The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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MSc, BSc (Hons)
I qualified from The University of Liverpool in 2002 and have since worked in the field of physical disability. I have gained substantial experience in neurology, both within the NHS and independent practice. I also have obtained sound knowledge of other areas of medicine such as orthopaedics and trauma, elderly medicine and rheumatology and how these conditions impact on a person’s function.
I have developed expertise in providing occupational therapy to highly complex clients with a variety of neurological illnesses or injuries including stroke and brain injury, incomplete spinal cord injury, as well as progressive neurological conditions. These people often have other conditions and injuries which also contribute to their reduced function. I also have expertise in occupational therapy intervention with clients who have orthopaedic and trauma conditions including multiple fractures as well as hand and upper limb rehabilitation. I have significant experience of assessing clients within the home or work environment for rehabilitation, equipment, adaptations and care.
I currently work in independent practice, where I work with clients with neurological and orthopaedic impairments by supporting them to meet their treatment goals and helping them maximise their independence. I achieve this by utilising functional, cognitive, normal movement, psychological and compensatory approaches in my intervention. I also work closely with case managers, support workers, carers and family to maximise outcomes within my role.
I am enthusiastic in ensuring my knowledge is up to date and I am able to provide high quality, evidence-based services for my clients by completing regular post-graduate training. This has included an MSc in Professional Development from the University of Salford in 2013, which I focused on evidence based neurological and vocational rehabilitation interventions.
In addition, I undertake medico-legal assignments through Somek and Associates where I accept instructions from both Claimant and Defendant Solicitors and Insurers, to prepare Care and Occupational Therapy reports. I have undergone training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses. My medical legal casework has included Claimants with complex neurological, physical or psychological difficulties, frequently with complex pre-existing conditions. I have provided oral evidence in court.