Introducing Chartered Physiotherapist & Expert Witness, Katharine Atkin... I recently...
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BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
Having qualified in 1998 as a physiotherapist I completed my core rotations at St George’s Teaching Hospital in London gaining experience across a wide range of clinical disciplines. Since 2002, I have specialised in neurological physiotherapy with experience in sub-acute neuro rehabilitation (stroke and traumatic brain injury - TBI), acute neurology (Guillain barre, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and elderly care). I spent 3 years at the Regional Rehabilitation Unit at Northwick Park under the Medical Directorship of Professor Lynne Turner-Stokes, a renowned leader in brain injury rehabilitation in the UK, where I furthered my knowledge and skills treating patients with complex disability following traumatic and acquired brain injuries.
I moved to Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre (FRIRC) in Bristol in 2007, a regional centre and one of the largest inpatient brain injury units in the UK, where I was lead Physiotherapist for 16 years. In October 2023, I left to set up my own independent practice (Belmont Neuro Physio) providing neurorehabilitation to patients in their homes and the community. I also work as an associate for Totus Neurorehabilitation, providing neurophysiotherapy for patients with traumatic brain injury following referral from case managers and solicitors. I have extensive experience of working closely within a multidisciplinary team to maximise physical progression/management in the context of cognitive impairments, behavioural changes, mental capacity issues and prolonged disorders of consciousness.
My clinical expertise with neurological and TBI patients covers:
• Complex postural management to accommodate spasticity, contractures and abnormal movement patterns.
• Spasticity management to optimise increased muscle tone, reduced joint ranges and pain with botulinum toxin, systemic antispasmodics, analgesics, serial casting/splinting, orthotics and surgical muscle/tendon lengthening.
• Posture, movement, and gait analysis based on normal and abnormal movement patterns.
• Hydrotherapy & Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) with neurological patients.
• Vestibular assessment and treatment.
• Behavioural management programmes (Positive Behavioural Support - PBS)
• Goal setting and treatment based on patients’ values and aspirations.
• Supporting families through complex emotions and rehabilitation outcomes following a loved one's brain injury.
• Moving and handling education for staff and families (Moving and Handling Trainer).
• Falls mitigation strategies (Falls Lead at FBIRC).
I am a member of the Research Working Group of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology which involves the planning and delivery of research related education for the membership to encourage research activity in clinical practice.
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.