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14/08/2017 13:25 09:29 25/08/2017

About us The Team

Acting Editor: Colette Carr Staff Writer: Niki Tennant Designer: Stephen Flanagan Marketing: Sophie Scott Sales: Robin Wilson Contributors: Kate Sheehan, Dawn Blenkin, Paul Aitken, Kirstie Hughes, Gloria Hammett, Tracey Clarke, Katie Gartland, Katie Lovett

Get in touch

2A Publishing Ltd, Caledonia House, Evanton Dr, Thornliebank Industrial Estate, Glasgow, G46 8JT 0141 465 2960 The OT Magazine @ot_magazine


The OT Magazine is published by 2A Publishing Limited. The views expressed in The OT Magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2017 © 2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN-2056-7146

This month’s issue... The summer may have passed already but here at The OT Magazine we are looking forward to everything the new acade ic year and final onths of 20 has to offer. You may have noticed a slight difference in tone on our front cover this issue. We have never been an editorial team to shy away from contentious areas of your profession with the likes of mental health featuring regularly. This issue, we look at the reality of PTSD in women, and we think it’s about time our cover depicts a hard-hitting topic. Learn more on page 45. This issue we also meet Ann Marie Crawford who works with Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital’s amputation patients. She opens the door to the interesting conce t of irror thera y on age . Our paediatric section goes back to school this issue where we look at dyspraxia and handwriting and meet the teacher who is adding a bit more bounce into his classroom in a bid to raise attainment and improve behaviour. Our aediatric section begins on age . Puppy lovers can indulge in some



£ a year

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pictures of gorgeous therapy dog Buddy on age 0, but Kirstie Hughes explores the interesting parallels between occupational therapy practice and the training programmes man’s best friend goes through to help your clients. Also with this issue, I am excited to share with you something that we have been looking at for a while at The OT Magazine. We are committed to bringing you fresh and new content that hopefully you find relevant ...we have created and enjoyable, but your new CPD moreover, useful in your continued resource, CPD professional Life. We hope you development. enjoy this brandWith this, we have created your new new supplement CPD resource, CPD Life. We hope you enjoy this new supplement and we can’t wait to hear what you think of it! Our next issue will be our bumper Occupational Therapy Show edition, but for now we hope you enjoy your September/October copy, and as always, please feel free to get in touch!

Coe Cr

The OT Magazine, Acting Editor

Join our OT community Further your career and enhance your CPD by becoming part of our OT Community with the pro package

Find out more on page 82.

25/08/2017 15:15




What’s New? Bringing you up to speed with all the latest news from the healthcare sector


Because You’re Worth It Kate Sheehan on the importance of knowing your service’s worth


Mirror Mirror Amputee and prosthetics OT Ann Marie Crawford discusses mirror therapy and other interventions


Product Focus

The latest must-have products on the market


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The Occupational Therapy Show Get ready for The OT Show’s return



Independent Living Scotland Scotland prepares for its largest independent living show





A Day In The Life Of

ILS case manager Tracey Allport gives us an insight into her day

Arthritis Awareness

Understanding the condition in National Arthritis Awareness Week


Bipolar Disorder

Gloria Hammett of Click For Therapy looks at OT and the mental health condition

Product Focus More of the latest must-have products on the market

Everyone Can Be Creative

Columnist Paul Aitken tackles creativity


The Silent Female Killer? Exploring why more than two thirds of Brits living with PTSD are women

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What’s Inside


Crowdfunding Accessible Homes




ening the door to accessible ho es

Making The Right Choices


aking the headache out of finding uality care

Are You GDPR Ready? racey larke brings you u to s eed ith the ne data rotection co liancy


Banish the Winter Blues

hining a light on light thera y

57 Join the OT Community Page 82



It’s A Dog’s Life For OT


A Natural Leader

Life After Stroke Awards finalist Kathleen ’ eil is a lauded for utting her atients’ best interests at the heart of all she does


Dyspraxia In The Classroom

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Ho can hel hand riting

u ils’

Kids’ Products Products to hel your younger clients

The Bouncing Classroom Ho re lacing standard classroo chairs ith bouncing balls has raised attain ent and i roved behaviour


