Judith S Garbutt.
Article Type: Obituary
Subject: Occupational therapists (Biography)
Author: Parry, Janice
Pub Date: 03/01/2010
Publication: Name: British Journal of Occupational Therapy Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. ISSN: 0308-0226
Issue: Date: March, 2010 Source Volume: 73 Source Issue: 3
Persons: Biographee: Garbutt, Judith S.
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United Kingdom Geographic Code: 4EUUK United Kingdom
Accession Number: 221919020
Full Text: 29.08.1938 to 29.10.2009

It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Judy Garbutt after a long battle with ill health.

Judy trained in Liverpool, qualifying as an occupational therapist in 1959. She began her career working at Saint Luke's Hospital in Middlesbrough. In 1960, she met Ken, whom she married in 1962. Having moved to Chester-le-Street in 1960, she was subsequently promoted from Senior Occupational Therapist to the Group Head for the Durham Hospital Group, a post she held until she began her family. Susan arrived in 1965 and John 18 months later.

Returning to work in 1970, Judy was based in the Durham Council Welfare Department, latterly the Social Services Department, working hard to raise the profile of occupational therapy from its fledgling state within Social Services.

Judy became treasurer and chairperson of the local branch of the British Association of Occupational Therapists, encouraging her staff to become involved in professional issues through both the College and the union. Locally run study days were a way in which Judy 'encouraged' her staff to undertake presentations 'to help with their professional development'.


When, in 1990, Durham County Council devolved services to district level and the role of Principal Occupational Therapist disappeared, Judy undertook the role of Principal Officer for rehabilitation services within the county. Within this role, Judy represented the College of Occupational Therapists in a series of meetings with the Association of Directors of Social Services, where she worked tirelessly to establish the role of occupational therapy within Social Services.

In 1993, Judy changed direction slightly and took the post of Staff Development Officer with special responsibility for moving and handling training for the county council and health staff. Adding to the profession's resources, while in this role, she co-wrote a manual handling guide for occupational therapists. She also had papers published on occupational therapy in the community and a paper on client self-assessment, leading to the adoption of this approach which gave clients an opportunity to voice their needs.

Retiring in 1999 due to ill health and despite becoming confined to a wheelchair, Judy remained passionate about her profession, never letting the doctors and nurses forget her profession even towards the end.

Anyone who knew Judy will remember her as one of life's givers and helpers. She had a strong sense of right and wrong and was a formidable lady who always encouraged her staff and colleagues to achieve the highest of standards within the profession.

Our thoughts are with her husband, Ken, her children, Susan and John, their spouses Tom and Sian, and her much loved grandchildren, Molly, Kit and Hebe. She loved her family and was so proud of all their achievements. Her passing is a sad loss to us all.

Janice Parry, LLanfairfechan, nr Bangor.
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