The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy
I qualified from Nottingham University in 2004 and specialised in the field of musculoskeletal physiotherapy. I have wide ranging expertise in the musculoskeletal field, within hip, knee and shoulder cases, and my main area of specialism is with regard to spinal cases. I have worked in both the NHS and private healthcare settings.
I worked as a Spinal Physiotherapy Specialist in Neurosurgery, from which I gained extensive experience assessing people with complex spinal presentations who had been referred from GP or musculoskeletal triage services, including those with symptoms consistent with cauda equina syndrome or myelopathy. The role included advanced assessment, liaising closely with other disciplines such as neuroradiologists and neurosurgeons, listing for spinal surgery and presenting in neurosurgery clinics and multidisciplinary meetings.
I currently work as an Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioner (APP). I see people with complex musculoskeletal presentations who have been referred from physiotherapists or GPs, and diagnose a wide range of conditions through expert assessment skills and use of diagnostic tools including blood tests, MRI scans, X-ray and ultrasound scans. I work closely with GPs and consultants in several specialisms including orthopaedics, rheumatology, and pain services.
A large proportion of my current role is supervising specialist physiotherapists based in GP surgeries. I determine whether their standards of care are in line with good practice and national and local guidance, through regular work-place based assessments and reviews of their documentation. I also ensure that clinical practice is within the scope of their role.
I completed a Master’s degree in Advanced Manipulative Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham in 2013. I went on to become a member of the MACP, a membership organisation of physiotherapists who have reached a recognised standard of excellence in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. From a research perspective, I received the MACP Student Research Award 2014 for a systematic review in injury prevention which went on to be published.
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.