds for rehabilitation. She loves food, especially food from her native Italy - and enjoys exploring new places to eat.

Clinical Interests

Neurological treatments

  • Spinal cord injury rehabilitation
  • Neurology
  • Head injuries
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Spasticity management
  • Hypersalivation management with salivary gland injections (Botulinum toxin)
  • Nerve blocks
  • Neurological disorders
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Neuroimmunology
  • General neurology
  • Holistic rehabilitation
  • Neurosurgery
  • Neurosciences
  • Brain injury
  • Neurovascular diseases
  • Comprehensive Neuro rehabilitation

Musculoskeletal treatments

  • Osteopathy
  • Botulinum toxin injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Pain management
  • PRP/prolotherapy injections
  • Joint injections
  • Spinal rehabilitation
  • Spinal injections
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Hip, knee, ankle, shoulder, sacroiliac injections
  • Facet joint injections

Clinic timetable

Dr Piera Santullo has clinics at Circle Rehabilitation as follows:

  • Tuesdays 9am to 8pm
  • Saturdays 9am to 1pm

To book an appointment call 0800 096 3236 or email [email protected]