The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2011 from Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Since graduation I have worked within local authorities providing assessments for adults with varying physical and mental health needs. I have also trained home care workers in the re-ablement care approach. In 2017, I moved into the field of stroke rehabilitation within the NHS.
My interest in neurology led me into Case Management in 2019, where I continue to support those who have had traumatic brain and spinal injuries, as well as those with multi trauma. I have experience supporting clients with upper and lower spinal injuries including Cauda Equina Syndrome and Brachial Plexus injuries. I also have experience in managing rehabilitation for clients with brain injury for several years post injury. I carry out complex initial needs assessments and provide high quality mid treatment reports to both claimant and defendant solicitors and insurers. I work with clients throughout their rehabilitation journey until claim settlement.
In addition to my case management role, I also work privately as an Occupational Therapist offering detailed assessments of daily living activities and follow up treatment for clients who have varying physical and mental health conditions. I have extensive experience practising holistic assessments and client centred interventions. I have developed effective working relationships with statutory and private healthcare and rehabilitation services across the country.
Having worked in community settings with client’s who have experienced a stroke, this can result in visual impairments such as a reduced visual field in one or both eyes and some with complete visual loss, others may have experience of double vision or reduced visual acuity as a result of brain injury. I also have experience of assessing client’s who visual perceptive difficulties.
I have experience of assessing the level of the visual field deficit, and how this impacts on a person’s participation in daily activities, whilst considering if rehabilitation may be appropriate or a compensatory approach is more appropriate.
I have worked with multiple client’s who have both glaucoma and cataracts coupled with other physical limitations, and the impact of vision in both cases is very similar in that the field of vision has a detriment to function. I have experience in visual field assessment / confrontation testing.
I am a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, the Health and Care Professions Council, Case Management Society UK and the British Association of Brain Injury and Complex Case managers.
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.