If you are experiencing difficulty in carrying out your everyday tasks such as employment or education, leisure activities or self-care tasks following an accident, or due to an illness then you could benefit from the services of an occupational therapist. Angela Birleson can provide highly specialised occupational therapy intervention for people who have an acquired brain injury, stroke or a long term neurological condition.
Dr Angela Birleson
An occupational therapist can help you to overcome the effects of disability by finding solutions to the problems or barriers that prevent you from doing the activities that are important to you.
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1989 and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the British Association of Occupational Therapists.
My career has mainly been in the field of neurosciences, in clinical practice, research and education. I have extensive experience in working with clients who have complex disabilities sustained through acquired brain injury, stroke and long-term neurological conditions.
I have a national reputation in the field of neurosciences. I have worked on guidelines for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and the College of Occupational Therapists and was a senate member of the Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Rehabilitation, NHS England. In 2015 I won the College of Occupational Therapist’s Innovation Award.
My continuing education has gained me a M.Sc. in Health Psychology, a Post Graduate Teaching qualification and, most recently the award of PhD. Clinical training has included assessment of cognitive and perceptual impairments and cognitive rehabilitation.
I have a particular interest in working with clients who have cognitive deficits following their brain injury or other neurological condition. I am skilled in identifying the ‘hidden’ deficits that can result from a brain injury or stroke, such as executive functioning difficulties. I can plan and implement rehabilitation programmes to remediate and compensate for these.
I have extensive experience of working with a range of health professionals in an interdisciplinary approach to achieve the best outcomes for clients and their families.
This will involve identifying specific tasks that are important to the individual and their family, assessing the individual’s ability in the performance of that task and planning intervention that will enable the individual to perform that task to the best of their ability. The intervention may involve teaching an alternative technique or compensatory strategy, or prescription of assistive equipment or home adaptation.
Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of many neurological conditions. Effective management of fatigue can ensure that the individual is not prevented from engaging in the activities that they need or want to do.
Returning to or maintaining work or education can be challenging challenges. Intervention provided for this may include assessment of the skills required by the individual to re-engage in the work place, specific intervention to improve or compensate for deficits in performance and liaison and education with the employer.
Preventing social isolation in individuals who have a neurological condition is important for them and their family. Discovering new ways of engaging in valued social activities can mean that the individual and their family can continue to benefit from the enjoyment that social activities bring.
The delivery of education for the client’s family can enable them to understand and support their relative’s needs and facilitate their relative’s independence.
The provision of specific training to help the support worker understand their client’s condition and implement strategies to promote independence.
Education regarding brain injury or long-term neurological conditions can be provided at graduate and post-graduate level for a range of health professionals.
Clinical supervision for individual or groups of occupational therapists who work in a variety of service settings can be provided.
Workshops or individual sessions can be delivered on a variety of topics to promote the development of staff or to progress a service in a chosen direction.