Meet The Team

Dr Lesley Taylor CPsychol.

Lesley is our lead clinical psychologist and co-founder of Spectrum North West. She holds a doctorate from the University of Lancaster and has spent over twenty years working with people with learning disabilities and autism. Lesley left her NHS role in August 2017 to concentrate on working for Spectrum full time.

Lesley is an honorary lecturer at both the University of Liverpool and the University of Lancaster. She teaches on both doctoral clinical psychology training courses and is also the coordinator of the learning disability teaching module for the University of Liverpool. Lesley also supports students with research that is undertaken as part of their doctoral theses and has published research in the area of learning disability.

Mrs Sarah Brady BA(Hons) MRSCLT

Sarah is our lead speech and language therapist and co-founder of Spectrum North West. She qualified from the University of Reading in 1998 and holds a licence to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Sarah has been working as an SLT for nineteen years – her career has included working with both children and adults, mostly in the NHS but also at the University of Sydney, Australia. Sarah has completed post graduate training in sensory integration and is currently employed part time in the NHS, where she leads the autism diagnosis service in a forensic psychiatry team.

Dr Vicki Wardman BSc (Hons), DClinPsy

Vicki is a clinical psychologist. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Manchester and is licenced to practice with the Health and Social Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Vicki has worked with people with learning disabilities and/or autism for over fifteen years. All of this time has been spent in either the NHS or education, within CAMHS settings, community learning disability services and in colleges. Vicki is currently employed part time for the NHS as the Clinical Lead for a Neurodevelopmental Disorders team, part of a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

Vicki also leads the autism strategy for the area in which she works (children aged 0-19), co-ordinating care and service changes for children and young people across agencies.

Mrs Anna Darby BSc(Hons)

Anna is one of our occupational therapists. She qualified from Salford University in 2002. Anna is registered with HCPC and has worked with children in the NHS for the last 14 years.

Anna currently works part time in an NHS child and adolescent mental health service, where she focusses on children and young people with neurodevelopmental difficulties, in addition to assessing for autism.

Anna has completed post-graduate training in sensory integration and she is a member of the Sensory Integration Network. She offers sensory processing assessments aimed at identifying sensory needs and the impact that these may have on a child’s ability to function in everyday activities. The specialist assessments also contribute to the wider assessment to help with differential diagnosis, particularly around ADHD.

Miss Gail Paterson BSc(Hons) MRSCLT

Gail is a speech and language therapist. She qualified from the University of Reading in 2004 and holds a licence to practice with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Gail has worked in the NHS as an SLT for more than eleven years with people with learning disabilities and Autism and has published research in the use of contact work with people with learning disabilities. She is currently employed in the NHS working on a community learning disability team.

Mrs Jess Powell BSc(Hons) MRSLT

Jess is a speech and language therapist. She qualified from the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 2004 and holds a licence to practice with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and HCPC.

Jess has worked within the NHS for twelve years with a wide variety of paediatric clients in various settings, including bilingual environments. She currently works in an NHS child and adolescent mental health service in Greater Manchester with young people with neurodevelopmental disabilities – and has a particular specialism in working with children with autism spectrum conditions.

Mrs Nicola Brislen BSc(Hons) MRCSLT

Nicola is a speech and language therapist. She qualified from the Manchester Metropolitan University in 1999 and holds a licence to practice with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and HCPC.

Nicola has worked within the NHS for 18 years with a wide variety of paediatric clients in various settings, including special educational needs settings. She currently works in the NHS as a preschool specialist with children on the autisitc spectrum.