Alex Penfold on Youth Mental Health Day 2023: Insights from a Mental Health Nurse and...
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I qualified as an occupational therapist in 1982 and since then I have worked continuously as an occupational therapist in the fields of learning and physical disabilities, primarily with children.
After working as a newly qualified occupational therapist in both the NHS and Social Services, in 1985 I moved to Cairo, Egypt where I remained working until 2002. Whilst abroad I worked in diverse environments and on various projects all related to children with disabilities.
I have varied occupational therapy work experience including working with children in their homes, at rehabilitation clinics, in hospitals and within educational environments. My caseload typically includes children and young adults aged 5-24 years with complex and challenging disabilities, including autistic spectrum disorder, acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, various syndromes and endocrine disorders.
Since 2003 I have combined working as an occupational therapist with case management.
As a case manager I work primarily with children aged up to age 19 with severe and long-term disabilities. My work involves assessing the overall needs of clients and their families and helping to plan their future lifestyle. Recruitment of other professionals, such as physiotherapists and speech and language therapists is often required.
Having worked as a case manager with children and young people with complex needs for over twenty years, I have extensive experience of recruiting carers and managing care teams of varying sizes and complexity. As an occupational therapist I have experience of working with and training care teams in Children’s Homes, special educational needs residential schools and colleges.
I undertook expert witness work with Maggie Sargent and Associates from November 2012. From February 2015 I have worked as an expert witness with Somek and Associates and since then I only accept cases for Somek and Associates. As an expert witness with Somek and Associates, I provide reports on the occupational therapy and/or care needs of children and young adults with complex needs.
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.