Catherine McLaughlin is an occupational therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council with over 28 years clinical and managerial expertise in the areas of complex injuries and conditions, and service delivery and improvement. She completed a Masters degree in Health Science in 1994 and her research dissertation focused on the differences between occupational therapists and physiotherapists and what activities they utilised in the area of neurological rehabilitation.
After graduating in Ireland, Catherine came to the UK in 1987 working in stroke and acute rehabilitation settings until 1989 when she moved to work in the Middle East. Her work there was with adult stroke and head injury rehabilitation clients including those in a vegetative state or with people with severe physical disability. Catherine also provided services to the paediatric wards for children with neurological deficits and congenital abnormalities. During that time Catherine undertook training in Conductive Education, travelling to Hungary to train at the Moira Institute, a sister organisation of the Peto Institute.
On returning to the UK in 1992 Catherine worked at the Devonshire Hospital whilst completing her Masters degree. Her client group consisted of adults and children in the area of stroke and brain injury rehabilitation, long-term neurological conditions, spinal cord injury, complex orthopaedic injuries, and oncology. Catherine continued to work in the private sector in London at the Devonshire Hospital until 1999 when she became Therapy Services Manager at the Wellington Hospital. During that time Catherine developed children’s services and an outreach concept between hospitals within the HCA group (the Harley Street Clinic, Lister Hospital, London Bridge Hospital, Portland Hospital and Princess Grace Hospital). Catherine returned to hands on clinical work in 2003, as Head of Occupational Therapy at the Wellington Hospital. Through her career she has gained valuable skills and knowledge in the management of physical and cognitive impairments, as well as extensive experience in staff and service development and management. Catherine has lectured at national level on the management of progressive neurological conditions.
Catherine has developed a special interest in the area of brain injury as a result of her varied work. Her various roles have always included a clinical component providing complex assessments and accurate prediction of rehabilitation needs for ongoing care. In addition, Catherine gained experience of co-ordinating rehabilitation and discharge to appropriate community settings, as well as complex seating assessment skills. Catherine has been involved in providing training for carers and families.
Catherine has also worked in the area of complex discharge planning and rehabilitation for orthopaedic (including amputation), oncology and pain management caseloads. She has experience in manual handling training as well as ergonomic workplace assessments. Catherine currently provides a consultancy service to a brain injury charity based in Ireland and she had until recently continued to practice clinically within a community setting. Clinically, Catherine is updating her paediatric experience with a view to providing skilled therapy interventions in this area within the next year.
Catherine is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), and the Case Management Society of the UK (CMSUK). For Harrison Associates Catherine currently undertakes case management and therapy for clients with complex needs in the United Kingdom and Ireland.