My first degree is BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Health Sciences after which I wanted to gain work experience in a health setting, starting work as a health care assistant for infectious diseases at Oxford Radcliffe Hospital. Originally I was planning an MSc in Health Promotion however whilst working on the wards, I met my first Occupational Therapist. This inspired me to change my plans but not before taking some time to travel around Australia.
I completed my PG Diploma in Occupational Therapy at the University of Brighton in 2001 and from there worked as a Basic Grade OT on a 6 month mixed rotation (orthopedics, acute mental health, community physical rehab, and community mental health day centre) for just over 2 years. I then went to work in Auckland, New Zealand in stroke rehabilitation combined with more travel (North and South Island, NZ; Malaysia, Borneo and Thailand)! Returning to Leeds, I initially worked as a Locum OT on acute physical health wards before starting with Leeds Mental Health Trust as rotational Band 5 OT starting on female acute wards, moving to recovery from psychosis team and finally to Community Mental Health Team.
I then saw a post of great interest at Bradford District Care Foundation Trust as mental health practitioner for the Homeless and New Arrivals (asylum and refugee) team where I worked for over 7 years before a Band 7 secondment with the Primary Care Wellbeing Team (PCWBS) working as part of the psychologically led multidisciplinary team for people experiencing long term health conditions, persistent physical symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/M.E and more recently Long Covid. I still work with the PCWBS team but more recently have joined the Faculty of Health at University of Bradford as an OT lecturer.
I also carry out sessional work as an OT assessor for the charity Canine Partners, looking at a person's health, function and environment in terms of what they would require from an assistant dog and suitability.
ResearchI am very new to research but am very much looking forward to developing this aspect. Currently I am interested in impact of long term conditions and persistent physical symptoms, such as chronic fatigue syndrome/ME and functional neurological disorder and patient experience of health services. I also have a strong interest in sensory regulation for wellbeing across all ages, in addition to homelessness and asylum process and survivor network in terms of trauma.
I have a strong interest in all aspects of occupational therapy and impact that health and deprivation can have on a person's quality of life and engagement in their values and areas that are important to them. I have a particular interest in sensory regulation for wellbeing, long term conditions and persistent physical symptoms, multi-disciplinary working and whole systems approach, homelessness and asylum, survivor networks and patient experience in the health system.