Ms Rachel Booth-Gardiner Curriculum Vitae

RCOT No: BT023748

HCPC:  OT48212


BSc Hons Occupational Therapist Teesside University  2:1 2006. GNVQ Health and Social Care 2002 A -level in Art grade C 2000AS in textiles grade c 1999 9 GCSE grade A-C. (Including Maths and English) 1998. Within work, I have undertaken two management and leadership courses.

Volunteer Roles 

BAOT/RCOT Northern and Yorkshire Regional Committee: Treasurer 2022 – Present Acting Chair October 2021- Oct 2022 Chair: 2013 – 2016 Membership Lead 2008-2011

RCOT Supervision Guidance External reference group February 2022 – present

RCOT Steering group for the development of their equity diversity and belong strategy July 2022 – present

South Tees NHS Trust – Public Governor Dec 2022-

TEVW NHS Trust Staff Governor between July 2017 – Dec 2019. Tees, Esk & Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust: This involved sitting on the board of Governors and with other elected governors hold the non-executive and executive board to account.

OTalk I joined the OTalk team in January 2006. We are a group of OT volunteers who organise and facilitate a weekly CPD session on twitter.

AbleOTUK I’m a founding member of AbleOTUK. Which launched 27th July 2021. Its aim is to provide a voice and safe space for Occupational Therapy Practitioners, who have lived experience of disability or long term health conditions. 

Presentations Examples 

7th October 2022 – Ableism what is it and are occupational therapists guilty of practising it? presentation for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health partnership NHS as part of their #OTweek CPD event.

15th June 2022 AbleOTUK round table RCOT conference 2022 session 29

25th November 2021 The OT Show What recovering from Covid19 taught me. – The challenge I now have for the profession.

1st March 2021 London South Bank University -OT Society Conference. Resilience, Adaptation, and the New Normal – Experiencing Post Covid Rehab from practitioner to patient.

2019 OT Show Lets OTalk about it – A practical guide to using social media for professional development and online communities of practice.

2018 Royal College of Occupational Therapist annual conference Occupation Station 21st Century Meaningful Activity – Using Social Media to Engage.

2015 Leeds Becket student conference MSc OT and MSc PT conference, and at Northumbria University student conference. Lead the way – using social media to enhance your CPD

2014 OT show Acute Psychiatry – Bread and Butter OT.

2013  T Mental Health Specialist Section Conference. Poster Presentation “Implementing computer and internet access for service users whilst in hospital: The journey.

2012 COT Conference (Mental Health Specialist section) Developing an Occupational Therapy Service in a PICU – A reflection

Training & Experiences in using.

Assessment tools and outcome measures to aid my practice.

Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) The Model of Human Occupation Screening Tool (MOHOST)

Occupational Self Assessment (OSA)

The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA)

Cognitive Disabilities Model and Assessments The (Large) Allen Cognitive Level Screen tool (ACLS) (LACLS)

The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM)

Goal Attainment Scale (Gas Lite)

Leadership & Management with a purpose (LAMP) Leadership and Coaching training with TEWV. 

Publications and Awards


Lead Occupational Therapist over 20 years experience working within a Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Foundation NHS trusts in the North-East of England. Experience sitting on Royal College Occupational Therapy (RCOT) regional committees. Volunteer roles within the wider Occupational Therapy online community as a member of the OTalk and AbleOTUK teams.

Professional interests include

  • The Leadership & supervision meeting the needs of individuals.
  • Supporting students & staff to think creatively, initiative ways of engaging in CPD, including the use of social media.
  • Activism as an occupation, campaigning for services to be needs led.
  • Understanding the impact of occupational deprivation, alienation, & isolation on motivation, mood and the recovery process.
  • Creative & 21st centuries occupations being explored. The challenge of delivering occupational therapy in restricted environments.
  • The impact of a persons menstrual cycle on functioning.
  • The lived experience of occupational therapists with disabilities.

