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Sunday, 16 December 2018

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What does an Occupational Therapist do?

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Sample Image Occupational Therapist working with Children and Adults

Carolyn Lovell qualified as an occupational therapist in 1989, graduating from the Welsh School of Occupational Therapy, Cardiff. She worked within statutory services for 19 years before founding Quality Independence and starting work as an independent practitioner.

Carolyn now specialises in:

§ Treatment and intervention for individuals who have physical difficulties, including adults and children with highly complex needs. This includes working with children with cerebral palsy using neuro-developmental treatment techniques, and with individuals of all ages who have experienced head injury or onset of a chronic medical condition.

§ Assessment and Provision of Occupational Therapy treatment for children or adults with Dyspraxia, or other physical developmental coordination disorders - including the provision of written reports that can be used within the EHCP process.

§ Provision of advice on home adaptations to enable more independent or accessible living at home. Carolyn is frequently involved in the entire home adaptation process including identifying a suitable property to purchase (if a move is necessary) and working with architects, local authorities, and builders to ensure that the adaptations and installed equipment are appropriate for long term use as well as being homely. She also currently works with Harlow Housing services and the Harlow Decent Home's team providing adaptation design advice for council tenants.

§ Seating and wheelchair assessments. Carolyn is able to assess an individual's postural or seating needs and then provide advice on the most appropriate static supportive seating (including cushions), manual or powered wheelchairs and buggies (for children with special needs). She has extensive knowledge of seating and postural support systems, and a particular interest in enabling individuals to learn how to safely drive their own powered wheelchairs using adapted controls.

§ Assessment for all types of equipment that either enhance an individual's independence or enable the provision of good care.

§ Provision of Manual Handling Assessments, plans and training for families and their care team.


Carolyn lives in Waltham Forest and married with 3 children. She is an active church member, and enjoys gardening, sailing, cooking and walking for relaxation.

"I hope all is well and you remember me.  I am P's mum. You worked with him 5-6 years ago and helped to unlock his potential and transform him.  I am eternally grateful.  He is doing very well - top of the class and making a bit more progress socially."  Mother of a child with DCD - June 2018


Sample Image Children's Occupational Therapist

Aaron Preston qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2005, graduating from the University of Coventry in the United Kingdom. Aaron has 10 years’ experience working in paediatrics and until July 2016 was working for a specialist children’s service in Essex as an Advanced Specialist Children’s OT.

Aaron spent 7 years at this service and during that time was able to develop a wide range of clinical skills. He was able to help set up a communication and assistive technology service alongside a Speech Therapy colleague. This included two successful NHS innovation grant awards and enabled families of children with disabilities to borrow and trial various items of assistive technology.

Aaron is constantly seeking new ways to develop his clinical skills and has completed advanced post graduate training in Bobath, advanced Bobath for early intervention, Kinesiotaping, sensory integration module one, chailey postural management, 2 x MSc modules in advanced children’s OT, CIMT(constraint induced movement therapy) and moving and handling: train the trainer

Aaron has a particular interest in Neurological impairment and complex needs and uses current best practice guidelines to help improve the functional capacity of the young people he sees. This includes things such as task training and electrical stimulation to aid upper limb function. Aaron is able to offer the following:

· Treatment of children with Complex needs such as acquired brain injury, cerebral palsy, progressive neuromuscular conditions, developmental difficulties and children/young adults with multiple conditions affecting function

· Kinesiotaping: Aaron uses this alongside other treatment methods when working with young people.

· Assessment of Dynamic Elastomeric Movement Orthosis (DEFO or lycra garments).

· Assessment and treatment programs using SES and FES devices. These can be used for spasticity management, acute injury recovery and long term functional skill development.

· Early intervention: Assessment and treatment of children under 2

· Postural management: Assessment for static seating, special needs mobility equipment and sleep systems. Aaron has particular experience in supporting individuals with complex postural difficulties.

· Assessment for specialist equipment to aid independence

· Assessment and support with technology to improve independent participation for young people. This can include switch use, specialist computers and environmental controls

· Assessment and provision of Occupational Therapy intervention for children with handwriting and coordination difficulties

· Moving and handling: Aaron is a qualified moving and handing advisor and can offer assessment for individual clients and advice/training to carers and teachers inclusive of moving and handling plans.

