Sarah Hill: 02.10.1959 to 27.12.2008.
Article Type: Obituary
Subject: Occupational therapists (Biography)
Authors: Applegate, Mary
Feaver, Sally
Pub Date: 10/01/2009
Publication: Name: British Journal of Occupational Therapy Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2009 College of Occupational Therapists Ltd. ISSN: 0308-0226
Issue: Date: Oct, 2009 Source Volume: 72 Source Issue: 10
Persons: Biographee: Hill, Sarah
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United Kingdom Geographic Code: 4EUUK United Kingdom
Accession Number: 210596135
Full Text: Sarah Hill died in December, a patient in the cancer department of the Churchill Hospital, where she had been working only a few months prior to her untimely death. Her work in the Cancer Centre was the end of a significant career in occupational therapy starting in 1982 when she qualified from the London School of Occupational Therapy.

Her first position was in Fairmile Hospital, a large Victorian mental health hospital near Wallingford, which marked the start of a long association with Wallingford and the local area where her contribution to the occupational therapy community was most evident. During her career she worked in Abingdon Social Services, Battle Hospital in Reading and Upton Hospital in Slough, but her most significant position was Head Occupational Therapist at Wallingford Community Hospital where she worked for many years.

Not only did she contribute to the clinical side of occupational therapy, but she also exerted her influence in education where, in 2001, she took up a lecturing position in the undergraduate occupational therapy programme at Oxford Brookes University (previously Dorset House School). She was personally committed to the training and development of the next generation of occupational therapists and her time at Oxford Brookes afforded her this opportunity. One of her significant contributions was her passion for maintaining the rights and dignity of older people. She motivated and inspired the students continually to challenge their assumptions about older people. The students were always generous in their praise for her. She had great belief in the contribution that occupational therapists make to the health and social care of older people and was determined that students understood this too. It was during this time that she undertook postgraduate study, gaining her teaching certificate and completing master's level study successfully.


Sarah was proud of being an occupational therapist and passionate about her work, but her focus was very much on the patients and clients themselves. She never lost the ability to see patients as individual people and worked with great warmth and empathy. Her dedication to the occupational therapy profession has been an inspiration to those who worked with her. Sarah left education feeling the need once again to be in touch more significantly with the patient experience and she joined the team at the Churchill, a position she worked in until her death.

Sarah always strived to deliver the best patient care possible and her easy and approachable manner made her a key member of any multidisciplinary team. Her other great love was supporting and developing staff and this was very evident during her time at the Churchill. She shared her considerable knowledge and skill willingly with junior and less experienced staff while believing that coming to work should be fun. Her meticulous insistence that she needed to 'look the part' when she went to the wards meant that she could always be found doing her hair and lippy in the mirror before seeing any patients! Sarah's ability to lead, encourage, inspire and nurture staff is greatly missed by her colleagues, particularly within the occupational therapy team.

Sarah always ensured that her work/ life balance enabled her to devote time to her beloved family. She lived in Warborough, a small village near Wallingford, where she was well known for her love of all things rural. Her passion for horses, dogs, hens and walking was evident. She was a talented cook and gardener. Her boys, however, always remained the focus of her life. She was so proud of all their achievements, the academic, social and musical ones! She was much loved and admired and is missed by so many.

Mary Applegate and Sally Feaver, Oxford.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.