The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, Full Member of Expert Witness Institute (MEWI)
I qualified as a physiotherapist from Coventry University in 2000, and I have specialised in the field of amputee rehabilitation since 2003. I am currently employed as the clinical lead physiotherapist for amputee rehabilitation at a large district general hospital. I carry a large clinical caseload, and I am responsible for the supervision of specialist physiotherapists and assistant practitioners in our team. My clinical caseload is varied, and includes the management of complex adult and elderly patients with acquired lower limb loss. I also have a small number of children with lower limb amputations on my list. Most of my patients have NHS prostheses, but I also treat patients in my locality who have been referred to private prosthetic providers. This has increased the repertoire of prosthetic components that I feel confident to work with.
Since 2013, I have led the physiotherapy service within the prosthetic limb-fitting clinics at our two hospitals, which involves managing the physiotherapy service for all outpatient amputees referred to our team. This includes the expert assessment of lower limb amputees, and the planning and delivery of highly specialist rehabilitation programmes for amputee patients at both the pre-prosthetic and the post-prosthetic stages of their rehabilitation, and the reassessment of established amputees as necessary.
I am an active member of the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR) and have previously held the posts of Membership Secretary and West Midlands Regional Representative. In 2017, I was one of the organisers and presenters at the BACPAR 2-day national conference and, in 2016, I organised and presented at the regional Introductory Study Day. More recently I have played a role in supporting the update of the BACPAR evidence-based “Clinical guidelines for the pre and post-operative physiotherapy management of adults with lower limb amputations (2016)” and the “Clinical guidelines for the physiotherapy management of adults with lower limb prostheses”.
In addition to my work in amputee rehabilitation, I have always maintained an interest in orthopaedic physiotherapy. This started when I completed my junior rotations in 2001. Thereafter, I continued to play an active role in the orthopaedic weekend rotas at two different NHS trusts, and I led the therapy team on a general rehabilitation ward from 2011 to 2013, and most of the patients on this ward had orthopaedic conditions such as fractures. I continue to encounter patients with orthopaedic conditions such as fractures, dislocations and soft tissue injuries on a regular basis as part of my role in amputee rehabilitation. This is because many of these patients have undergone lower limb amputation as a result of major trauma, and many will have other orthopaedic conditions that require physiotherapy treatment.
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 the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to Expert Witnesses.
October 1997 - July 2000: Coventry University, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
October 1989 - October 1993: Birmingham University, PHD Biochemistry
October 1985 - July 1989: York University, Bsc (Hons) Biochemistry