Aaron lives in Bocking, Essex and is married with a 2 year old daughter. He is a keen fitness enthusiast and enjoys competing in Crossfit and fitness competitions, Aaron is also a qualified Crossfit coach and in his spare time coaches in his local box.


Sample Image Children's Occupational Therapist

Stef has been working for Quality Independence Ltd since 2015. She has a specialist interest in neurological disorders and mental health. Stef has experience working with children who have a range of diagnoses and difficulties including: Cerebral Palsy, Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autistic spectrum disorders, Attention Deficit Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders and developmental delays. During the past two years Stef has been also piloting and establishing an Occupational Therapy Service within a Specialist GP Practice for adults with complex needs and long term health conditions.

Stef now practices primarily as a paediatric Occupational Therapist and enjoys assessing and treating children who present with:

  • Dyspraxia and Developmental Coordination Disorder

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Sensory Processing disorders (Sensory seeking or sensory avoidance)

  • Splinting needs

  • School based difficulties including handwriting (hand skills, formation, speed, legibility and neatness)

  • Self-care difficulties such as washing and dressing

  • Every day home-based activities such as climbing stairs, using cutlery.

Stef has completed training in Safe Moving and Handling practices, Splinting techniques, Introduction to Bobath and Sensory Integration (Level 1).

Stef is also able to work with adults who have difficulties with daily activities, providing rehabilitative treatment or advice on equipment and adaptations to increase activity and enable people to live as independently as they can.

Stef lives in Loughton and goes to a lively local church. She enjoys cycling, walking and being outdoors, as well as reading, and eating chocolate.


Sample Image

Junior Children's Occupational Therapist

Becca is a children’s Occupational Therapist who has been working for Quality Independence since 2017. She has a special interest in working with children with neurodevelopmental conditions and enjoys enabling children and young people to become more independent through completion of therapeutic activities and treatments. Becca has experience working with children who have a range of diagnoses and difficulties including: Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Autistic spectrum disorders, Attention Deficit Disorders and developmental delays.

Becca enjoys enabling children to participate in and meet their potential in;

  • School based activities such as personal organisation, attending in class and handwriting (letter formation, speed, legibility and neatness);
  • Every day home-based and self-care activities such as getting dressed independently and using cutlery;
  • Play and leisure activities such as riding a bike and using switch toys


Becca has previous experience working as a playworker for children who have disabilities at Elhap (a magical adventure playground for disabled children) and continues to volunteer at Breathe Magic which teaches therapeutic exercises in the form of magic tricks for children and young people with hemiplegia.


Becca has completed training in:

  • Safe Moving and Handling practices
  • Introduction to occupational therapy for children and young people (5 day course) (2015)
  • Introduction to Bobath (2018)
  • Introduction to MAES Therapy (2017)
  • Makaton for professional’s foundation workshop (modules 1-4) (2016)
  • The Cognitive Orientation to Daily Occupational Performance (CO-OP) approach (2017/18)
  • She will be completing Sensory Integration (level 1) in June 2018


Becca lives in South Woodford with her husband. She is an active church member and enjoys spending time with friends and family, being outside, swimming, cycling, running and being creative.


"​You have been brilliant! Thanks again and thanks for being there this afternoon. You have definitely made a huge difference to the practice at this school" - Senco June 2018


Sample Image Senior Children's Occupational Therapist - Oxford Area

Ruth is an Independent Occupational Therapist who is working alongside Quality Independence. She is based in the Oxford Area and is able to provide direct treatment for children.


Further information and her profile will be posted here shortly - April 2018


Sample Image Occupational Therapist specialising in Rehabilitation for Adults

Caroline Kingswood is a Senior Occupational Therapist working with adults and elderly people in their own homes. Caroline qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1986, going on to complete a further Occupational Therapy degree in 1993.

Caroline has extensive experience working in a variety of health and social care settings including acute inpatient care, rehabilitation for both inpatients and in the community, as well as working in General Practice. Most recently Caroline has provided Occupational Therapy to a two year pilot project with Health 1000, a specialist GP Service for a discrete group of patients with long term conditions.

