Fully Qualified Occupational Therapist

Following qualification as an State Registered Occupational Therapist (SROT) with BSc (Hons) from Oxford Brookes University in 1993, and registering with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) Alison worked within several healthcare fields (Medical, Surgical and Orthopaedics, Neurology, Neurosurgery and Neuro-rehabilitation) and also developed a specialinterest in Pain Management, with a focus on the treatment of Back Pain in 1995, whilst employed by St Georges NHS Trust at the Wolfson Rehabilitation Centre in South West London. She also developed her skills in Cognitive Assessment and client centered treatment approaches including assessing the individual in a holistic way and worked closely with other health professionals such as Physiotherapy, Psychology, Social workers and Medical staff during her time working in the Rehabilitation Centre.   She became increasingly involved in the treatment of work related illnesses and assessing the impact of other medical conditions due to accidents and/or other illnesses, both physical and psychological/mental health conditions on the working lives of individuals and their return to work plans.

In 1998 Alison was involved in a government funded New Deal for Disabled People project whilst working for Westminster Healthcare (now Priory Healthcare) in Leicestershire. Her main focus was to help people get back to work who had been off sick or unemployed due to a health condition. This was a most rewarding project and due to government interest, had a high profile within the healthcare industry. She helped employees in a variety of industries return to work, including in those the car manufacturing industry, the telecommunications industry and also leading national banks & building societies. It was and is crucial for the employer and the employee to be supported by a healthcare professional in these circumstances.

After this Alison was employed by Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust (now Imperial College NHS Trust) in London as a Back Care and Manual Handling Advisor, assessing the musculo-skeletal health of all employees in the trust; from the nursing and other medical staff through to the desk-based staff working on computers all day. All staff required education and training to look after themselves and assess the risks and ergonomics of their working environment, with advice to find practical day to day solutions.

Today more employers recognise the value of looking after their employee’s health at work. As a fully qualified Occupational Therapist, Alison  set up Healthywork Ltd in 2001, to deliver Occupational health work related assessment services to employer’s directly via CEO/Directors or their internal HR/OH Departments or to independent Occupational Health companies, HR companies, Insurance companies, Case Management companies and Medico-legal organisations.

Alison and her colleagues provide a full range of Occupational Health based assessments, from Physical assessments, such as Ergonomic Workstation (or factory) Assessments and Functional Capacity Evaluations, through to Cognitive and Psychological Assessments, such as using a variety of standardised Cognitive testing tools and performing assessments of Mental Health needs in relation to work place adjustments and easing return to work. Hearing and vision assessments are also available, along with technical assessments for specialist IT equipment needs.

Many of the assessments performed have required a mix of the above, such as individuals having physical and mental health needs which need to be reviewed together, therefore the assessments aim to review the whole individual to ensure all advice required is provided, to help in the process of them being productive at work.

Alison keeps up to date in this expanding field taking an active role in several organisations. She is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) part of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and is an associate member of The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF). She is also an active member of RCOT Specialist Section – Work (RCOT SS-Work), being Chair of their National Executive Committee (since May 2017) having previously held other roles on the committee over the last 10-15 years.

Alison is also a member of RCOT Specialist Section – Independent Practice (RCOT SS-IP). She is also a member of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association UK (VRA).  Recently she has joined the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) and was a speaker at their Occupational Health Conference June 2017

Alison regularly attends events such the Health and Wellbeing @ Work Conference and Exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham held every March, the OccupationalTherapy Show and the NAIDEX Exhibition. In the past, she has attended networks such as NEHIN (National Employment and Health Innovations Network) which helps to inform government of progress in this field and contributes to strategic development consultations within the field of vocational rehabilitation/functional assessments to help individuals to return to employment.  These seminars then, in turn, update the practitioner on physical and mental health Government policy development. She currently contributes to the Council for Work and Health meetings/consultations in her role as Chair of RCOT SS Work.

Post graduate training is ongoing and Alison has attended Matheson Functional Capacity Training in 2003, Job Demands Analysis and Work Hardening training in 2004 and Ergonomic training programmes including the Matheson Ergonomics Course in 2011A as well as other training in Cognitive Assessment and treatment during 2014, Cancer and workplace adjustments, and Mental Health/mental Fitness practice updates and Pain Management training updates in 2015 and 2016.

Alison has provided assessments for the Governments ‘Access to Work‘ scheme over the years, in order that individuals can be assisted in order that they can remain in work.

Alison has spoken at Back pain prevention conferences for the British Dental Association, lectured on Vocational Rehabilitation at the National Back Exchange Annual Conference and to other groups of health professionals, including presentations on Functional Capacity Evaluation for ACPOHE and other health professional companies and networks.

Our Associate Practioners

Healthywork Ltd has a number of associates who are all highly qualified in this field and have their own areas of expertise. These professionals can conduct assessments, treatment and training as required and allow us to offer a country wide service.

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Testimonials

Qualification Curriculum Authority

Friendly, helpful and informative, since Healthywork assessed my workstation and advised me, my bad back is better. What more do I need to say?

Mr Sam Morris, Qualification Curriculum Authority, Central london

Somek and Associates

I have known and worked with Alison Biggs of Healthywork since 2003. I have always found her to be extremely professional and committed any work project, and very knowledgeable about her specialist field.

Ergonomic Assessments and Functional Capacity Assessments for Medico-legal cases provided in Essex, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and London.

Alison Somek

Capital International

Healthywork were very efficient and able to help us with several situations. If you need a fresh pair of eyes with a medical focus to look at an employee health issue, I would recommend them.

Jo Byrne, Central London

CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

Our visit from Alison was an eye-opener. We thought that we knew what we were doing but every single team member learned something new. We learned how to use our equipment properly, we learned how to sit properly and we have all made adjustments to how we work since her visit. Everyone in the team has given feedback since that they are more comfortable in their daily work, and one person who has been in pain for months has changed her position and is now pain-free. Alison is friendly, easy to work with and great value for money. As manager, I thought that I would have to invest in a lot of new equipment but the reality is simply that we weren’t using what we had properly. I would definitely use Alison again and will write a workstation assessment into our on-boarding process for any new employees joining our team.

Eleanor Nickerson, Manager CRF Institute/Britains Top Employers

HEFCE

Healthywork Ltd have been extremely helpful over the last year and provided us with a very good service at very short notice.

The quality of their work place assessment reports and recommendations are extremely high. In addition, the employees involved have commented on the extremely helpful knowledge and support provided by the work place assessor.

(Assessments provided in Bristol and Central London).

Sarah de Vere, HR Manager, Higher Education Funding Council for England, based in Bristol
HEFCE

UNUM

Alison is professional at all times, she is easy to work with, adaptable and open to discussing how, through the reports she produces she can meet the changing needs of her clients.

Elaine Cook

HTG Trading (trading as Hubbard)

If you use Healthywork you will receive an unbiased, factual assessment on an individual and their circumstances, constructed in such a way that is helpful to both parties.

Malcolm Paxman

Viridor Ltd

I found today’s assessment very helpful indeed, and am trying my best to keep my keyboard as close to me as possible – makes a big difference when I do, it’s even increased my speed and accuracy, lol.

Also, and more to the point, the pain in my back hasn’t got any worse today, and I haven’t used the wrist support, so having my arms supported (on arm rests) is clearly doing something for them already.

V. Jones Viridor Ltd

Basetek Ltd

The feedback from the staff is very positive and they all found it very interesting. (DSE Risk Assessments and Ergonomics Education sessions).

Françoise Ashfield BaseTek Ltd

Watford Borough Council

Thanks very much for the (Functional Capacity) report which we have found extremely useful

Nicola Sharp