Julia Smyth

Julia Smyth

Occupational Therapist


MRes Clinical Research, PG Cert Sensory Integration, BSc Occupational Therapy


  • Paediatrics including
  • Visual Impairment
  • Neurodisability
  • Long Term Conditions


I am a paediatric occupational therapist, with specialist skills in neurodisability and child development. I am particularly experienced in childhood vision impairment, social communication disorders (autism), long-term ventilation via tracheostomy/facial mask, prematurity, and the effects of long-stay hospital admissions on developmental progress. I have experience of a range of genetic, metabolic, and neurological conditions, physical disabilities, and complex medical needs. I have worked in children’s community, secondary and tertiary level care. 

I qualified in 2008 and worked in a secondary level hospital in South Africa. As the sole occupational therapist, I provided a comprehensive service for the 300-bed district hospital and seven outlying clinics. I emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2010. I held a community paediatrics role working for an independent practice. Thereafter, I took a position in a London tertiary children’s hospital between 2012 and 2021.  I worked in rheumatology, respiratory, and supported complex discharges across the hospital. My primary responsibilities were within a multidisciplinary, specialist neurodisability service and long-term ventilation service. I contributed to developmental assessments for children with vision impairment, complex developmental presentations, and for families seeking second opinions for developmental diagnoses. I provided the occupational therapy service to in-patient children on long-term ventilation including direct treatment, equipment, developmental monitoring, housing advice, and liaison with carers and continuing care in the community.

Between 2021 and 2024, I worked in a tertiary children’s hospital in the South West of England. I was the lead occupational therapist within the NHS National Barth Syndrome Service. This is an NHS England Specialised Service providing multi-disciplinary care for adults and children with Barth syndrome. I currently work in a secondary level hospital in the South West of England. I provide developmental clinics for babies following their discharge from the Neonatal Unit. Particularly for those who born before 28 weeks, with HIE Grade III and above, or a low birth weight.  I co-ordinate the clinics and contribute to the multidisciplinary team management of the children.

I was awarded funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) and Health Education England (HEE) to complete a Master of Research in 2015/2016. My dissertation described the influence of vision level on the way that children with severe and profound vision impairment use their hands in the first three years of life.  The degree was awarded with distinction and I presented this research both nationally and internationally. In 2020, I undertook an HEE/NIHR Bridging Fellowship to further develop my research skills. In 2013, I completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Integration, with distinction. 

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.