The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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MSc Occupational Therapy, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, Full Member of the Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1994 and specialised in the field of adult physical disability including trauma and orthopaedics, care of the elderly, falls and general surgery. I have since 1996 developed a particular interest in poly trauma and amputee management (upper and lower limb) and in the management of the limb deficient child and adult. I have considerable experience of working with individuals who have lost limbs secondary to meningoccocal septicaemia. I also have extensive experience of upper and lower limb prosthetics and the application of these to function. I maintain my knowledge and skills in amputee and prosthetic management through my private clinical work with PACE Rehabilitation, my expert witness work, through attending up-dates and training and through my membership of the special interest group for occupational therapists working in prosthetics.
I joined Somek and Associates in 2002 as an Occupational therapy / Care Expert and I have written many reports for medico-legal purposes, being instructed by Claimant, Defendant and as a Single Joint Expert. I have undertaken a considerable number of assignments relating to personal injury and clinical negligence cases in respect of Care, Occupational therapy reports and Loss of Service / Dependency and wrongful birth claims. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses. I have given oral evidence in court on a number of occasions and have been highly recommended by both Claimant and Defendant lawyers and counsel.
In 2008 I was employed as a Medico-legal Associate Trainer and in this role I was involved in running training courses for Somek and Associates experts. In 2010 I assumed the position of Medico-legal Services Manager and since 2018 I have taken up my present position of Head of Medico-legal Operations. This involves holding responsibility for the day to day operational side of Somek and Associates, from monitoring our capacity and demand, to setting and overseeing our recruitment strategy whilst through active participation in our quality assurance and training systems, ensuring the reports we provide are both of an excellent standard and cost proportionate. I am passionate about maintaining the independence and integrity of the expert witness role.
In addition, I continue to work as an independent practitioner undertaking clinical work for PACE Rehabilitation (upper and lower limb amputee prosthetic rehabilitation).
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.
British Association of Occupational Therapists
British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR)
The College of Occupational Therapy Specialist Section -Trauma and Orthopaedics
Member of Upper Limb Prosthetic Occupational Therapy Network (UCPOT)
Current Study Postgraduate Certificate in Amputee Rehabilitation, University of Bradford
2002 MSc Occupational Therapy with distinction, Exeter
1994 BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, St Andrew's, Northampton