Now working for Quality Independence Ltd, Caroline can provide:

· Assessment and treatment for individuals who have physical difficulties, including adults needing rehabilitation at home following injury, an operation, a fall or the onset of a long term neurological condition (including Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Arthritis, Dementia, ME etc)

· Strategies and techniques to enable individuals to recover their loss of independence and develop their skills. This includes working with people with wide ranging difficulties including those with acute, complex and degenerative conditions.

· Assessment and advice for assistive equipment and adaptations to enable access and independence at home, such as grab rails, ramps, bathing equipment and accessible shower facilities.

· Moving and handling assessments and equipment recommendations to safely move people. Caroline is a qualified moving and handling adviser. She can provide training and support for carers and family members on the use of equipment, ensuring they are using it safely.

· Specialist static seating assessments and recommendations to enable individuals to be able to sit with appropriate support and pressure relief.

Caroline offers a client centred service and aims to work collaboratively with clients. She liaises closely with the wider support network of her clients, including families, carers and other professionals as required.

Caroline maintains her skills through attending conferences and study days.

Recent training undertaken: ‘Moving and Handling Train the Trainer’ course and she is a member of National Back Exchange; ‘End of Life Care Pathway’; Bathroom Design; and Bereavement Counselling.


Caroline lives in Redbridge. She is married with 2 children. Her interests include being involved in our local church community, supporting her children’s schools PTAs and singing in her local Rock Choir.


Sample Image Occupational Therapy Assistant (for Adults and Children)

Ann has worked with Quality Independence since 2011. She is able to support adults and children in implementing and practicing the treatment that one of the occupational therapists has advised. She will work with you or your child to achieve the goals set.

Ann also assesses individuals for minor adaptations and equipment (bathing equipment, rails, daily living aids) including designing bathroom adaptations i.e. the installation of a wet room shower in place of your bath.


Ann has more than 15 years experience as an occupational therapy assistant and specialises in:

  • Supporting children in their skill development - particularly in fine and gross motor, coordination, bilateral skills, independence skills and school activities
  • Supporting adults in the prevention of falls, Community access, stress management, fatigue management, stroke management, organization skills, and mobility practice.
  • Providing advice on Techniques for coping with conditions such as Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Disease and Motor Neurone Disease
  • Planning and assessing intervention to maximize individual independence.
  • Demonstrating and teaching techniques to achieve individual goals and greater independence.


Sample Image Team Administrator

Claudette is the team administrator and will usually answer the telephone if you call the office She has worked at Quality Independence for 9 years and supports the occupational therapy team in any way possible.

Claudette will contact you to arrange your appointments and will send you your final reports and invoices.



Sample Image Children's Occupational Therapist - on Maternity Leave until January 2019

Lizelle no longer works for Quality Independence Ltd, but she continues to work as an independent Occupational Therapist based in Stansted, Essex. We will be very happy to pass your contact details to Lizelle if you would like her to see your child.

Lizelle specialises in the assessment and treatment of children with:

ü Handwriting difficulties: Legibility, neatness, pressure, speed, letter formation & grasp

ü Hand skills and coordination difficulties

ü DCD and Dyspraxia

ü Sensory Processing disorder (SPD): Sensory Over-responsivity, Under-responsivity & seeking

ü Autism & SPD

ü Physical Impairment & Postural Management

ü Self care difficulties

ü Developmental delays

ü Variety of different diagnosis and syndromes – affecting the child & family’s daily life

She also has experience in:

ü Assessment & treatment of children with a variety of diagnosis and difficulties including Autistic spectrum disorders, learning difficulties and Down syndrome, neurological conditions (Cerebral Palsy), Arthrogryposis, Developmental Coordination Disorder and Dyspraxia, Attention Deficit (Hyperactive) Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders and general developmental delays

ü Provision & monitoring of Sensory profiles & sensory boxes to be used in classroom settings or at home

ü Provision & monitoring of upper limb hypertonicity programs

ü Setting up a splinting clinic – making, providing & fitting hand splints for children

ü Posture management & providing specialist seating, both simple & complex, for children with physical disabilities or postural difficulties

ü Assessment & writing reports for Statutory Assessments (Statements)

ü Developing the ‘What Teachers Want to Know to help their students achieve: Educational Pack’ book for Newham PCT.

ü Providing training for schools on various subjects e.g.

  • How to support children with hand skill and handwriting difficulties
  • How to support children with DCD/Dyspraxia and coordination difficulties
  • How to support children with Sensory Processing difficulties






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