Gemma Jones, our Occupational Therapist Clinical Lead plays a vital role in the delivery of safe and effective care to the children and families that need our support. Qualifying as an Occupational Therapist in 2007, Gemma joined Team Demelza in 2019 with a wealth of experience behind her, having previously worked with Social Services, advocating for children with additional needs and ensuring they have the correct care and support in place, and more recently working as part of an NHS children’s therapy team.
Gemma explains, “My role at Demelza has a particular focus on ‘moving and handling’ and by this, I mean, how children are helped to move, when they are not able to move themselves independently. Quite often, children with complex conditions have fluctuating needs; my role is to promote their skills and encourage independence as much as possible, whilst listening and being responsive to their current situation.
I advocate for the needs of the child (and their family) at all times, in particular when they need additional support or advice when looking to overcome specific barriers. This may involve recommending new equipment or techniques, making the appropriate referrals or supporting charity applications and collaborating with our Demelza care team, or external care agencies, therapy teams and schools in the process.”
Speaking on what her role looks like day-to-day, Gemma says: “I travel a lot! I work closely with our nursing and care teams in Kent, South East London and East Sussex, meeting with children and their families for assessments, where I look at implementing solutions for complex moving and handling needs. Facilitating training sessions within Demelza’s nursing and care teams is an important part of my role in terms of maintaining the highest standards of care; and as such I dedicate my time to networking with other paediatric hospice therapists across the UK and researching current best practices. I then look at how we can incorporate these practices in to our own care delivery.”
“The favourite part of my role is working closely with the children and their families; it’s a privilege. My proudest achievements since joining Demelza two years ago include, putting in place new strategies and systems, such as revising the training model in collaboration with care delivery and working to evidence the need for new equipment.
It’s a pleasure to represent Occupational Therapy (OT) at Demelza as the organisations solo Occupational Therapist by imbedding the principles of OT into care delivery. I am extremely passionate about best practice and am thrilled to be part of such an important service which strives to give the best in children’s palliative care.”
Demelza is here to support parents in providing what each child needs, in the way that’s best for them. Our care services and facilities focus on promoting personal freedom and choice, giving Demelza children the chance to express themselves, have fun and feel involved without ever compromising safety. Read more about the services we provide.
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