Kirstie Hughes on the si ilarities bet een and assistance dog training

Networking: Top Tips a n lenkin and rla Hughes share their advice


Posture and Mobility Group – 25 Years On evie ing the P ho

77 79

Find Events for You co ing events for a a - acked 20

Getting To Grips dge ervices’ Kate ovett on effective learning styles in anual handling training


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25/08/2017 13:55

Making everyday life easier

Back to basics Back injuries cost the NHS £400M per year. This is a significant amount but the cost to the individual is not just financial. The solution to preventing back injuries consists of training, education and equipment. Handicare’s Ethos education programme offers solutions through formatted learning and practical handling techniques; coupled with 30 years of innovation and product development.

For more information contact

01384 405792

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25/08/2017 21/04/2017 13:26 11:44

What’s new? We explore what’s happening in the healthcare sector, from new products and services to inspirational stories.

Artists’ room with a view Hannahs, which provides education, care and opportunities for children and adults with a range of disabilities, is hosting an exhibition following a collaborative project evolved out of a mentoring relationship between two painters.


annahs resident artist Gavin Blench and Hannahs guest Marcus Dill have been working together towards their own two-man exhibition, ‘My Hannahs Your Hannahs’ which will be staged at Seale-Hayne until October 1. For more than a year, the pair have been painting their favourite views at and around Seale-Hayne. Gavin has been mentoring Marcus. Their exhibition represents their individual responses to the breathtaking Lemon Valley landscape. They often paint from the same locations but each expresses his own creative response to that environment. With guidance and assistance from Gavin and from his support worker, Jon, Marcus has continued to pursue and develop his passion for painting. Marcus displays a great talent in his application of paint, a style that is intrinsically linked to his movement due to his cerebral palsy, and an instinctive knowledge of colour placement that makes his work fresh and exciting. Gavin, who has multiple sclerosis, said: “Working with Marcus has been so uch fun and he has in uenced e in his boldness of approach to painting and his passion for colour. Hannahs is such a beautiful, special and lively environment to work in. I love having a studio here and, as an artist with

a disability, being here has transformed not only my working practice but my life too.” Marcus, who says he has been painting seriously now for around three years, spoke of his passion for painting the views enjoyed from Hannahs.

everyone in the art room and talking to people about my art. I like to use my imagination too so my style of painting adds the imagination to what I’m looking at and I choose the places to paint where I could use my imagination.”

“You can see all the way from the seaside from here and the horticulture area is a good place to paint from. We even went to the top of the hill behind Hannahs where you can see all around and there is a great tree. We took a lot of photographs so I could work in the art room when it rains.

Hannahs works across two sites in Devon. A dedicated and highly trained team of staff help students and visitors at both sites to grow and learn ith confidence and freedo .

“I like having a good laugh with

One of the UK’s oldest charities, it has been enriching the lives of children and young people for 250 years.


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25/08/2017 15:09



Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare focussing on falls D

rive DeVilbiss Healthcare (DDH) has launched its new, nationwide Fall Prevention and Bathroom Safety marketing campaign. Working in conjunction with their retail partners, the worldwide organisation has developed a handy customer help guide with the principal aim of preventing household falls. Claire Cudden, head of sales and marketing for bathroom safety at DDH commented: “The simple to understand tick list will promote customer home and bathroom safety recommendations emphasising our message that falls are preventable and not inevitable. The advice, combined with other point of sale marketing material as well as DDH’s extensive range of addon innovative bathroom safety products

will allow our retailers to support their customers and hopefully avoid potential household hazards and ultimately falls.”

and eyesight associated with their natural ageing rocess. his can cause difficulty with balance, bending and stepping.

According to the NHS, six out of 10 falls happen in a person’s home or garden, with one of the most common places to fall being the bathroom. Wet and slippery surfaces, poor lighting, loose mats and ooring, difficulty ste ing over and into a bath or shower, bending to wash and clean combined with the necessity to visit the bathroom more often especially at night creates a multitude of worrying potential hazards.

Most importantly, healthcare experts believe the vast majority of falls could be prevented with some fairly modest changes to a person’s lifestyle and home.

