Health & Work Matters was founded by Heather Watson, a qualified physiotherapist and expert in return to work and rehabilitation. Through her 20 years treating and talking to people from many walks of life working in all industry sectors, Heather has seen first-hand the devastating effects that injuries and pain can have on individuals’ health and personal lives, as well as the broader social and economic problems it can cause. And what really motivates Heather is that in many cases these difficult situations could have been avoided with better advice early on.
That’s why we’re dedicated to promoting better support and resources for the healthcare professionals, case managers, solicitors and employers who look after people who are worrying about needing to take time off work, or fearing long term absence and all the consequences that can bring.
This site is very much “a work in progress” so if you are unable to find what you are looking for, we probably haven’t quite got it on here yet! Please get in touch to discuss your needs and how we may be able to help.
We are building our team of contributors, so if you would like to get involved, check out the “Get Involved” Page and then get in touch!
Heather Watson MCSP, Registered MACPOHE
Heather qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1995, and has worked in a wide variety of occupational health (heavy engineering, retail, quarrying, healthcare) and NHS settings, specialising in MSKs and persistent pain, especially spinal pain after a periods spent working as a Spinal Clinical Specialist ESP. She has post graduate qualifications in Occupational Health Physiotherapy, Orthopaedic Medicine and Applied Workplace Ergonomics. Heather has also been a conference speaker on many occasions on the topics of return to work and occupational rehabilitation and was the co author and tutor of the ACPOHE (Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Occupational Health & Ergonomics) “Occupational Rehabilitation & work Hardening” course which is part of the ACPOHE Registered Membership competency framework. Heather was also ACPOHE Education Officer for 2 years between 2009-2011.
Heather designed, set up and was the service clinical lead for 4 yrs for an NHS MSK Fitness for Work Service which won an NHS Innovation Challenge Prize for Rehabilitation in 2015.
In 2015 Heather and her NHS team colleagues (Jayne & Mike below) were also awarded the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Service Excellence Award 2015 for Promoting Activity & Healthy Lifestyles for the “MSK Fitness for Work Service”.
Heather also made the final 3 for the Vocational Rehabilitation Association’s VR Practitioner of the Year for 2015 but was pipped to the post by a worthy winner!
Heather is passionate about empowering more professionals to talk positively & confidently about work with their clients, and taking the mystery out of pain and work for employers, encouraging “upstream” working to give good advice to prevent common conditions leading to unnecessary long term work loss and disability.
For a full bio, please connect with Heather via LinkedIn
Mike Sleap MCSP, MACPOHE
Mike’s career started with him working in many different roles; including engineering, warehousing and sales of machine tools, before spending some years travelling through Australia, New Zealand and Asia. After returning to the UK, he qualified with a first class honours degree in Physiotherapy in 1999 and worked his initial years for Stockport NHS Foundation Trust before deciding to start working in private practice and the field of Occupational Health.
During his career as an Occupational Health Physiotherapist, Mike has worked in a vast range of settings, from the glamour of TV studios and Airports to Pie Factories. He currently works as a Senior OH Physiotherapist in the public sector, making recommendations for amended duties and rehabilitating his clients to their optimum health.
Jayne Crook MCSP, Registered MACPOHE
Jayne is a Chartered Physiotherapist and a registered member of ACPOHE. She has worked in a variety of environments involved in assessment of fitness for work and rehabilitation, including the NHS, factories, refuse and recycling firms and the military. Jayne is currently the acting Clinical Lead for the award winning NHS OH MSK Fitness for Work Service.
Jayne’s also been an elite athlete herself and her previous high-level sports participation and work within the military has developed a keen interest in exercise rehabilitation and movement patterns, which transfer well into an occupational environment. The experiences have also helped to recognise other complex psychological and social barriers that affect performance and work. She enjoys motivating her patients back to their full potential.