The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, MSc in Acupuncture, Diploma in Cancer Care for AHPs
I qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 1976 having trained at Manchester Royal Infirmary and am a very diverse practitioner with experience across a wide range of specialities. I have worked in a variety of clinical settings within the NHS, private and charitable sectors, community, and occupational health in industry. I am an advanced member and CPD tutor for the Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapists.
My expertise is primarily in the fields of musculo skeletal injury, orthopaedics, oncology, long term conditions and acupuncture. I have worked with elite athletes in the sports of golf and county cricket, and worked in industry as a specialist Occupational Health Physiotherapist with companies including DFS, and Amazon, where my role was to assess and treat a variety of musculo skeletal injuries.
Currently I run my own private practice in Wells, Somerset, managing a mixed caseload. I also work regularly for BMI Bath Clinic, a private hospital in Bath belonging to the Circle Healthcare Group, and the Bath Reablement Team, a community team managed by the HCRG Care Group. At Bath Clinic I am engaged as an orthopaedic specialist, treating post-surgical orthopaedic cases, mostly total hip and knee replacements, spinal, foot and shoulder surgery.
For the Bath Reablement Team, I am employed as a rehabilitation specialist for the community covering Bath and its surrounding area, with a diverse caseload, aimed at avoidance of hospital admissions and rehabilitation post discharge.
I held the post of Rehabilitation Team Manager at Dorothy House Hospice in Bradford on Avon, managing a team of 15 Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists for eleven years from 2005-2016. This role enhanced my skills in assessing and analysing issues with objectivity, and responding appropriately. I worked at senior management level and presented work at national and international conferences. I believe this experience is invaluable to the role of an expert witness.
I have a wealth of clinical experience, have negotiated contracts, set and managed budgets and worked at strategic level developing services. I have gained experience working with Commissioners and Chief Executives for many of the health-related organisations in Somerset, and represented Allied Health Practitioners on the 'Marie Curie Delivering Choice for Somerset Programme'. This opportunity enabled me to contribute as an experienced physiotherapist in reviewing clinical services across the county and implementing change. It also enhanced my confidence in discussing sensitive and sometimes controversial problems with an array of health professionals and influential financiers. These skills in objective negotiation are also pivotal to my role as an expert witness.
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.