Having worked as a neurosciences occupational therapist in the NHS for more than 15 years, it felt somewhat surreal leaving behind my team and service, which had become deeply embedded in my daily routine.

The opportunity to undertake an exciting new challenge in my career, despite the anxieties of the unknown and a loyalty to a service of which I was extremely fond and proud, paved the way for a move that in the end proved difficult to decline.

Before I could hesitate, I was driving to Cornwall to complete an immediate needs assessment and I was delighted to complete my report within the 21-day deadline. Phew! I reflect on my first year in case management noting the increased consumption of coffee but more significantly with immense pride of my achievements.

Yes, there have been many moments where my to-do list has spiraled, and my plans changed with the sound of a new email in my inbox.

I have spent much time looking up the legal terms and asking what it all means, and wondering if the solicitor likes me or does my email read well?

Michelle Mason

There have been breakthrough moments when I have facilitated a client’s goal plan and seen them engage in an activity that they believed they would never be able to undertake and captured a client’s thoughts and feelings and translated this successfully into the written form. I have enjoyed report writing more than I could have imagined, and though challenging, I have relished the steep learning curve which this last year has presented.

I have had to view the client from a case manager perspective, but I continue to use my clinical knowledge and occupational therapy assessment skills and treatment planning to deliver the high-quality work with my clients that I strive to provide.

Being an OT is part of me and I will always use my wealth of experience to case manage my clients.

The highlights of my first year include developing good rapport and therapeutic relationships with both clients and their families. Effective communication skills have rewarded me with the opportunity to engage well with the wider multidisciplinary team.

An invitation to a gala dinner with a solicitor firm was somewhat unexpected but satisfying to think that my individual work with a client had earned my attendance. I have been fortunate to join a case management company where my own learning needs and supervisory requirements have been protected, and I have been well supported by my peers. Regular clinical and peer supervision are prioritised, and I am appreciative of their team working ethos.

I hope to continue to build on my confidence as a neuro case manager and I am committed to develop my learning within this field. I am feeling excited at the prospect of implementing my clients’ goals over the forthcoming months and reassured to know that the support from my company will facilitate this. It has been enthusing to take a leap into a new career direction and it will be encouraging to see what the second year brings.

Michelle Mason is an occupational therapist and case manager at Circle Case Management.