There are many different reasons, and normally a combination of risk factors, why people fall in later life. One of the main reasons for most is simply the natural deterioration in a person’s muscle strength

NHS recommendations include regular strength and balance exercises, a medication review, a vision test and a home hazard assessment. Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare wants to also eliminate these potentially life changing hazards for their customers by providing and continuously developing a range of innovative products designed s ecifically to revent any fall and make the bathroom a much safer place. o find out ore, lease contact 0 0600 333

3D visuals measure up for occupational therapists New technology could enhance OTs’ experience of helping clients measure equipment to help them move around their homes.


better look.

software could be the answer to helping tackle the estimated £2.3bn bill paid by the NHS per year as a result people aged over 80 sustaining injuries from falls.

The study, in Health Informatics Journal found experienced occupational therapists said a prototype of the tool helped them better understand the precise measurement locations than the NHS 2D paper diagrams. It could be used to help train junior occupational therapists and help OTs handover work to colleagues.

People at extra risk of falls have themselves and their homes measured up for aids like bathroom grab rails, ramps, wheelchairs and walkers but half of which is not used, partly because it’s a bad fit. Computer scientists at Brunel University tested a mobile 3D visualisation app that guides OTs through measuring. Along with cost cutting benefits, it can ake ho es less hazardous and give people safer, more independent, better quality lives. “Having technology that addresses issues with prescribing the right assistive e ui ent could have significant costsaving implications for the health and social


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care system,” said Brunel’s Dr Arthur Money. The 3D-MAP under development at Brunel shows 3D models of the things most linked to home falls – bed, bath, toilet, chair and stairs. Audio instructions and arrows in oint e actly here to easure s ecific pieces of furniture and users can rotate the models and zoom in and out to get a

“It is a promising result,” said Dr Money, highlighting that one of the key challenges is the lack of mobile, touch screen devices among clinicians. A larger scale study is now underway to compare measurements taken with 3D-MAP with ones using paper guidance in terms of accuracy and consistency. Further research will look into whether patients, plus family e bers and caregivers could benefit.

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CMG Hosts sixth Supportive Therapies Day Care Management Group (CMG), a leading provider of residential care, supported living services and domiciliary care for people with learning disabilities in England, has hosted a unique Supportive Therapies event designed s ecifically for eo le living with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). The aim of the day was to stimulate interest, broaden opportunities and enhance social and emotional wellbeing. There was a sensory art corner, with many activities which stimulated different senses. The service users had the opportunity to e eri ent ith ice balloons, ‘corn our ayhe ’ and ‘ uffy sli e’, as ell as y swatting and water pistol painting which provided great entertainment and messy, creative fun. Art therapies were also used in helping individuals to express themselves non-verbally, alongside increasing selfconfidence and i roving ental wellbeing. Many of the service users tried out the hydrotherapy pool at CMG’s Lilliputs site,

which allows freedom from restrictive seating for those with little or no voluntary movement, relieving muscle spasms, easing any pains and increasing joint mobility. The special day was rounded off with a disco and the infamous ‘Pimp My Chair’ challenge, which encourages individuals to get creative by dressing up their wheelchairs. Service user JS was crowned the champion of the competition this year after converting his chair into a yellow

vintage plane with its own rotating propeller. A relative of a CMG service user who attended the day, commented: “It was a brilliant day. My son really responded to the crayon art and enjoyed using the switch to operate the hairdryer to melt the wax. He loved seeing and feeling the animals and was very impressed with the disco and the ‘pimp my chair’ competition.”

Care Quality Commission’s report The National Autistic Society responded to the Care Quality Commission’s report, ‘The state of care in mental health services 2014 to 2017’ looking at specialist mental health services in England.


ommenting on the autism and learning disability section of the publication and in relation to Transforming Care, the NAS called for improvements to services available to those on the autistic spectrum living with mental health problems. Policy manager Tim Nicholls said: “The National Autistic Society welcomes this re ort, hich re ects any of our concerns about the number of autistic people in inpatient mental health hospitals in England.

atest H figures sho that, des ite H England’s Transforming Care programme, the number of autistic people in mental health hospitals is actually increasing. And, orryingly, the have identified that in too many cases people’s care plans don’t include any discharge planning at all. This should be in place as soon as someone is admitted. “Being stuck in inpatient care for a long period, in some cases a long way from home and family, can be extremely damaging and often causes people’s mental

and physical health to deteriorate. Long waiting lists for community services show the need to develop more support which can meet people’s needs within their existing community. “We need leadership from the Government and NHS England, backed up with the funding needed to ensure that autistic eo le are able to benefit fro the Transforming Care programme as they should. Autistic people must not be left behind.”


