The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust's (BIRT) Clinical Leadership is responsible for setting models and standards of service delivery, auditing services, promoting clinical governance, training and research. (BIRT is a division of The Disabilities Trust.) It brings together an international team of clinicians who, as well as leading our interdisciplinary teams in BIRT's specialist centres, are also involved in research and new projects, and share their knowledge through educational events and national and international conferences. We work together to make sure BIRT's services remain both excellent and innovative.
We are introducing a variety of procedures to ensure continued high standards across all our services and we are continually looking at all aspects of our work to ensure a high quality environment for users and for staff too.
Dr Rudi Coetzer is a Consultant Neuropsychologist / Honorary Professor at Bangor University, and an Honorary Clinical Academic at Swansea University. His main clinical and academic interests are in neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation of persons with acquired brain injury, and service development. He has published widely, and 'Working with brain injury', by Rudi Coetzer & Ross Balchin (2014) was awarded the British Psychological Society Practitioner Book Of The Year, 2016. Dr Coetzer is on the Specialist Register of the British Psychological Society Division of Neuropsychology.
Miles is the Consultant Clinical Psychologist at York House, York. He has worked for BIRT since 2003 at our two hospitals in Yorkshire (York House and Goole Neurorehabilitation Centre). He trained and worked at the University of Florida and has also worked for the University of Hull as a Clinical Tutor in the Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychological Therapies. His research interests include traumatic brain injury, neurobehavioural rehabilitation, and the impact of neurological disability on family systems functioning.
Dr Mar Matarin is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Graham Anderson House. She has more than 17 years of clinical experience in public and private health settings including at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, the Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre and the Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona. She has worked and published extensively in academic research institutions including posts held at the National Institutes of Health, USA and University College London. Currently she holds the position of Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Queen Square Institute of Neurology, where she conducts research into a variety of neurological disorders using genetic, cognitive and behavioural approaches.
Sara is a Chartered Psychologist who started her career in Portugal, working at the Language Research Laboratory, Institute of Molecular Medicine before moving to England where she completed a Masters in Cognitive Neuropsychology and a PhD investigating the relationship between language and cognition. Currently Sara focuses on the outcomes of acquired brain injury rehabilitation, and evaluating the usefulness of technology to support independent living.
Pieter du Toit is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for The Disabilities Trust’s brain injury services in the Midlands and is based at Fen House, Ely. He has more than 20 years’ experience working as clinical psychologist in public and private health settings including working as Principal Clinical Psychologist at the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neurorehabilitation. Pieter held a post as Deputy Clinical Director in the Doctoral Training Programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Essex, where he continues to hold an Honorary Senior Lecturer position. He has authored peer reviewed articles, chapters, and books relevant to clinical psychology.
Dr Christopher Byrne is a Principle Clinical Psychologist for The Disabilities Trust based at Redford Court, Liverpool. He completed his doctoral training in 2016 at Bangor University and has since worked clinically within the field of community neurorehabilitation.
He has published many peer-reviewed articles in the area of neuropsychological rehabilitation and won the British Neuropsychological Society’s Humphries and Riddoch Prize in 2021.
Helen qualified as a registered general nurse in 1991. She worked initially within Trauma and Orthopaedics.
In 2007 she joined the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust working as a senior Nurse at the Goole Neurorehabilitation Centre. She worked there until 2013 latterly as the service manager.
Sara is a Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist. Sara has worked as an Occupational Therapist in a number of clinical areas including mental health, orthopaedics and general medicine but early on realised she had a passion for neurological rehabilitation. Sara has worked in the NHS, as a brain injury case manager, and in the private sector. She has been with The Disabilities Trust since 2007 as the Senior OT at Kerwin Court and more recently as Clinical Lead OT for the brain injury division of the Trust. She has long seen the benefits and values the opportunity to work in the psychology led model. Sara is committed to ensuring that our service users receive high quality rehabilitation and to working with the OT teams across the Trust to support their learning and development, clinical governance and outcomes.
Jan is a Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist. Jan completed her degree in speech and hearing science in Australia and worked for 13 years in the community with children and young people with disabilities. Jan had various roles from speech pathologist to service manager. In 2011 she relocated to Scotland and has worked since then as a speech and language therapist at the brain injury division of The Disabilities Trust service in Glasgow, Graham Anderson House. At the end of 2019, Jan became the Clinical Lead for speech and language therapy for The Disabilities Trust, as well as the senior specialist speech and language therapist at Graham Anderson House. Throughout her career she has been inspired by the people she works with, both the service users, families and staff. Jan is always learning new things which makes her career exciting and engaging.
Jenny Woodgate is a Clinical Lead Physiotherapist, based at Kerwin Court. Since graduating from the University of East Anglia in 1997, I have worked in a variety of settings within the NHS, including acute, rehabilitation and in the community and I have been fortunate enough to work in Brain Injury rehabilitation units in Australia, New Zealand and in the UK. In 2003, I joined the team at the Sussex Rehabilitation Centre and worked there for 15 years as a Band 6, then as their Physiotherapy Team Lead. Neurological rehabilitation is my passion and I chose to specialise in this area quite early on in my career as I found the work exciting, inspirational and extremely rewarding.
Dr Louise Warren is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at Kerwin Court, Horsham. She has worked in the area of neuropsychology since 2006 in both NHS and private settings with her main clinical interest being the assessment and rehabilitation of those following acquired brain injury. Louise has achieved the postgraduate Qualification in Clinical Neuropsychology (QiCN) and is on the Specialist Register of Clinical Neuropsychologists (SRCN). She has worked as an Associate Clinical Tutor on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey as well as teaching on the Postgraduate Diploma in Adult Clinical Neuropsychology at the Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology. Louise has a particular interest in developing further research into the use of social media in those with an acquired brain injury.