Location: West Sussex
Coverage: Southern England
Penny qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1999 and, following a short rotational post in mental health services, has several years’ experience working with adults in Social Services. In this role, she developed extensive experience and expertise in the provision of equipment and adaptations for adults with neurological and various other conditions affecting their ability to live independently. In addition, Penny is experienced in working with children with an acquired brain injury, including Cerebral Palsy and traumatic brain injury. As a Case Manager, Penny draws upon her wealth of knowledge in wide ranging situations to precisely identify the needs of an individual and provide the best framework to maximise their rehabilitation. She works with adults and children with brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, complex orthopaedic injuries and those experiencing psychological changes.
Whilst working in Social Services, Penny provided assessments, advice and services advocating not just for the needs of the individual but also listening to and supporting their families in their home environment and whilst working within a care management framework. Penny played a core role undertaking comprehensive needs-led assessments, with the aim of facilitating the maximum independence and well-being of her clients. She managed a complex and demanding caseload, including cases of high severity that required major adaptations and high intensity input. Penny lead and orchestrated many multi-disciplinary teams and contributed to the development of detailed and complex care plans. This also involved the reviewing and monitoring of services so that the on-going support of clients and their families was maintained to the highest standard. Penny also worked alongside the Community Equipment Service, in the provision of equipment and minor adaptations, and with Housing Authorities to ensure the provision of appropriate housing and adaptations. This was often within the Disabled Facilities Grant process. She was also involved in the support and clinical supervision of support staff and the organisation of Occupational Therapy (OT) student placements. During her time with Social Services, Penny honed her ability to effectively organise and manage large diverse teams, ensuring she achieved the best output from each team member to the maximum benefit of the individual and their family.
An excellent communicator with a hunger to share her knowledge, Penny has published an academic paper in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy on the OT philosophy. She also presented this at an Occupational Science Conference, the 24th College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference and at a Diversity and Inclusion Conference for Occupational Therapists working with People with Learning Disabilities. In 2004, she commenced further OT studies at The University of Brighton, to consolidate and enhance her practice. Penny also acted as a mentor to Occupational Therapy support staff through their OT training. In 2008, Penny took a break from her OT career to support her son who experienced brain damage at birth. He is now 8 years old and is diagnosed with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, Cerebral Visual Disorder, sensory issues and a Seizure Disorder. For the past 8 years, whilst not practicing formally as an Occupational Therapist, Penny has been immersed in the provision of therapy and interventions for her son. Effectively acting as his Case Manager, she has liaised with various professionals in Health, Social Care and Education, organising the provision of equipment and major adaptations and setting-up additional care provision at home and in the community. Penny’s personal experiences give her an understanding and perspective of all the considerations regarding the needs and support of both the individual, their family and friends.
In 2011, Penny worked as a volunteer and team member supporting parents with pre-school children with Cerebral Palsy, using Conductive Education.
Penny has a unique perspective and experience to offer. Not only does she have exceptional professional knowledge, she also has a genuine understanding of how it feels to be a parent of a child with a disability and in receipt of health and social care services, with all the challenges and frustrations that come with this. She understands how difficult it can be to accept the changes needed when a client or a member of their family, is diagnosed with a condition that changes their world. These experiences enable her to be even more effective as a therapist and Case Manager.
Penny is passionate about providing a holistic and client-centred assessment and enabling people to maximise their potential, whatever that potential might be. She feels strongly about advocacy and ensuring that a person can access what they need to be their best, and sees this as an essential part of her role with NeuroHealth Case Management Services