The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, BSc (Hons) Sociology with Human Resource Management
I qualified as an occupational therapist in 2008. Subsequently I have worked with clients with a variety of physical and mental health conditions both in the statutory and private sectors. These clinical roles have provided me with a wide knowledge base.
I have worked as a clinical case manager and private occupational therapist alongside my NHS role since 2013, working with clients who have sustained multiple injuries, some life changing, following catastrophic incidents.
The breadth of my experience as an occupational therapist and clinical case manager has resulted in me having specialist experience in the management of complex orthopaedic problems, upper and lower limb amputations, cognitive difficulties, pain management and mental health conditions, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and generalised anxiety disorder.
My role as a case manager and private occupational therapist involves working closely with claimants to improve function, regain independence and where needed, improve vocational outcomes following their injuries. I am experienced in working with claimants to improve pain management, psychological distress and manage risks associated with their physical and mental health, cognitive ability and social situations. I have a good knowledge base of private providers for health and social care, and utilise this when working with claimants.
Recently I have started undertaking private occupational therapy cases for Bush and Company, working with clients who have been injured playing sport and looking at housing, equipment, functional and vocational needs. I am experienced in facilitating evidence based assessments, recommending appropriate packages of care and assessing for and prescribing a range of adaptive equipment to support complex hospital discharges. I have had extensive experience in managing care and equipment needs for clients who are at high risk of due to self neglect, mental health difficulties, cognitive difficulties and concerns regarding mental capacity. I have supervised junior therapists and students. I have facilitated training for both therapy departments within the NHS, privately, and most recently, for a personal injury department of a law firm that is a client of the case management company that I work for.
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.