Jane Miller, OT social services.pngAn interim job for Kent County Council turned into a 40-year career for Occupational Therapist Jane Miller. 

The 64-year-old graduated in 1981 from Northampton School of Occupational Therapy. 
Her first love was mental health and after cutting her teeth in the former psychiatric hospital at Tooting Bec, London, Jane relocated to the New Forest to help set up a psychiatric day hospital.

When she returned to Kent in 1984 to be nearer to her elderly parents, Jane started working for KCC – and she has never looked back, being promoted through the organisation to become principal occupational therapist for KCC.

She explains: “I was a creative child and my mother encouraged me to pursue a career in OT because she knew I like craftwork and working out solutions to problems. These were the foundations for a dynamic career working with people to determine what mattered to them most and support them to find solutions to their challenges.

“As an OT it is very satisfying to find solutions for disabled people. We are privileged to go into people’s homes – we are their guests – to look at their home environment and to assess how equipment or alterations can help them live their best life.”

Passionate about occupational therapy

“I’ve never stopped practice. I have never stopped learning. I have supported many people to return to practice too because it’s a shame to lose professional skills and the qualifications they have gained. We need to recognise that essential life skills are also valuable to being a successful OT, you need to be able to communicate with clients and colleagues alike, and having a full understanding of real-life issues goes a long way when working with people.

“I am passionate about occupational therapy and there are lots of career opportunities in social care. I am ready to retire now, it’s time for me, but I plan to return to practise as a professional consultant and continue to draw on my experience, skills and knowledge.”