Arbor is a Bristol-based community neuorehabilitation team who specialise in working with adults with acquired or traumatic brain injury in their own homes, places of work or within community activities.
The team consists of Neuropsychology, Speech & Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy. Our therapists have extensive experience, with several having worked in brain injury rehabilitation for over 10 years in either the NHS or private sector or both. They have developed clinical expertise and are highly knowledgeable in delivering evidence-based rehabilitation to a diverse client group.
Consultant Clinical Psychologist in Neuropsychology
BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, PgDip, CPsychol, HCPC Registered
Kesta has worked in brain injury rehabilitation for 16 years. She holds client’s values and goals at the core of her approach and utilises evidence based interventions to minimise the impact of cognitive, emotional and behavioural difficulties on day-to-day functioning.
Highly Specialist Speech & Language Therapist
BSc (Hons), MRes (Communication Disorders), MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC Registered
Sarah has specialised in working as a speech and language therapist with adults following stroke and brain injury across acute, inpatient and community neurorehabilitation settings since 2003. She is passionate about developing and supporting rehabilitation of speech, communication and swallowing skills post brain injury. Sarah enjoys working with the individual to re-establish their skills as an effective communicator at home, work and in the community.
Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist
BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, PGDip, QICN, HCPC Registered
Leon has worked in Clinical Neuropsychology for 20 years. He has a range of experiences with differing neurological conditions and is also an Honorary Senior Lecturer with the University of Bath Doctorate training programme. Leon works in a person-centred approach and very much enjoys working as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
BSc (Hons), DClinPsy, CPsychol, HCPC Registered
Steph is experienced in working with adults following brain injury and also has specialist training in trauma work. Her compassionate and sensitive approach, alongside great MDT working helps clients develop a trusting therapeutic relationship and progress towards their goals. With her specialist EMDR training and experience in mental health, Steph is well placed to support clients with a range of presentations.
Specialist Speech & Language Therapist
BSc (Hons), MRCSLT, MASLTIP, HCPC Registered
Che Ming is a highly specialist Speech and Language Therapist in adult neuro-rehabilitation. With over 10 years experience, she is passionate about supporting people to regain meaningful social participation. She considers it essential to take a collaborative approach with individuals and their significant others, with therapy goals aligned to the person’s values and what is most important to them.
Highly Specialist Physiotherapist
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MCSP, HCPC Registered
Caroline has specialised in neuro-rehabilitation since 2003. She has a particular interest in brain injury and offers a holistic approach to providing high quality specialist neuro-physiotherapy.
Highly Specialist Occupational Therapist
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, MRCOT, HCPC Registered
Nicky is a specialist in brain injury rehabilitation, having worked with this clinical group for 17 years. She is committed to multi-disciplinary team working, with extensive experience in acute and community brain injury rehabilitation and specialist training in vocational rehabilitation. Nicky is committed to ensuring interventions maximise independence in all activities of daily living.
Specialist Occupational Therapist
BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy, MRCOT, MRCOTSS Independent Practice,
Claire is a Stroke Specialist Occupational Therapist. She is registered with the HCPC (regulatory body), a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and their specialist section of Independent practice.
Specialist Occupational Therapist
BSc(Hons) Occupational Therapy, MRCOT, MRCOTSS Independent Practice,HCPC Registered
Amie is highly skilled in working with a range of neurological conditions. She has specialist training in posture management and is skilled at working as part of an MDT to enhance independence and the quality of life of her clients. She enjoys working with a range of clients and presentations, with fatigue management and supporting clients to return to activities and vocational roles being a core aspect of her work.
Specialist Occupational Therapist
BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, MRCOT, HCPC Registered
Erica is a specialist in brain injury rehabilitation, with 13 years experience working with this clinical client group. She has comprehensive experience in both acute and community brain injury rehabilitation with multi-disciplinary working. Erica is passionate in supporting her patients to reach their functional potential in all activities of daily living.
Jo qualified from Exeter University in 2000 with a Doctorate in Clinical and Community Psychology. She has worked for the NHS in Bath as a Clinical Psychologist and specialist in Later Life for 23 years, leaving recently to develop her private practice with Arbor. During this time Jo has gained extensive expertise in working with people facing the challenge of adjusting to adverse and unexpected life events, living with deteriorative conditions, processing trauma (single event and complex), grieving complex loss, supporting carers and undertaking Capacity Assessments. A qualified EMDR therapist, she is particularly interested in PTSD assessment and treatment. Integrative in her approach, Jo draws on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Compassion Focused therapy, and trauma-based models of therapy (CBT and EMDR) to help her clients adjust, accept, process and move forward in a more positive way. After 23 years delivering clinical psychology services in both community and inpatient NHS settings, Jo is excited about this new chapter and is looking forward to developing the services offered by Arbor in include Trauma, Later Life and neurodegenrative conditions and Capacity Assessments. Jo really enjoys working as part of the Arbor team and clinically with people who have experienced adverse life events, using evidenced-based psychological interventions, helping people move forward with their lives in the most adaptive and positive way possible.
