I am pleased to introduce 2 new associates, who joined me in mid-2016 and will be able to support the increased demands for occupational therapy services in the north of England.

Sally O’Connell and Nicola Johnson are both very skilled and experienced occupational therapists, both of whom I have worked with in different capacities in the past. I have great respect for them both and am excited about working with them going forward.

Sally OConnell

Sally is an occupational therapist with 15 years’ experience working in neurology. She is highly skilled in completing detailed assessments with clients using a variety of approaches, aiming to optimise function in meaningful activities and promote quality of life. She is a highly motivated, confident individual with exceptional multi-tasking and organisational skills, as well as having creative problem-solving skills. She is able to communicate effectively and sensitively with clients and carers, and demonstrate the ability to work closely with other health and social care professionals to assess a client’s needs and devise suitable goal-orientated interventions.

In her career to date, she has been responsible for managing and leading clinical teams, as well as managing her own complex clinical case-load of inpatients and outpatients, providing a high standard of occupational therapy service to clients in hospital, community and domiciliary environments. She evaluates, plans and delivers goal-orientated treatment plans in response to complex needs, and works closely with family and carers accordingly. She has experience of ward rounds, multi-disciplinary meetings and case conferences cross agency and cross sector, and has extensive experience of supervising and teaching other clinicians, therapy assistants and students.

She is highly specialist in devising and implementing behavioural management plans, cognitive and physical assessment and rehabilitation, including vocational rehabilitation. She has extensive experience of seating and positioning, standardised assessments, assistive technology and other specialist equipment. She also contributes to ongoing clinical research studies and has been the clinical lead for the Motor Neurone Disease team as well as for neurological splinting.


Nicola Johnson

Nicola is an experienced Occupational Therapist who qualified in 2004, and has extensive and varied experience covering all aspects of adult physical health services from working in acute, rehabilitation and medico-legal settings.

She has recently left the NHS, where she was contracted as a specialist Occupational Therapist working for a large social housing provider. Her clinical role involved completing full functional assessments of tenants in their own homes, detailing recommendations for adaptations to meet immediate and future needs and preparing reports detailing recommendations regarding future housing needs to be heard at a Panel. She has experience of chairing and sitting on the Panel and making key decisions in relation to a client’s needs.

Since 2013 she has complemented her clinical work by undertaking medico-legal work with Jacqueline Webb & Co. She is skilled in carrying out thorough assessments and preparing in depth reports detailing a client’s needs, and has been complimented for her writing style having built up experience in producing clear and easy-to-read reports. She enjoys the challenge and variety of this role and it has enabled her to gain a valuable insight into independent practice.

She has worked as the co-ordinator for a multi-disciplinary Motor Neurone Disease Service, in which she relied upon the ability to quickly and accurately predict future care needs through on-going timely assessment, sourcing of equipment and adaptations, and securing of funding. She formed close links with social workers and care agencies, making recommendations on the level of care required to address deteriorating needs. She regularly attended case conferences to discuss complex cases.

In addition to this role, she carried out in-depth cognitive assessment and cognitive rehabilitation for patients with brain injury. Her role involved implementing individual treatment programmes based on assessed need, supporting clients with brain injuries in returning to employment and developing strategies to manage within a workplace environment.

She sat on, and later chaired, the OT education committee, the purpose of which was to ensure a structured in-service training programme was in place encouraging best practice and quality across the OT service. She has extensive experience in supervision, induction and training of junior colleagues.