I was born with Cerebral Palsy (right hemiplegia) so have personal understanding & experience of disability. I have experienced much therapy over my life time mainly occupational therapy and physiotherapy. I am dyslexic & have had periods of depression as an adult. In 2020 I contracted Covid 19 spending over a year in hospital recovering. Currently I require the use of a wheelchair outside for long distances. I can manage a short indoor distance with two walking aids and some steps with handrails. 


Current role Lead Occupational Therapist Band 7 TEWV NHS Trust for Adult Mental Health in-patient and community acute and rehabilitation services return in October 2022 after time away recovering from illness. 

During my time recovering, 2020-2022 I focused on my occupational therapy voluntary roles, presented at student and national conferences about my lived experience of recovery and being in receipt of occupational therapy and acted as a mentor to others.

Lead Occupational Therapist for Forensic Mental Health services.  Band 7 TEWV NHS Trust (Secondment 2019 – 2020) 

Leadership and line management of Occupational Therapy Staff in TEWV NHS Foundation Trust secure (forensic) services. Main task to lead on embedding a new model of OT amalgamating two services together. This included working alongside HR, and service leads to manage strategic organisational change. For six months before this I was acting clinical lead of the learning disabilities forensic occupational therapy services with an active approach to leading strategic change together with my substantial post (see below.) Being proactive throughout this process to ensure quality during the development was mainly achieved by coaching  and mentoring of staff.

Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist Adult Mental Health in-patient, Community and inpatient rehabilitation services across Teesside. Band 7 TEWV NHS Trust(2016 – 2019) 

Leadership and line management of OT staff working in mental health in-patients and rehabilitation services, across Teesside. Quality assurance in this setting was achieved by providing supervision, planning and running monthly learning and governance networks, promoting staff CPD and representing OT and collaboration within service level and strategic meetings. I carried a small caseload delivering OT assessments and treatment to service users on the psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist Adult Mental Health in- patients TEWV NHS TrustBand 7 (2011 – 2016) 

As above but only within Adult Mental Health in-patients in one hospital.

Band 6 and Band 5 Occupational Therapist (2006- 2011) 

In a range of mental health settings TNEY NHS Trust Delivering occupational therapy interventions to clients with mental health problems. Group work, assessment, goal setting and treatment. Supervision of assistants and band 5 staff.

Student Occupational Therapist 2003 -2006 Secondment by my employer to to study occupational therapy at Teesside University. 

Assistant Occupational Therapist 2000-2003 Working under the supervision of occupational therapists delivering interventions within an acute mental health hospital.


Working with people managing and delivering Occupational therapy services.

Years of experience in carrying out assessment and delivery of occupational interventions, in both open and closed group work situations, along with individual 1:1 sessions based on engagement in activities/tasks, goal oriented both therapist lead and co produced. See training & experiences (right) for models, assessment tools and outcomes measure knowledge. Most of my clinical work has been working with service users in restrictive mental health services. I have a calm active listening approach, when working with those in distress or highly volatile situations, and can read people able to de-escalate situations well. Within my leadership roles, this skill has turned too managing concerns within staff groups and is utilised in wider management, coaching, development and strategic situations. This approach and skill should give me a good grounding in working with RCOT members to meet their development needs and what they may want as membership benefits. 

 Supervision, Quality Assurance and Governance. 

 Thought-out my career I have supervised students, assistants, graduates and experienced occupational therapists. Supervision is a required and important part for the development of occupational therapy staff that is part of quality assurance and good governance.

RCOT has a role to play in ensuring members have both a good understanding and access to resources to promote assurance and governance of the profession. I have experience running a monthly occupational therapy learning and governance network within my current role, that both uses and develops resources to audit and improve professional quality and governance. As mentioned I have experience of governance at a higher level serving as a staff governor on the trust council of governors.

