Alexandra Henson PGDip BA MSc

alexandra-henson2Alex qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2003, completing her postgraduate qualification at City University, London. She achieved a masters with merit in Human Communication in 2006, focusing on quality of life measurement for adults with aphasia. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, and is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

Alex has specialised in working with adults with acquired neurological injury throughout her career; initially working in acute general medical and neurological wards at the Whittington Hospital in North London. She progressed to working at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in Putney in 2004, where she gained skills and experience working with those with severe and complex neuro-disability. Alex worked with individuals with prolonged disorders of consciousness (minimally conscious and persistent vegetative states); with people with behavioural difficulties secondary to brain injury; with those transitioning towards living in the community after extended periods in hospital; and with people in long-term care including those with Huntingdon’s Disease and multiple sclerosis. Alex also worked as the speech therapist within the Compass Assistive Technology Team which creates personalised solutions for those with communication, mobility and everyday activity needs.

Alex has clinical experience of working with people with communication and swallowing needs caused by acquired neurological diagnoses, including tracheostomies. She is independently competent in using videofluoroscopy and fibre-optic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and a range of standardized communication assessments.

In 2010, Alex moved to working as the senior specialist speech therapist at Blackheath Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre, a tertiary specialist service run by Huntercombe. Blackheath works with adults with severe acquired neurological injury. The unit specialises in neurorehabilitation for those with complex physical, communication and behavioural difficulties, including people who may require section under the Mental Health Act. In 2011 she became the Lead Speech and Language Therapist. She has completed and presented research into the effect of communication disability on accessing legal rights for those under the Mental Health Act, and has presented this at a national level to speech therapists and legal experts. In 2016, she became the Team Lead to a multidisciplinary community neurorehabilitation team in Hammersmith and Fulham in West London. In this role, she also worked clinically with individuals with chronic communication and swallowing change from stroke, traumatic brain injury and other acquired neurological diagnoses. In 2018, she became the SLT Joint Professional Lead at Homerton Hospital in East London, leading the SLT team on the specialist Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, and managing SLTs in the three community teams in the trust.

Alex enjoys training others, and has contributed to training SLTs at Canterbury & Christ Church University and in assessing students in their clinical vivas at University College Hospital. She annually lectures training clinical psychologists at Goldsmiths University on working with aphasia and also training speech and language therapists at City University London. Alex is a member of the British Society of Aphasiologists, and the speech and language therapy clinical excellence networks for head injury and acquired neurology. She maintains professional development requirements through clinical governance and regular training, actively seeking evidence based practice for her clients and with her colleagues. Alex joined Harrison Associates as an expert witness, using her clinical experience and knowledge to identify and cost speech therapy and equipment requirements for adults with neurological injury in reports for the Court. She is fully trained in the revised Civil Procedure Rules.