Alex Penfold on Youth Mental Health Day 2023: Insights from a Mental Health Nurse and...
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BSc Physiotherapy, BA Social Psychology
I qualified as a physiotherapist in 2009 from King's College London. After completing my junior rotations at the Whittington Hospital, I took a rehabilitation post at St George's Hospital with a view to developing my skills working with amputees.
I have worked with an amputee client group since 2013 and in my current post since 2015; as lead physiotherapist in a community hospital under one of London’s largest NHS Trusts. I carry a caseload of adult amputees from across London and the South-East but am also responsible for ensuring our whole team delivers an excellent standard of care. I treat lower limb amputees as well as those with multi-limb loss, with the cause of amputation ranging from vascular to trauma to orthopaedic.
For every client I complete a detailed assessment of their needs, set goals that are personal to them and plan and deliver a tailored and functional treatment programme. This is the case whether a client is to be a prosthetic user or not.
I deliver rehabilitation from the sub-acute stage through to prosthetic provision, including global strength and conditioning, gait re-education, treatment of phantom limb pain, wound management and care of the contralateral limb. I also work closely with our prosthetic team to determine suitable prosthetic prescription. Once a client is ready to leave our in-patient setting, it is my role to ensure they have appropriate, on-going support in the community and access to services that will enhance their quality of life.
Prior to training as a physiotherapist, I completed a degree in social psychology. The skills I learnt here, alongside my clinical experience, allow me to communicate sensitively and effectively with all of my varied caseload and enable me to build positive relationships with clients, their families and care agencies.
I am an active member of the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR).
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.