Samantha qualified in 1992 as an occupational therapist and gained her masters in 2011. She also holds a post-graduate teaching qualification in academic practice. Samantha is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist sections – Older Persons and Mental Health as well as being registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council.
Samantha’s clinical speciality centres on those with mental health concerns, while her wider role with The OT Service involves supervision and mentoring as well as consultancy to businesses focusing on training and occupational therapy expertise.
Samantha has held a number of high-profile positions within the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). She is the current WFOT President and her past roles have included Vice-Chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, WFOT Programme Co-ordinator for International Cooperation and Vice Chair of the WFOT. Samantha is committed to the development of occupational therapy in countries where the profession does not yet exist or is in its infancy by supporting the development of professional standards and new educational programmes.
Until 2016 Samantha held the position of senior lecturer at Northumbria University overseeing aspects of the BSc (Hons) and MSc (pre-registration) occupational therapy programmes, with a particular interest in supporting student and educators in practice, facilitating students and graduates in role-emerging areas, and supervising graduate research projects. Samantha is a regular guest lecturer at various national and international universities including Creteil University in Paris, France and external examiner for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy programme at the University of Ghana in Accra, Ghana.
Through her work with the WFOT she represents the tccupational Therapy profession at high-level World Health Organisation (WHO) meetings and contributes to specific WHO projects for example the GATE (Global Assistive Technology) initiative, Rehabilitation 2030 and Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP). Samantha is also a working group member looking at the integration of wheelchair training in health education programmes for the International Society for Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP).
Samantha has presented at numerous international conferences and most recently was a keynote speaker at the Occupational Therapy Africa Regional Group (OTARG) conference sharing her expertise on promoting professional identity and establishing occupational therapy services.