Kerrie James

Specialist Areas

Kerrie is a dedicated and client-focused Senior Occupational Therapist with a wealth of experience working in a variety of specialist inpatient and community neurological rehabilitation settings. Kerrie also has vast experience in: mental health, acute patient rehabilitation, community patient rehabilitation, managing long term conditions, housing support and adaptations and working with architects to explore best options for the person and their environment; musculoskeletal disorders; long-term conditions, such as a permanent physical disability. In addition, Kerrie has experience with acquired brain injury; spinal cord injury and multiple trauma Exceptional capacity to multitask, manage numerous caseloads, manage competing priorities with ease and outstanding interpersonal and communication skills; superior accuracy in patient history, charting and other documentation.

BA Hons Occupational Therapy (License HCPC: OT66059) 2009 – 2012
University of Derby
Chesterfield College
Diploma in Health and Social Care 2007 – 2009
Health and Social Care 1999 – 2002
NVQ 2; 2 City and Guilds in Care

Since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist in 2012 from the University of Derby, Kerrie has worked in a variety of settings, beginning her career in a large teaching hospital in Birmingham within the Reablement team. In this role Kerrie was responsible for implementing initial assessments to maximise a person’s rehabilitation and enablement potential. The aim of input was to promote an improved quality of life and enable a person to return to living at home. This involved treating people with stroke; fractures; and a general decline in functional/mobility status.

From here Kerrie continued to build her skills within the community as a basic Occupational Therapist working her way up to a Senior/ Lead Occupational Therapist. Whilst working in the community Kerrie was responsible for implementing the delivery of appropriate services and therapies to children and adults and their families/carers, per their assessed needs, through completing timely assessments and implementing effective care plans that additionally safeguarded vulnerable children and adults.

Kerrie also took the lead OT role on a full range of risk assessments, advice and support in the most complex cases or where there were multiple concerns causing risks to personal safety, and safeguarding issues for the individual and their families/carers.

Whilst working within community settings, Kerrie assessed the full range of a client’s functional abilities and their impact on their daily lives, covering areas of cognition and communication, falls history, use of pain scales, motor sensory assessment, blood pressure functional assessment, lying, sitting and standing transfers assessment, balance gait & walking aids used, stairs assessment, activities, of daily living, social situation & support (linking closely with other professionals).

In 2017 Kerrie became sole Occupational Therapist for Rykneld Housing Association. Her responsibility in this role was to complete assessments, identifying and addressing the needs of the customers who were referred to Occupational Therapy. Rykneld Homes managed all North East Derbyshire district council housing stock. The key focus for Kerrie was from the referral to provide speedy actions/outcomes, advice, solutions and professional expertise.

From here Kerrie went back to work in the community for Derbyshire County Council as a Senior Occupational Therapist in the Paediatric Team. providing assessments for children and young people between ages 0/19 years who have permanent and substantial disability, whose welfare, health or development were likely to be impaired without the provision of specialist short breaks, support services/therapy, adaptations or equipment.

Kerrie’s role was to support children who have complex health needs and/or moving and handling requirements, with significant learning disabilities, sensory impairment (including those who had visual/hearing impairments), and/or physical disabilities, such that they need special services or enhanced support to enable them to live ordinary family lives.

Kerrie has also had experience of working as a sole Occupational Therapist in a 15 bed assessment unit, where she was responsible for completing occupational therapy assessments on clients who have recently been discharged from hospital or in community crisis and require further assessment of their needs to establish level of support they require to meet their long-term needs. The aim of intervention was preventing risk of future hospital admissions and break down in the individual’s health and wellbeing.

Kerrie worked as part of a multidisciplinary team to establish the correct pathway for the client, providing detailed occupational therapy reports for a panel to support the Social Workers’ decision that a person requires long term care. In addition, as part of that role, Kerrie also provided reablement plans to increase a person’s levels of independence to assist them to return home with a minimum package of care. As part of this role, Kerrie completed home visits and identified if any equipment or adaptations were required to meet client needs to improve their accessibility to their home.

In 2019 Kerrie was approached to implement and progress a transformed service for the provision of a Reablement project for Nottingham City Council. Her main role was to provide a cost effective, efficient and sustainable service for Nottingham City Citizens. Within this role Kerrie had to develop an Occupational Lead Reablement service. This was implemented by Kerrie Introducing Occupational Therapy led ‘Practice Variation’ workshops and case discussions. She delivered targeted work with Care Workers level 3 and some level 2, who were responsible for care planning and reviews to determine whether there were long term needs for clients (Care Act 2014 compliant assessment). The role also involved delivering targeted work with Level 1 and 2 Care workers to embed the ethos of Reablement.

Once this was completed Kerrie went to work for STEPs Rehabilitation facility which delivers intensive and ongoing rehabilitation for people recovering from brain injury, spinal cord injury, strokes, complex trauma injuries, and amputees enabling them to reach their full potential and to rebuild their lives. Whilst at STEPs Kerrie worked closely with helping the client return, as near as possible, to their pre-injury level of independence. Kerrie worked closely with Case Managers and wrote reports to support them with client’s ongoing needs. She has also identified specialist equipment and adaptations and worked alongside architects and builders to help modify properties for the client to live as independently as possible.

On Leaving STEPs Kerrie worked back in the community as a Senior Occupational Therapist within the NHS Neurological team. Her role was split between Neurological and Stroke. Her main role was to rehabilitate patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington’s disease. This was done through assessing how neurological conditions affect clients’ capabilities and providing solutions to help them complete everyday tasks, preventing deterioration. For example, splinting a patient’s arms to prevent long-term stiffness or muscle loss, due to conditions like muscular dystrophy. Kerrie’s role included assessing a client’s ability to carry out daily activities and identify any difficulties which may impact their everyday life outside of the hospital. She would then provide support and advice to the patients, their families and carers regarding how to manage an existing condition – now and in the future. Additionally as part of the role, she completed cognitive assessments and work on cognitive skills and the practice of complex activities.

Kerrie is now working as an expert witness care and OT reporter for TBL. She completes assessments on individuals who have sustained acquired injuries impacting their functional abilities in daily life and determining how this impacts their lives now and into the future.

Kerrie is also working part-time at Pathfinders Complex Care and Brain Injury Unit. This is a 72-bed unit with a mixture of acquired brain Injury; trauma/ burns; spinal cord injury; those clients requiring complex care packages; those with musculoskeletal injuries; and other neurological conditions. Within this role Kerrie is responsible for attending and being part of the DST Decision making in the best interest of the patient, which is the framework used for decision making for continuing healthcare funding.
Over the last 10 years Kerrie has worked with a wide variety of patients, both adults and Children. She has implemented and successfully completed two projects for the NHS and written reports for Courts for Expert Care Managers and Social Workers. Kerrie has worked within MDT teams and has led and delivered training to support the benefits of Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation. She has over 30 years of experience with Moving and Handling; Kerrie has worked in the care industry throughout her long career. Kerrie also has experience with wheelchair assessment, specialist seating and other specialist equipment assessment. Kerrie likes a challenge and is always looking how to improve a service so that it is in line with latest policies and procedures to ensure that she can deliver the outstanding level of care for each person.