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25/08/2017 13:56

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25/08/2017 13:26

Kate Sheehan Director, The OT Service

The OT Service provides high quality advice, consultancy and training to manufacturers, retailers and service providers. It also provides occupational therapy clinical services in housing and equipment to case managers, solicitors and private individuals via its handpicked network of occupational therapists. For more info email

This issue Kate gives out some great advice on how to charge your client.

Because you’re worth it Words by Kate Sheehan


have recently had the privilege of lecturing to a number of third year students about private practice and entrepreneurship. It is always an inspiring time for me getting to know, ho ever brie y, the ne t generation of occupational therapists. There are always questions ranging from business planning to insurance, VAT, supervision and professional CPD. I always signpost them to the College of Occupational Therapists’ specialist section in independent practice, who provide an e cellent starter ack hen you oin, opportunities to go on their ‘Look Before You Leap’ course and great networking opportunities with their annual conference and regional meet ups. However, the main questions I get are around what do you charge. I am always very open about my fees and how they are calculated. Before looking at making a decision about your hourly rate, you have to consider all the overheads you will have rior to aking a rofit, these ay include Holiday pay, sick pay, training costs and time taken out of chargeable time, insurance, ICO, accountants’ fee, all admin costs, IT,


As a housing specialist, I have additional costs for drawing packages £700 per annum. The new BSI8300 is due for publication this year and will cost around £200 and the new Wheelchair Housing Design Guide is due for revision and publication next year at a cost of about £50.

telephone, marketing/website/social media and facilities costs – office, heating, lighting, business rates. ould stress this is not an e haustive list as different areas of practice may have additional costs to cover. or e a le, a paediatric occupational therapist may have significant costs for sensory integration equipment. None of the above is free and in a small business or sole trader practice these can easily add up to £10,000 plus per annum. I cannot stress enough how important the e act calculations of the above costs are to make sure you have enough income to pay yourself. If you are employed you have all your overheads paid; heating, lighting, 


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Kate Sheehan

equipment, uniform and build costs. They pay your pension and in most cases for some element of training or ongoing CPD. Oh, and maternity/paternity pay as well.

Further support on costing your business can also be sought from business mentors.

Further support on costing your business can also be sought from business mentors. Painless Practice specialises in the therapy sector and it is always worth contacting them: Every occupational therapist needs to work out their own fee structure and neither COT nor I can give exact hourly rates due to the Competitions and Marketing Authority regulations on price setting and agreed ‘professional’ rates. My tip would be do not under-estimate your value. Ask yourself how much would you pay to call out a plumber, seek advice from a solicitor or pay your dentist?

The other issue often raised is do you charge for update, weekly or monthly reports? You should be keeping comprehensive clinical notes, which can be downloaded and sent to the bill payer, however if you are asked for a s ecific report, is this chargeable? If you are charging a Yes of course it is. It takes fixed rate, this has to your ti e to collate, re ect take into account your on it and review it and travel and mileage this should be valued just costs. If you charge as much as the initial or £90 for an hour and a on-going assessment and half assessment, then treatment. the hourly rate at £60


appears reasonable. However, if you add on that it takes you a hour and half to get there and 60 miles, your hourly rate actually reduces to £19.60 per hour - is this reasonable bearing in mind your overheads?

The other question I often get asked is “what is billable time?” In my opinion, this should include face to face contact time, admin/research, report write up time, MDTs, telephone calls, emails, text messages or rep visits. Always think about your travel time and costs. If you do not charge for this ask yourself is the visit worth it? If you were employed, you would be expected to be paid

for your travel to and from a client? Why should we not be paid for this in independent practice?

