Contact details

As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twitter - I've finally gone and signed up

I've finally bowed to the pressure of keeping up with the world of media and signed up to Twitter as 'FourFootTall' no idea if this is a good name or not but I couldn't bring myself to be EmmaBowler2... 2 no thanks!

As part of the signing up process I earmarked 12 people to 'Follow'. I read a few of their Tweets and quickly realised that writing them must be more of an art than it first appears. Certainly some of the Tweets make no sense whatsoever whilst others did look interesting because they had something worthwhile to say.

I'm still contemplating what on earth I'm going to say but perhaps it will all fall into place at some point, I'm still a novice after all.

What's very bizarre is that even though I haven't submitted a Tweet yet or completed my profile I have a follower, how does that work? Perhaps it is all in a name.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hospital appointments - a small rant

I really hate sorting out hospital appointments. Archie's been sent two recently, both are in the term time and I don't want him to miss school for hospital appointments that aren't urgent, I'd rather push them into the school holidays. But changing them is never straightforward.

Apparently the first, an ENT appointment, has been graded A which means the appointment booking person can't change it by more than a week. She suggests calling the Consultant's secretary, which I did. She was very pleasant but has no idea why it is a grade A appointment, can't help me change it and suggests calling the appointment booking people. So I'm back where I started.

The second appointment is to see a consultant in Bristol where Archie attends a bone dysplasia clinic.

When I call to change it the booking person points out that Archie usually attends a bone dysplasia clinic and the appointment I have been sent is for a normal clinic. She looks up the first bone dysplasia clinic but that's still in term time. The next one is late August , lord knows what we will be doing then but I book that one.

What's annoying about a lot of hospital appointments is that you wait a long time for them, spend ages waiting around on the day, go in and then it turns out to feel like a bit of a waste of time as nothing really happens. Perhaps 'nothing really happening' is a result in many people's eyes but having had a whole childhood of appointments where 'nothing ever happened' I've had enough of them.

As well as the inconvenient timing of the appointment the other issue with this one is that it is for a different consultant to the one Archie usually sees. There's a real issue when you have a rare disability, like Kniest Syndrome, when there is a lack of consultant continuity. The advantage of the consultant that Archie usually sees in Bristol is that he knows something about Kniest which is a pretty key criteria, it could be this other consultant does too but I don't know that for sure - if he doesn't then we're back into 'real waste of time appointment' territory. I don't want to go there.

In the old days I would have just rolled over and accepted it but nowadays I think it's really worthwhile asking why there has been a change of consultant and if there is no valid reason to insist on seeing the one you've got to know and who's got to know you. It's easy to feel slightly in awe of the medical system but to get the best out of it sometimes you have to assert yourself, it's been a long time coming and I never did it for myself but at least I can try and do it for Archie.