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Sally Drake

Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Social Care
School of Allied Health and Social Care

Sally is an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist with clinical experience across urgent and emergency care. Since 2017, Sally has worked in leadership and management across Allied Health Professions.

[email protected]


Sally has worked clinically within acute hospitals and intermediate care throughout her career developing an interest in admission avoidance, which led her to successfully establish and lead a new innovative urgent care service improving patient outcomes by reducing system barriers.

Sally developed a passion for multi-professional leadership, supporting new ways of working through training and education. She established the first degree apprenticeships in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, has been involved in the development of First Contact Practioner roles, and continues to establish the innovative role of the AHP Support Worker Educator.

Sally was a co-founding member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough AHP Council with an active role in workforce attraction and retention, leading to her secondment to establish and lead the AHP Faculty across the Integrated Care System (ICS) expanding her strategic system leadership.

Research interests
  • Development of the Allied Health Professional (AHP) unregistered workforce
  • Advancing the role of Occupational Therapy in Primary Care
  • Attracting applicants to Occupational Therapy from under-represented groups

Sally has a passion for growing and developing the AHP unregistered and registered workforce to aid career development and retention, and understanding how the AHP skillset can be utilised differently to enhance outcomes for local populations.


MSc Occupational Therapy (Pre-Reg)

  • Commencing Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and Learning, Anglia Ruskin University, due for completion 2024
  • PG Certificate in Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care, University of Derby, 2023
  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy, University of Ripon & York St John, 2000
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Registered member of Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT)
  • Member of RCOT Leadership Forum
  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered Occupational Therapist
Selected recent publications

Drake, S., 2020. Redeployed roles and the diverse set of skills of an Occupational Therapist. Occupational Therapy News, 28(6), pp. 24-26.

Drake, S., Dickinson, C., 2016. Trans-professional team working – redesigning services to reduce acute admissions. Occupational Therapy News, 24(7), pp. 14-16.

Drake, S., 2014. Challenging tradition to reduce length of hospital stay. Occupational Therapy News, 22(4), pp. 39.

Recent presentations and conferences

Drake, S, Royle, C (2021) An approach to restarting career conversations post Covid-19 to aid retention and staff experience. NHS Employers Workforce Supply Conference: Attracting and developing the existing and future NHS workforce, 07 September 2021 (online).