Steffi Skalla is a specialist physiotherapist in neurological rehabilitation with over 25 years’ experience working with people with complex neurological conditions, specialising in acquired brain injury, stroke and MS. Steffi works in independent practice and within the NHS. She was lead physiotherapist in the Bath regional brain injury rehabilitation unit for many years and leads the NHS commissioned neuro outpatient and spasticity clinic services in Bath and North East Somerset. Steffi works collaboratively with the client, their families and helpers, and she is passionate about facilitating people to make maximum progress towards achieving their individual goals in a safe, fun and supportive way. Steffi’s skills include posture management and specialist seating assessment, splinting and casting, arm and hand function rehabilitation, gait, balance and vestibular rehabilitation, functional electrical stimulation and aquatic therapy. Being a qualified independent prescriber allows her to provide a holistic physiotherapy service by including medication review and focal spasticity treatment. Steffi is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), the UK Acquired Brain Injury forum (UKABIF), Headway, and the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists with an Interest in Neurology (ACPIN).
Nicky qualified as a physiotherapist from the University of the West of England in 2002 and since 2008 has specialised in neurorehabilitation. She has an extensive breadth of experience of working with clients within brain injury, stroke, neurosurgery and neurology, and has worked across a range inpatient, outpatient and community settings. Currently she specialises in community brain injury rehabilitation, providing specialist physiotherapy assessment and treatment for clients with complex physical, cognitive, psychological and behavioural needs. She is passionate about working with the individual and their families and carers to establish meaningful goals and to support participation in a personalised rehabilitation programme. Nicky is skilled in a range of treatment approaches including therapeutic handling, postural management, task specific training, exercise prescription, gait and balance re-training, and vestibular rehabilitation. She is experienced in working with clients within their own homes, within community settings, such as a local park or gym, and in supporting clients to access local activities such as group exercise classes. To continue to develop clinical expertise and ensure that clients are receiving best care Nicky is committed to continuing professional development. She is registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC); is a member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP); and the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology (ACPIN).
I am enthusiastic Physiotherapist who qualified from the University of Brighton in 2003 and have been working in Head Injury rehab since 2006. I am highly skilled at treating a wide range of clients with complex neurological needs and disabilities mostly, but not exclusively, with people following Head Injury and Stroke. I am very passionate about providing dynamic and thorough assessment and tailored treatment plans in order to optimise the rehab potential of the client and enable them to achieve their goals. I have been working in inpatient rehab units, community and out-patient brain injury rehabilitation services for the past 17 years and have also spent 6 months working at the Stoke Manderville National Spinal Cord Institute to develop my skills in the treatment and rehab following Spinal Cord Injury. I am trained in therapeutic handling, hydrotherapy, posture management, specialist seating, functional electrical stimulation (upper and lower limb courses) and tracheostomy management. I am able to provide specialist soft and scotchcast splinting for tonal management and undertake vestibular rehab for dizziness. I find it hugely fulfilling to progress neuro rehabilitation onwards from the rehab unit and into the home, community, sport and leisure activities using a problem solving approach.
Having qualified from UCL in 2006, Catherine is a highly trained speech and language therapist specialised in acquired adult neurological conditions and has a breath of clinical experience. She is experienced in the assessment and management of patients with a wide variety of neurological conditions including traumatic brain injuries, non-traumatic brain injuries such as stroke, brain tumours, encephalitis and progressive neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntingdon’s or Motor-Neurone Disease. She has extensive experience of working with people with aphasia, dysarthria, dyspraxia, dysphagia and cognitive communication difficulties. Experience in both the acute and post-acute stages of recovery and adjustment, enables Catherine to carefully select and administer assessments that are both thorough and accurate, as well as tailoring intervention programmes to individual needs. Catherine has worked as a highly specialist SLT in a variety of inpatient acute, intensive inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient domiciliary and slower stream community rehabilitation settings. She is highly adept as working autonomously, as well as part of an interdisciplinary team. Catherine is currently working both independently in neuro rehabilitation and in a community stroke rehabilitation team. Catherine is both passionate and proficient in delivering a wide range of therapeutic interventions 1:1 and in groups. Catherine is driven by patient-led collaborative goal setting in therapy, through restoration and remediation of function where possible, as well as through utilisation of compensatory and adaptive approaches to recovery. She has knowledge and experience of using technology in both assessment and rehabilitation of swallowing and communication difficulties, including both high-tech and low-tech alternative augmentative communication (AAC) systems, including the use of switches, eye gaze systems or the use of the iPad in therapy. Catherine tailors assessments and intervention depending on the needs of individuals, by drawing upon different therapeutic approaches, including, but not limited to motivational interviewing, project based interventions, and acceptance and commitment therapy. ‘I thrive on the challenge of working with such diverse and complex clients and significant others. I am extremely passionate and rewarded by working with people in the post-acute phase of their recovery and in the community, where you can agree and achieve functionally relevant goals.’
I had a RTC a year ago and sustained 2 bleeds to the brain, and a concussion amongst other injuries. I had a lot of rage, depression, stress, and self pity. I worked with Kesta and trusted her immediately she put me at ease so quickly and easily, now we have finished our sessions I am a totally new and confident person, she is nothing short of a miracle worker, she is such a lovely and caring person always had my interests at heart, I can't praise her enough. She will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you Kesta you’re absolutely fabulous.