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Catherine Willson DipRCOT MA PhD

Expert Witness

Catherine Willson is an occupational therapist with over twenty five years of clinical experience with both adults and children. In 2013 Catherine was awarded a PhD by the Open University, for which her thesis researched the experiences of disabled mothers in Italy. She has presented her research to national and international audiences and has published her findings in the international peer reviewed journal Disability and Rehabilitation. Catherine achieved a Master of Arts Degree in Disability Studies (Merit Grade) in 2006, for which her research focused on disabled children and their families and her dissertation was published on the Leeds University Disability Archive UK.

Following qualification in 1992, Catherine worked as an occupational therapist at a community hospital in the field of adult rehabilitation and health care of the elderly. She then worked in paediatrics, initially based at a special school for children with physical impairments and later in a senior role within the community. Catherine has also held positions of deputy and acting head occupational therapist in the field of adult rehabilitation and of team leader for a community paediatric team.

In 2002 Catherine moved to a teaching role, lecturing on the occupational therapy course at the University of Derby. Catherine has taught on the undergraduate physiotherapy course at Nottingham University and helped develop an e-learning tool for the paediatric module which is now used in the NHS education of clinicians in England and Scotland. Catherine then moved from teaching into a management role and continued her involvement with disabled children, young people and their families in a strategic role for the local education authority.

Since 2002 Catherine has worked in the independent sector as a care and occupational therapy consultant, preparing reports for personal injury litigation cases that evaluate the special needs and requirements of a claimant’s disability. In 2002 she also began working as a case manager for both adult and paediatric clients throughout the UK and Eire. In her role as senior case manager, Catherine gained broad experience of collaborating with disabled individuals, in particular with disabled children and their families and with young adults.  Catherine has a great deal of experience of implementing complex packages of care and recruiting and providing support to privately employed care staff.

For Harrison Associates Catherine acts as an Expert Witness and Clinical Manager, preparing around 50 new reports a year for care and occupational therapy provision for clients with complex needs. Catherine has experience of evaluating the needs of both children and adults with cerebral palsy, Erb’s Palsy, sensory impairments, traumatic brain injury, orthopaedic injuries, amputations, and in preparing reports for wrongful birth and loss of services claims. She provides guidance and supervision for both new and experienced experts in the company.

She is a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council and a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and the Academy of Experts.

Catherine continues to attend regular mandatory and clinical training to maintain continued professional development and also regularly attends Harrison Associates Training Days. She is a committee member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy specialist section for those working in the field of medico legal practice.  She is fully trained in the revised Civil Procedure Rules.