As an independent practitioner, you are always looking for your next piece of work and are effectively unemployed every time one job comes to the end; you will never be able to bill 36 hours per week, so you need to understand you income and outgoings to be able to realistically calculate your hourly rate.

Finally, never forget you trained for three years and ill have significant ost ualification e erience. Provide ersonalised, client-centred assessments and interventions. Never underestimate your value and above all, remember you are worth it. n


If you work full-time for 42 weeks a year overheads could be £7 per hour or £252 per week for 42 weeks a year!


At the top of band 7, you earn about £21.37 or top of band 8 it’s £42.58 per hour for every hour you work and every hour you are on holiday, training, sick leave or all eight days bank holidays per year. As an agency occupational therapist the starting hourly rate is £25 per hour.


If you don’t charge for mileage and update reports you are not billing for this time and are effectively giving your time away free. Ask yourself, ‘does that make sense?’

Remember As an independent practitioner you need to make sure you have suitable mentoring/ supervision in place.


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25/08/2017 13:57

Make life easier at home with Stannah


Wheelchair lifts


Compact homelift

Four ways to maintain your independence

At Stannah, we know how to help people get on with their lives. You probably know us for our world famous stairlifts but in fact our business in lifts started back in the 1860s. Since that time we have helped hundreds of thousands of people travel between floors smoothly, quietly and safely. Today, we offer many trusted solutions for in and around the home. Compact homelift Unlike a traditional lift, the stylish Salise homelift is a self-supporting household lift and doesn’t require any major structural alterations to be installed, so can be fitted practically anywhere in your home. Whether it takes you from your living room to the landing, or your kitchen to the bedroom, the Salise can be placed to suit you and your home.


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Steplifts Ideal for use both inside or outside the home, steplifts are most often used to give easy access to the front or back door. Stannah steplifts can accommodate wheelchair users and like all our products are aimed at helping you maintain your independence and security, whilst family and friends can continue to use steps and stairs as usual. Solutions from a name you can trust • • • •

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25/08/2017 13:27

Amputee Therapy

MIRROR MIRROR Amputee Therapy

Words by Colette Carr


he storm of emotions raging around someone’s head when they lose a limb can be difficult to cal .

From relief from potentially no longer being in pain, to frustration at reduced mobility, to anger and upset at their new appearance, to worry about a loss of occu ations, a utees find the selves with a long road ahead to both physical and sychological recovery. But it isn’t the extent of loss that many think it is and occupational therapy is a key player in restoring both the ability to ove freely and the uality and value of life. n e tensive range of interventions are at OTs’ disposal in helping clients rebuild their lives and nn arie Crawford from Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital’s OT department is employing irror thera y techni ues to hel amputees and prosthetic users come

to terms with their new body image and fight unco fortable sensations of phantom pain. As she approaches three years in the de art ent, nn arie discusses the ethod and everything else the hospital does to ensure there is life after limb loss. “From my own professional develo ent at the o ent ’ looking at the evidence base for irror therapy prior to amputation to help with phantom pain post-surgery,” she began. ent on a course in eicester to do y irror thera y training. t’s commonly used with amputees, but ’ currently looking at it from a pre-amputation ers ective or there’s not as much research out there for that but it’s finding the ti e. o e eo le can have difficulty accepting their new body image, 


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Amputee Therapy

MIRRORMIRROR so we work with patients to show they can still do what’s important to them and they are still that person. They can still achieve their roles and the occupations that were important to them and we help them accept their new image as an amputee.

they can meet as many members of the team that they don’t know already. We sometimes loan wheelchairs out prior to amputations because if they are in a lot of pain, they are not able to mobilise.” Once the operation has taken place, Ann Marie explains the next part of the process begins almost immediately.

