Susan Holmes

Specialist Areas

Susan is an experienced occupational therapist and combines her experience of rehabilitation, neurological conditions, mental health and client engagement in her work with clients. She recognises an individual’s capabilities and empowers clients to identify and achieve their potential. She values working closely with family members in the case management process.

BSc in Occupational Therapy 1993

Susan qualified as an occupational therapist in 1993. Susan began her career working in the field of rehabilitation including brain injury and rheumatology. In this post Susan worked in a 15-bedded regional brain injury unit. Her role included assessment of individuals with brain injury and working with clients to set treatment goals in relation to daily life and goals for community living. She provided goal-directed treatment programmes to maximise independence. Susan worked closely with family members to support the individual and their relatives for their discharge to the community. Susan worked within the multi-disciplinary team to promote best outcomes for the client. This gave Susan a sound knowledge base in neurological rehabilitation and working with individuals who have sustained catastrophic injury.

In 1996 Susan specialised in rheumatology outpatient services completing group work in pacing/fatigue management and providing input to individuals in a vocational setting. Susan’s role involved assessing how individuals completed their work, reviewing requirements for specialist equipment and making recommendations for how they completed their role; minimising the impact of the condition whilst allowing individuals to continue working.

In 1999 Susan returned to a rehabilitation post, working with the elderly with complex needs in the community. Her role involved acting as a liaison between acute and community services, providing education on team working and resolving team differences to increase referrals and promote communication.
In 2000 Susan continued to work in elderly community rehabilitation, treating individuals many of whom had sustained a stroke. Her role included co-ordinating the community resources to provide input to individuals. This was provided across a rural location and services were very fragmented. Close team work was necessary to achieve best outcomes. This required building a knowledge of available services and third sector organisations.

Whilst in this post Susan was responsible for providing training to social work care workers in the key principles of taking a rehabilitative approach to providing care and support to individuals with physical and neurological conditions. Susan trained the care teams to follow individualised care plans and promote independence for clients.

From 2001 to 2005 Susan pursued her interest in mental health and succeeded in gaining a post in a community mental health team, working with individuals with chronic mental health and anxiety conditions. Susan’s role was to promote health and well-being within a non-medicalised context, utilising community facilities and resources. Susan worked alongside community education on a programme to teach self-confidence, build self-esteem, introduce structure to a day, and enhance social skills, which enabled people to work towards entering full-time education. Susan enjoyed implementing positive outcomes to effect change; recognizing need and bringing services together to deliver realistic opportunities of engagement in community life.

Between 2005 and 2007 Susan took a step away from a full time post due to family commitments and acted as Professional Supervisor to Occupational Therapy Services within Momentum, a brain injury charity. Susan reviewed brain injury case work, client goals, input provided, and gave supervision and guidance in working with individuals with brain injury.

From 2007 to 2009 Susan took up a post in Glasgow City Centre with Homelessness services. This involved working with individuals with mental health difficulties, neurological conditions and addiction problems. This enabled Susan to develop her skills working with individuals with difficulties with multiple problems, particularly motivational and memory difficulties. This post required Susan to implement all her previously learnt skills and experience. She liaised with multiple agencies, including housing, social services, addiction teams, and police. Working as a therapist in this role, Susan gained the experience of having to actively listen and recognise people’s needs, working within a client’s frame of reference and assisting them in achieving their goals.

At this point Susan took a break from occupational therapy to support her family. However, wished to return to the field and re-register. She therefore took a post in a Neurological Care Home in 2016, maximising independence and establishing individual activity plans, involving community facilities and resources and preparing a programme of activities in the community, utilising other therapy inputs. Susan promoted meaningful indoor activities, linking these to fund raising capabilities for the unit.

To further her clinical skills, an interest in Autism drew Susan to work with the charity, Scottish Autism. This was in a day centre where she enabled individuals to pursue a daily programme of activity and independence.

Susan now combines her experience of rehabilitation, neurological conditions, mental health and client engagement as a case manager with Tania Brown Ltd. Susan works with individuals with complex conditions including brain injury. Susan has a particular interest in working with individuals with motivational and mental health difficulties.

Susan’s experience and communication abilities allow her to bring together her skills of complex care planning, recognising an individual’s capabilities and empowering clients to identify and achieve their potential. Liaison is at the core of Susan’s case management; she values working closely with family members and all stakeholders involved.