Shelley Westgate


A rehabilitation specialist with 20 years’ experience in neurological and general medical in-patient and community settings within the NHS, third sector and independent practice. I have a wide range of clinical skills and experience, and have become highly specialised in the rehabilitation and management of Traumatic Brain Injury and Stroke.  I have extensive knowledge of assessment, planning and delivery of specialist rehabilitation programmes, and organisation of complex discharges for people with a range of medical conditions including orthopaedics. I work effectively as both part of a multi-disciplinary team and an independent rehabilitation specialist. I am hardworking, enthusiastic and efficient. I enjoy working closely with clients and their families. I have many years of experience in supporting them to manage their needs and meet their goals.


1999: BSc (hons) Occupational Therapy, University of Southampton.

2011: ILM (Institute of Leadership and Management) Level 3 certificate in First Line management.

Skills and Experience

As a case manager I have worked with adults with catastrophic injuries and complex needs, such as acquired brain injury and orthopaedics. I have experience in completing detailed Immediate Needs Assessments, and carrying out client centred recommendations, taking into account the family priorities. I understand and work successfully with both statutory and private rehabilitation specialists and service providers. I am familiar with the litigation process, and work effectively with solicitors and insurance companies.

I am proficient as a clinical specialist in stroke and neuro rehabilitation, and a team leader in general medical rehabilitation. I have a passion for teaching others, and sharing specialist skills and knowledge to enable the client.  For many years I supported and directed the ongoing development of a well-respected, local NHS occupational therapy service.

I have recent, hospital-based experience in providing rehabilitation and complex discharge planning, for people with a variety of medical conditions and disabilities. For example, orthopaedics, amputees, spinal, cardiac and respiratory issues.

I have previously worked in a highly specialised neuro rehabilitation unit for clients under 65 years old. Having responsibility for the rehabilitation of clients with a range of neuro specific diagnoses. These include Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, and clients in a minimally conscious/ vegetative State. Previous roles have consisted of leadership of a specialist neuro OT service, host/chairperson for the OT specialist group for neurological practice (RCOTSS Neurological practice), and a SMART Assessor for clients in a low awareness state.

I have a special interest in working with young people with traumatic brain injury. I am an experienced assessor providing comprehensive goal focussed neuro-rehabilitation programmes including community integration, return to work, and independent living programmes.

I have excellent communication skills and understand the importance of providing clients and their families with clear information and reassurance during new or difficult situations. Empowering them to make informed choices around decision making. I have a sound understanding of statutory health and social care provision.

I have a wide range of neurological clinical skills that include cognitive rehabilitation, social inclusion, upper limb splinting and treatment programmes, complex wheelchair seating, functional activities.

I am an experienced trainer and appraiser, and have been involved in supporting others to meet their professional competencies, including mentoring junior professional staff through the standards required for their preceptorship programmes.

I have experience of training hospital nursing, and therapy staff in the management of wheelchairs, including 24-hour seating and positioning programmes.

Whilst working in NHS, Intermediate Care, I was responsible for set up and delivery of neurological assessment and goal-based treatment programmes to clients in the community. This included provision of a new home based neurological upper limb splinting service.

Since 2015, I have worked with the third sector to successfully establish a neuro occupational therapy service at a community stroke club in the Sussex locality. This involves therapy, advice and accessing additional services for clients who have experienced a stroke both recently and in previous years. This was an exciting project, as the club did not have access to occupational therapy previously.



2017-present: Independent Case Manager with experience in working with clients with a variety of medical and neurological difficulties. I create a close working relationship with clients and their families. I assess, establish, and co-ordinate the care, rehabilitation and support they require, in order to maximise recovery, and improve and maintain their quality of life.
I work effectively with NHS and privately funded multi-disciplinary teams, and additional agencies. I maintain excellent communication with everyone involved, ensuring a client centred approach at all times.

2009-2019: Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist and Team Lead, Stroke Rehabilitation Ward. Sussex Community Foundation Trust.
Ensuring delivery of an evidence based, quality stroke rehabilitation service to patients with complex needs. Working with patients and their families to enable a smooth transition and successful discharge. Responsible for the management, supervision and training of a team of Neuro Occupational Therapists. Ongoing development of the service to meet both patient need and commissioning requirements.
During the latter 18 months, my role involved working on a General Medical Ward within the trust, as an experienced rehabilitation specialist. Engaging with people with a wide variety of medical conditions. Responsible for assessment, treatment and complex discharge planning, tailored to individual requirements. Broad knowledge of, and regular liaison with community services for ongoing client support. Extensive problem solving was required to ensure all patient needs were met within the home and community setting. Provision of training, supervision and support of junior staff and rehabilitation assistants.


2005-2009: Senior Occupational Therapist, Intermediate Care Team. West Sussex NHS Trust.
Responsible for managing a varied and complex caseload. Delivering Occupational Therapy rehabilitation services to client’s in their own home. Supporting clients to increase their level of independence and quality of life, through therapy, equipment provision, signposting and advice. Providing training and supervision to OT colleagues and rehabilitation assistants to deliver safe and effective home-based neuro specific therapy.


2001-2005: Team Lead Occupational Therapist, Neurological Rehabilitation Unit. Surrey and Sussex Healthcare.
Responsible for managing a highly complex neurological caseload. This included client’s with Acquired Brain Injury, Stroke, Guillian Barre’ Syndrome and spinal injuries. Providing management, supervision, appraisal and training to the team. Involvement in and leading on unit service developments. Inter-disciplinary working. Established SMART assessor for client’s in a low awareness state.


2000-2001: Senior Occupational Therapist, Stroke Rehabilitation Ward, Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Responsible for the provision of an effective Neuro Occupational Therapy service to the ward. Providing continuous development of the service. Supervision of others.


1999-2000: Basic Grade Occupational Therapist. Western Sussex Hospitals NHS  Foundation Trust.
Rotational post for 1 year in General Medicine/Surgery and Neurological Rehabilitation.


Registrations and memberships

Health and Care Professions Council- HCPC reg: OT30133

British Association of Occupational Therapists

Case Management Society UK

Royal College of OT Specialist Section – Neurological Practice