Helene Boonin

Helene Boonin

BSc (Hons), DipCOT

Independent Occupational Therapist and Case Manager

Profile

I am an independent occupational therapist and case manager with over thirty-five years’ experience across the statutory and independent sector. I specialise in working with people predominantly with physical disabilities and I have specific expertise with upper limb conditions. I have extensive experience working with both adults and children who have experienced trauma resulting in orthopaedic injuries, amputations, brachial plexus injury and work-related injuries. My case load is varied and referrals are received from a variety of sources including rehabilitation companies, solicitors, employers, insurance companies and medical consultants. I have also had 12 years’ experience as an expert witness in care and rehabilitation, providing detailed medico-legal reports for the courts.

Clinical skills/experience

  • Following detailed assessments of clients with a physical disability and associated psychological conditions such as; complex musculoskeletal injuries, multiple fractures, amputations, nerve damage and neurological conditions, a tailored programme of therapy and rehabilitation is provided for both adults and children. Advice is given for therapeutic exercise, grip strengthening, scar management, desensitization and improved function.
  • Working with the individual, their families/carers and liaising with all members of the treatment team to facilitate the development of effective and timely interventions which achieve positive outcomes for the individual, promoting their personal independence.
  • Case management experience with the ability to communicate effectively with all members of the multi-disciplinary team to achieve effective outcomes.
  • Thermoplastic splinting for a variety of conditions, as well as joint protection for arthritis, are specialised areas offered at a weekly clinic at 2 local private hospitals.
  • Vocational rehabilitation provision including work-based assessments, functional assessments, and the development of graded return to work programmes. Experienced at negotiating with employers to ensure the best possible outcome for the employee. This may include making recommendations and offering advice such as correct postural techniques, suitable seating, adaptations, specialised equipment and suggesting realistic alterations to the employee's role and hours to suit the needs of the employer and the employee's clinical needs.
  • Extensive experience in general occupational therapy, including carrying out activities of daily living (ADL) assessments, functional assessments and home visits. Liaising with statutory services when appropriate and enabling the client to be as independent as possible through accessing suitable equipment and other treatment modalities.
  • Care expert with 12 years’ experience of writing medico legal reports.

Managerial skills/experience

  • Guest lecturer at the School of Occupational Therapy, University of Huddersfield on my role and experiences as an occupational therapist in private practice.
  • Annual guest lecturer since 2013 running a full day splinting workshop for the occupational therapy MSc course at Leeds Beckett University.
  • Past member of a medico-legal team offering mutual peer support, regular study days and giving regular presentations to the team sharing my clinical skills and knowledge and giving feedback on conferences attended.
  • Clinical skills are maintained by regularly attending courses, conferences, in service training and through membership of professional groups. In addition, I have monthly supervision with a senior member of the Independence Works panel.
  • Carry out regular triage assessments of individual’s needs making recommendations for appropriate rehabilitation following accident/injury.

Career summary:

2004 - present
Occupational Therapist and Case Manager (independent private practice)
I continue to work as an independent practitioner within the private sector. I provide assessments and rehabilitation for a variety of private occupational health and case management companies as well as taking direct referrals from solicitors, employers and insurance companies. I am also an associate with Julie Jennings & Associates – Care & Occupational Therapy Services and have extensive experience writing medico-legal care expert reports for both claimant and defendant. In addition, I receive referrals from medical consultants for the provision of thermoplastic splints, hand therapy and scar management at Leeds Spire Hospital and Leeds Nuffield Hospital.

1990 - 2004
Senior Occupational Therapist & Acting Team Leader at St James’s University Teaching Hospital, Leeds
Worked as part of a musculoskeletal team with in and out patients for the orthopaedic and plastic surgery units. I developed a bespoke splinting service and a therapy lead flexor tendon clinic. I had active involvement in regular adult and children’s hand clinics; actively involved in the development of therapeutic skills working with upper limb injuries, brachial plexus injury, congenital deformities, traumatic amputations and treatments following plastic & reconstructive surgery and orthopaedics. Managed and supervised occupational therapy staff and students.

1982 -1990
Occupational Therapist for Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
Worked in various hospitals within the trust as a basic grade in a rotational post including paediatrics, orthopaedics, psychiatry, care of the elderly, hand injuries, general medicine and surgery. As a senior therapist work was undertaken in medicine, surgery and rheumatology, and responsibility taken for the assessment, treatment and timely discharge of patients. I regularly completed home visits and liaised with statutory services. I was actively involved in an outpatient clinic accepting referrals from GPs for a variety of diagnoses including arthritic conditions.

Qualifications:

  • Diploma in Occupational Therapy (Salford College of Technology, 1982)
  • BSc (Hons) in Healthcare & Welfare (Salford University, October 1992)

Continuing professional development, including:

  • Attendance at Annual OT Show - November 2018
  • Successfully completed HCPC Audit for Sept 2015 to August 2017 ensuring competence to practice
  • Attendance at various in-service training and study days linked to special interest groups e.g. medico-legal forum of COT SS–IP, plus attendances at relevant conferences, i.e. COT SS - IP, COT SS - Work and BAHT
  • Attendance at study group with Julie Jennings & Associates team of care experts and regularly presenting feedback from courses attended or sharing my experiences as case manager
  • Frequent and regular networking and peer support
  • Ongoing professional supervision
  • Annual guest lecturer for Leeds Beckett University Splinting Workshop

Registrations and memberships:

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • British Association of Occupational Therapists
  • British Association of Hand Therapists
  • RCOT Special Interest Group in Independent Practice
  • Case Management Society UK