Jenny Atkinson qualified as a state registered occupational therapist in 1987. She has worked in the National Health Service in the areas of orthopaedics, general medicine and surgery, mental health, pain management, oncology, paediatrics (including children and adolescents with brain injury) and more specifically rehabilitation in the inpatient and community setting.
Jenny has specialised in community neurological rehabilitation but has also worked with patients in persistent vegetative state using the original SMART assessment which has subsequently become validated. Her experience also extends to stroke rehabilitation for the elderly as well as working with patients with orthopaedic and amputation injuries.
In 1993, Jenny joined the Regional Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Outreach Team, London, as a Senior Occupational Therapist, during the Department of Health five year Brain Injury research project, and continued until 2002. Whilst working for the team, she was responsible for managing clients with acquired brain injury, often with complex needs. Her work involved carrying out interdisciplinary and uni-disciplinary assessments with clients as well as implementing tailor-made treatment programmes. The team used the Contractually Organised Goal Setting System (COGS) which, following discussion with the both client and the carers, entailed the drawing up of rehabilitation goals into a contract for a time limited period. She has had experience of work rehabilitation in the field of voluntary and paid employment, comprising liaison with employers, on-site assessments and setting up work trial contracts.
Jenny is a member of the National Association of Neurological Occupational Therapists (NANOT) and has played an active role on the committee in the past as well as presenting a paper ‘Community Working with Clients with Acquired Brain Injury’. She has presented a paper at the College of Occupational Therapy Annual Conference on the use of memory strategies and more recently presented a paper on the treatment of clients with complex needs in brain injury at the Clinical Practitioners Day at Homerton Hospital.
As an employed case manager, Jenny undertook immediate needs assessments, medico-legal reports and acted as a case manager for clients with complex needs, mainly with acquired brain injury but also spinal injury and also life changing orthopaedic, amputation and musculo-skeletal conditions. In addition, she attended meetings and in-service training and also contributed to the compiling of risk management documents and other Harrison Associates protocols.
Jenny became an independent practitioner in 2008 and currently undertakes private therapy, conducts immediate needs assessments, and acts as a case manager. She attends the regular Harrison Associates Training Days and her commitment to continuing professional development also includes regular attendance at national conferences, NANOT and other relevant specialist courses. She is an associate member of BABICM and a member of the Case Management Society of the UK. Jenny has completed the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) 5-day course and has regularly undertaken supervision of occupational therapy students.