The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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Since graduating from the University of Cape Town in 2004 I have had extensive clinical experience within the NHS as well as within the private healthcare sector both in the UK and South Africa, including setting up a private physiotherapy clinic within the community. In addition to English, I am fluent in Afrikaans.
I have worked on acute medical wards, in sub-acute rehabilitation facilities and outpatient clinics. I have provided rehabilitation to adults within the community and paediatrics within an acute hospital and clinic setting; serving patients with a wide variety of conditions including, but not limited to: trauma & orthopaedics, elective orthopaedics (including hip, knee and shoulder replacements), back injury, general medicine, palliative care, post surgery, falls rehabilitation and prevention, respiratory conditions, dementia and care of the elderly, chronic pain and acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions. I also have some experience of working with patients with neurological conditions such as Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis and CVA.
I have worked collaboratively within a multidisciplinary team, managing caseloads of complex patients with health and social care needs, carrying out complex environmental assessments, moving and handling assessments, complex seating needs, assessments of rehabilitation potential and needs as well as current and future care needs. I have managed a clinical caseload of clients needing physiotherapy services as well as case managed clients on the reablement pathway, devising and overseeing care packages to promote independence following hospital discharge and preventing hospital admission from the community.
I use evidence based assessments and outcome measures in order to measure effectiveness of clinically proven treatment modalities. I educate and empower patients to understand and manage their conditions by actively encouraging healthy living, promoting well-being and motivating them to achieve their identified goals. I endeavour to provide a holistic service by incorporating physiotherapy manual techniques, clinical pilates and functional exercise rehabilitation in my clients' treatment and management. I particularly enjoy working with motivated clients to restore pain-free movement, allowing clients to achieve their goals and sharing their success. I look at the patient holistically to find the root of the problem and aim to restore function as well as reduce the risk of the injury recurring.
I accept instruction 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.