 Leadership and Coaching

Undertaken a number of leadership, development and coaching training courses/opportunities provided by my employer. This has really helped me develop confidence by understanding my own styles and how that may have impacted on those I am leading. Within leadership it is important to understand what motivates individuals, what strengths and limitations team members have, to get the best out of a team, skills of diplomacy, negotiation, openness ensure any issues within team dynamics are addressed, when it comes to implementing change its important that team members feel included in the process, but also that there are clear expectations and goals so that tasks are achieved and input is valued.

 Continue Professional Development (CPD)

Throughout my career engaging in and creating CDP opportunities for others has been an important and enjoyable part of my role. I love learning, and asking questions to  understand what motivates people. CPD is a standard we must meet as a requirement of the HCPC. My voluntary roles are focused on providing CPD opportunities, this including running OTalk, a weekly Twitter chat about Occupational therapy. On RCOT regional committees, I have helped plan, develop and facilitate CDP events. Within my workplace I actively encourage others to think about and record their CPD, this includes presenting on HCPC standards and ways to document continuing professional development easily, within the standards of HCPC and RCOT. 

Development of Services Achieving Positive Change

Change is enviable, working within the NHS there is alway change, I am use to working proactively to embrace better ways of working, appropriately challenging resistance to progress and making positive improvements.  I have experience of developing, negotiating, and achieving positive change within my paid roles and in the wider occupational therapy community and local communities with voluntary roles.  

It can be difficult to achieve change. As an example blanket restrictions have been and still are commonplace in mental health inpatient services. They can be a barrier to occupational therapy interventions. The Care Quality Commission who regulate services require the removal of blanket restrictions, Good practice understands that each environment, intervention and the person engaging will present different levels of unique strengths and risks. I have extensive experience in carrying out risk assessments on the environments, interventions and individuals, to evidence based and understand the reasons behind restricted practice and challenging blanket restrictions that impact positive engagement in occupation and human rights to ensure a quality service.

Recruitment and ensuring Equality, Diversity and Belonging 

I have extensive experience in shortlisting, interviewing and recruitment of occupational therapy staff, have sat on panels to recruit consultant psychiatrists and helped to interview students for occupational therapy courses. 

I have worked with HR on ensuring interview panels included those with lived experiences. I have experiences working with staff who have needs for reasonable adjustments to be made in the workplace to ensure they can fulfil their job role well. This is a particular area of interest for me and would like to work towards RCOT developing better guidance and wellbeing resources.

IT and Social media skills

I’m skilled in using both Mac and PC, able to interchange between both without issue. Able to confidently use most software and programs. Including: Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Pages, Keynote, and Numbers. Microsoft Office I am confident in quickly learning new software, electronic staff management software and patient record systems.

In my voluntary roles with OTalk and AbleOTUK that are based online, mainly on social media platforms. I have gained skills in building websites, making creative videos, posts, to promote & market events and topics, this includes skills in scheduling posts to hit target audiences at key times. Use google and outlook sharing documents systems. I have presented about and have good knowledge of how to remain professional whilst online. I’m confident in all aspects of using Skype, Zoom and MS Teams and finding resources and apps to help with thoughts and ideas.

Project management, event planning and organisation

Having a disability lends itself to being well organised, having to plan every aspect of my day before leaving the house. Project management and events planning is really enjoyable for me. 

I have experience of a strategic oversight of service needs, and have played a key role in the development and delivery of occupational therapy services, have skills in auditing, project management, designing resources and running learning opportunities for staff, service users and RCOT members. 

In the NHS trust I work for, I have led on planning ‘in house’ conferences for OT & the wider AHP staff groups. I have planned and facilitated three co-produced Trust wide art exhibitions of services users and staff’s art work. One was held at Ripon Cathedral. In 2018 along with my manager I planned a national conference focused on Personality Disorder & Occupational Therapy, that generated income for my trust. 

Within voluntary roles for RCOT regional committee’s I have been involved in planning, running and presenting at a number of learning events and conferences.