Newsletter Autumn 2009

Autumn is usually a time of decline and hibernation, but for Independent Rehabilitation Services (IRS), this is a time of growth, expansion and development of our service. With the addition of two new members to the team, we are now in a position to offer the multidisciplinary model, generally accepted to be the most effective and cost efficient model of rehabilitation for neurological disorders.

In the early stages of rehabilitation, the provision of services is fragmentary and often involves a medical approach. With the reduction of a need for medical interventions, the next stage is social rehabilitation, the fullest integration into social functioning. Social rehabilitation requires a multidisciplinary approach. However, the cognitive, physical and emotional/behavioural deficits following on from neurological problems will require an approach quite different from the medical model. The core professionals are often the Occupational Therapist and the Neuropsychologist who, in the development of functional and behavioural programmes will assess all areas of cognitive and behavioural deficit. They will recognise that input from other professionals such as a Physiotherapist and/or a Speech and Language Therapist is required and will work collaboratively.

With the expansion of our team, Independent Rehabilitation Services can now provide a wide range of occupational therapy and neuropsychology skills and experience.

Angela Gordon, BSc (Hons). MSc. in Occupational Therapy writes:-


I am really excited at joining the Independent Rehabilitation Services team as a Neurological Specialist Occupational Therapist. My specialism is neurological rehabilitation and over the last eight years I have developed my knowledge and skills in this area. I have expertise in assessing many clients who have experienced strokes, traumatic and acquired brain injury and other neurological disorders. I provide therapy which promotes and maintains functional independence and quality of life. My case load over the years has often included clients who have complex needs. My responsibilities have also included the preparation of comprehensive reports. I have maintained efficient and close liaison with a wide range of professionals employed within and outside the National Health Service. I have dealt with complex continuing care needs and I understand how difficult this process can be for clients and carers.

I have been an occupational therapist for almost twelve years and I have experience in working in a number of other specialities including acute medicine, general surgery and trauma orthopaedics. I have recently attained a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, and I look forward to new and exciting challenges.

Ian Fussey, Consultant Psychologist writes:-

I am a Consultant Psychologist with 26 years experience. Qualifying in 1983 via St George’s Hospital Medical School and the Royal Free Hospital, London, I completed post-qualification training in Chicago and Los Angeles, subsequently working in the fields of medical psychology and neurorehabilitation. My particular interests are adjustment to medical/neurological conditions, and personal and family adjustment to relationship or sexual dysfunction following long term disability. I am experienced in preparing reports and giving evidence in Court in cases of personal injury litigation, and I am the co-author of two books on multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation.

Independent Rehabilitation Services offers a consulting and therapeutic service with transdisciplinary working to the ultimate benefit of our clients. The team at IRS works collaboratively with clients, other professionals, carers and other agencies, providing client centred interventions using a biopsychosocial model of rehabilitation.

Declan McNichol

Bill Young

Angela Gordon

Birgit Rathje-Vale

Helen Smart