Introducing Chartered Physiotherapist & Expert Witness, Katharine Atkin... I recently...
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I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1992 and specialise in the assessment and treatment of mainly older people with a range of complex conditions. My clinical skills include falls prevention, frailty, palliative and end of life care, dementia care, cardiac, respiratory, and orthopaedic conditions. I have worked in a wide variety of NHS settings including acute, community and in integrated roles alongside social care and enjoy working with people in their own homes. I currently work within a community based rapid response team.
In 2022, I completed the European Certificate in Essential Palliative Care, I have a particular interest in palliative and end of life care. I have extensive experience of working within a multidisciplinary team and as such have developed a sound knowledge and ability to ensure co-ordinated care, but I am also able to work autonomously when visiting people at home. I complete comprehensive holistic assessments of a persons needs these may include identifying equipment or manual handling risks , functional assessments, and care requirements. I also consider pressure care, nutritional needs, complete clinical observation and signpost to other agencies as required.
Although my experience is general, I feel my knowledge is broad as our population often have several co-morbidities alongside the reason for referral to the service, resulting in a complex picture. For example a fall may result in a hospital admission for orthopaedic surgery and the individual may have a dementia diagnosis, all of which will impact a person's occupational performance. I have experience of working within a rehab setting, this involves hands on rehabilitation and complex discharge planning. I always aim to adopt a preventative approach to my work and consider a person’s future, alongside their current needs.
I am an end-of-life champion for the team acting as a source of advice and promoting best and evidence-based practice where applicable and take occupational therapy students on placement regularly. I supervise and complete appraisal for one of our therapy support workers. I am a member of the RCOT specialist section major health conditions which helps me keep my knowledge up to date and always take a professional approach to my work.
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 Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.