English Board

The English Board has three main roles:

  1. Policy: To consider policy and legislative changes (not including research and development or education and learning) that impact on the practice of occupational therapy and service users and provide a steer/advice for COT staff and report to Council on matters of key importance.
  2. Practice: Consider practice matters and emerging areas of practice to ensure that ethical and quality matters are addressed and identify where guidance for members may be required.
  3. Membership: To consider country-specific membership data, patterns and recruitment and retention initiatives that may require input from the Board.


The English Board is comprised of 9 members


Linda Agnew (Chair)Linda Agnew (Chair)

Linda started her occupational therapy career in the NHS in 1982. She has experience as a leader and mentor. She has gained skills and experience from working in clinical, operational and strategic levels within community, acute, mental health and the not-for-profit sectors working in England and Jersey. She is also a board trustee for a local stroke charity and dementia champion.
Now working independently Linda provides advice, consultancy support, mentoring, strategic planning and project management as well as staff and stakeholder engagement, service review and analysis. Linda has experience in vocational rehab and return to work programmes within the NHS and has trained in Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). Linda has developed particular skills with staff and patient engagement and involvement, business planning, strategy development, professional standards, service impact analysis, communications and marketing.

Laura Evans (board member)

Laura qualified in 1985 as an Occupational Therapist in York and is now the Head of Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust. Laura has clinical experience in acute care, paediatrics, palliative care and research. She has held leadership and management roles within elderly care and an integrated Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Structure. Recent projects have included initiating the Acute Therapies Benchmarking Project and presenting the Discharge to Assess Model at the Kings Fund in June 2014. Laura is also undertaking a Professional Doctorate and is exploring the future role of Occupational therapists for frail older people in an Integrated Healthcare Trust.

Gareth EvertonGareth Everton

Gareth qulified as an occupational therapist in2005 and is a specialist in Equipment and Adaptations; however, he also has experience of Older People's Mental Health and hospital care. He worked in the Commissioning service for Doncaster Council before joining NHS Hull CCG in 2015 and is currently the lead for Continuing Healthcare, Personal Health Budgets and care home. Gareth graduated from York St. John University in 2013 with a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Health Studies and more recently was awarded the MSc. Leadership and Management in 2016.

Helen Grace (board member)Helen Grace (board member)

Helena has worked in a wide range of roles in the South East including community clinician, HIV specialist OT and OT Team Manager. As city wide Service Development Manager for Brighton and Hove City Council (BHCC), she worked with CSED to design the original reablement model for Adult Social Care Services and the training programme. She became the first BHCC OT commissioner, with responsibility for Daily Living Equipment, Minor Adaptations and Telecare. Helena is currently Director of Grace & Associates Ltd and has undertaken a range of service reviews and recommissioning exercises for CCGs and LAs in the South East. She also designs and delivers training for Accredited Prescriber Daily Living Equipment. She has recently become a specialist advisor to the CQC.

Helen LycettHelen Lycett

Helen has been an occupational therapist for 16 years in mental health services with a special interest in forensic mental health. Most of that time has been spent working in Oxford but now works for West London Mental Health Trust as their Strategic Trust Lead for Occupational Therapists and Allied Health Professions. Helen is committed to delivering care that is genuinely focused around the needs of service users and carers and has a passion for social inclusion which she believes is not just something we 'do', but is as much a state of mind, that we all have to live to make a reality.

Caroline Hayden-Wright (board member)Caroline Hayden-Wright

Caroline qualified from St Andrews School of Occupational Therapy in 1986. She worked at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge in acute physical services, was Head Occupational Therapist until 2000 and has since run own Management and Training Consultancy. This has provided the opportunity to work in varied roles in different locations, including commissioning and developing a new OT service in a company. Caroline has worked as COT Consultancy Service advisor providing service reviews and ongoing support to OT Services. She is currently focussing on training and working closely with Age UK on a national level as a Training Consultant which includes both the development and delivery of new training materials. Caroline also carries out clinical work in Cardiac Rehabilitation with a special interest in psychological recovery and lifestyle change.

Angela Hook (board member)Angela Hook (board member)

Angela qualified from St Andrew's School of OT in 1983. She practiced in Norfolk and the North West mainly in mental health and moved into academia in 2000. Angela is a Senior Lecturer in OT at University of Salford and a founder member of who advocate the use of online spaces for free knowledge sharing and professional development. She has been involved in many projects that focus on learning and development - and was the developer of the COT PQF in 2006. She also has a keen interest in the role of occupational therapy in the public health agenda and has co-developed an app Occubuzz that helps users understand more about #whatyoudoaffectshowyoufeel

Isabella Moore - UNISON RepresentativeIsabella Moore - UNISON Representative

Isabella works in the Acute Setting as a senior therapist.
She holds an active role as BAOT / Unison representative for BAOT and other UNISON professionals. After working in the NHS for most of her career, and as an OT Assistant for seventeen years, Isabella then qualified as an OT in 2005.
Her expertise is the care of the elderly with a special interest in dementia care and vulnerable adults. She has been active in the development of therapist within the emergency department and the merging of this with a rapid assessment unit for the elderly.

Karin Bishop, Assistant Director - Professional PracticeKarin Bishop

Karin is the head of the Professional Practice team with overall responsibility for professional practice and policy across health and social care for the College.


Recent work

The board looks at a variety of issues and gives advice to COT Officers on areas of work.
Some the issues considered in the past year are:

  • Public Health
  • Prescribing
  • New and emerging roles
  • Core skills
  • Economic Evaluation
  • The Improving lives, saving money campaign

The board also advises COT officers on content for events e.g. the COT Zone at NAIDEX national, publicity material and receives reports of activity from the Professional Practice Team, Specialist Section, Regions and on Membership matters.

To contact the Board

Clare Leggett
Tel: 020 7450 2345
Email: clare.leggett@cot.co.uk