Real-life story - Anne Gordon
The opportunity to work closely with people in a problem-solving role and help people to be as independent as possible in their daily life really appealed to Anne.
How I got into the role
After completing my degree in Australia, I worked in a specialist rehabilitation facility for children with cerebral palsy. It was this experience that made me want to specialise in working with children. When I moved to London some years later, I worked as an occupational therapist in community child health and at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in the neurology and neurosurgery departments.
I undertook an MSc to gain further experience and training in research and enjoyed working in research so much, I decided to apply for a PhD, looking at children who had suffered a stroke during infancy or childhood. While writing up my thesis, I took up my current position which combines clinical work, research and team management.
What I do
I am the lead clinician for the occupational therapy team at the Evelina Children’s Hospital.
We work with children who have been admitted to hospital with a variety of health conditions, as well as children who come for specialist out-patient appointments. I regularly meet with my team to plan the needs of the children we see. In the outpatient clinics, I clinically support children who have had a brain injury or who have complex epilepsy.
My role is to identify how the child’s health condition impacts what they need and want to do in daily life, and advise on how they can best be supported to live independently. I also undertake research to improve care, therapy interventions and service standards for children with special healthcare needs, both across London and nationally.
The best bits and challenges
I enjoy finding innovative ways of delivering effective care and working with colleagues to continually improve patients' health and well-being. Helping to find solutions and deliver therapy that improves children's health, independence and quality of life is really satisfying.