Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Occupational Therapist & Care Expert

Qualifications

BSc Hons Occupational Therapy, Dip Occupational Studies

Specialisms

  • Physical Disabilities; long term conditions, complex care.
  • Moving and Handling
  • Housing, Adaptation & Equipment

Introduction

I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2004 from St Loye’s School of Health Studies and have since built up considerable experience working with adults in the community, specialising in the provision of equipment and adaptations to facilitate independent living. I have developed a wealth of knowledge in a variety of long term health conditions/physical disability and in the effective management of complex cases. My work often involves working alongside carers, especially when making recommendations for safe moving and handling and introducing pieces of equipment. I regularly advise on the level of care required in relation to meeting complex needs.   Initially I worked for the Independent Living Service in North Bristol, completing detailed Occupational Therapy assessments.  After two years I moved to a newly developed Home Adaptations city wide Service, working alongside housing surveyors, and focusing on complex cases and major adaptations including assessment for specialist equipment, seating and moving and handling.  

In 2008, I moved to Bron Afon Community Housing to further my interest in housing and adaptations. Initially I worked within the Adaptations team, providing tenants with an equipment and adaptations service in partnership with the local authority. I played a lead role in the development and delivery of the Occupational Therapy service and the recruitment of staff.  I also successfully obtained the service manager post as Principal Occupational Therapist.  I led the development of an Accessible Housing Service to assist tenants with moving to more suitable accommodation, introduced the use of the IDAPT design tool for drawing up adaptation plans, and set up Minor Adaptations without Delay based on the COT guide which encourages Registered Social Landlords to undertake minor works that do not require OT assessment. 

In 2014, I moved to Devon to become Team Manager (Advanced Profession Occupational Therapist), managing a team of Occupational Therapists and support workers within the Adult Community Services, alongside the management of resources to enable timely and effective assessment, personalised support planning and care management.  The service provides person centred clinical assessment, and recommendations, including equipment and adaptations, and advice on moving and handling and level of care required, to promote independence, well-being and choice, and improve quality of life.

In 2017, I accepted the post of Housing Occupational Therapist in Exeter City Council.  I assist with meeting the housing needs of disabled and vulnerable people living in Exeter and improve the supply of quality accessible homes.  As the sole Occupational Therapist I have responsibility for assisting tenants with appropriate rehousing, working with both the Council and the local choice based letting service.  I advise on housing need, assist with the design of new build wheelchair accessible properties, and allocate and adapt homes to match tenants’ needs.  

I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant Solicitors and Insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.

Professional Education
2004 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, St Loye’s School of Health Studies, Exeter
1997 BSc (Hons) Psychology (including Diploma in Occupational Studies), Middlesex University