My interest in brain injury began in 1998 when as a nurse in a community Neurorehabilitation team, I worked with a Consultant Psychologist to develop a community brain injury service, and created a Brain Injury Case Manager role within the NHS, a unique role covering the whole of East Kent. Within that role I was responsible for assessing people in hospital for Neurorehabilitation services, monitoring them after discharge into the community, and supporting both client and their family long term to understand the effects of brain injury. Being part of the Psychology team I was able to see clients attend appointments in a clinical setting, as well as see them function in the community, the difference in function being significantly decreased when faced with the demands and distractions of day to day life. My role included liaising with Health professionals and Social Services ensuring client’s needs were met, and when appropriate securing funding for out of area placement if local services could not meet those needs.
I joined Head First in 2009, and have continued in the role of advocate for clients to ensure they have access to quality services and care provision, enabling them to reach their full potential. Using my background experience I am able to build and maintain positive relationships with clients and their families, as well as communicate effectively with other professionals/therapists/support workers. I readily face the challenges of obtaining statutory services involvement if and when required. As a consequence of my close links in the past with Psychology services, I have a particular interest in working with clients who have executive impairment with reduced levels of insight, supporting both client and their families/professionals/wider services to understand the client’s needs.