“Post-surgery we work quite closely with the pain team to address issues with phantom limb pain and hypersensitivity because it can be quite distressing. “Mirror therapy can come in when looking at phantom pain. The person looks in the mirror and sees the leg as a leg and not amputated and we try to retrain the brain to think, ‘my foot is there, it’s not in pain, I can move all y fingers and toes, it’s not sore,’ because a lot of people still have the sharp pain that may have been the cause of the amputation, even though it’s no longer there. “As soon as possible we try to get them to touch the area around the residual limb to feed back to the brain that li b finishes there and get used to that sensation. The skin isn’t used to it because the muscle’s in a different position,” she explained. But an OT’s role in this sector starts long before amputation. She said: “Some patients are known to us before an amputation because they come for vascular surgery or a bypass, so if that’s the case before they go for an amputation we have a chat about what acute rehab is, letting them know that as soon as they are fit that’s hat will happen. “We’ll go through the process of



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“Post-surgery is very acute. First day post-op, if the person is edically fit e’ll try get the into the wheelchair and have a chat. he first goal is usually to get them independently getting on and off the toilet and then getting them independent with wheelchair transfers.

a lot of people still have the sharp pain that may have been the cause of the amputation, even though it’s no longer there.” getting a wheelchair and looking at the home environment because a lot of the time many are worried about going back to the house and how they are going to manage with a prosthetic or a wheelchair so we’ll talk them through what we have done in the past just to ease their anxiety. “We can get patients down to the gym area so they can see what it looks like, what they’ll be working on so it’s not a surprise when they come after and so

“Some people can’t manage a pivot transfer out of a wheelchair straight away so we can help with that. We have a chat about self-care. A lot of people can wash and dress their u er body fine, but sitting balance can be reduced as your centre of gravity changes following amputation so we work on sitting balance as well.” In a bid to ensure the rehab is meaningful, Ann Marie explains how OTs recognise and involve a patient’s important occupations in the programme, both to make the recovery enjoyable, and to re-introduce them to activities they may have thought were now past them, before then looking at the home environment and making adaptations to make the transition from hospital to home as smooth as possible. “Down in the gym we’ll start getting people to stand using the parallel bars or a very high table to build their

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Amputee Therapy

standing balance and as s e’ll find out what their hobbies are try and incorporate that into the rehabilitation. So a lot of our older gentlemen like to play dominoes so we’ll create a competition as part of the rehab. “Within those early stages we also look at identifying any potential housing issues. If patients are potentially having to go home without being li b-fitted e need to look at that because not everyone lives in wheelchair adapted properties, so we get the social work OTs involved in the environmental review of a patient’s house so they let us know what our options are. “Some patients don’t meet the criteria for fitting at that ti e, so so e go elsewhere for rehab and come back ost-rehab for fitting hen they feel a bit stronger for the process of prosthetic assessment, because it can be quite hard going so you let them take that time to build up strength and confidence to then co e back for fitting because it’s not fair to ake that assessment when they’re not at their best. nce they are fitted ith a rosthetic it becomes part of their self-care routine and we help them live safely with it and return to driving and work, etc.” Learning to live with an amputation is a long rocess, there’s no uick fi , but a rewarding journey for Ann Marie no less. “We help with psychological effects also, helping people to live and not just exist and we get them back to the occupations they enjoy.

CASE STUDIES “At pre-assessment, once the pain team had completed their assessment, a patient had said to them that their life was going to be over and they’d be bed bound and the family had concerns about the home so I had a chat with her and her family about the process in the ward. We went down to the gym, through the process of limb fitting, sho ing the hat it looked like and watching other people’s rehab, so it gave her the chance to have a go in a wheelchair because we had already issued her with one as her walking had become impossible. Her family said that time before the amputation had alleviated a lot of their anxieties. “An upholsterer came in too, so we used the big gym space to work on his standing balance and his exercise tolerance. He brought in his tools and again it helped us demonstrate that his going to work wasn’t going to be

a difficulty ith the correct adaptations and advice in place. Using his important occupation in his rehab made it so much more meaningful. “Another was experiencing post-surgery phantom limb pain and was experiencing telescoping - their foot and ankle was where their knee used to be, like a telescope had gone right up inside their leg. The foot was in the wrong position and they experienced shooting pains so using mirror therapy and desensitisation we aimed to get rid of the phantom foot altogether - not just the pain. “One of our patients required rehousing and due to other medical reasons, we knew they weren’t going to be a full time prosthetic user and would use their wheelchair, so we worked closely with the social work OTs and housing officers to ensure they could remain independent either in the wheelchair or while mobile with the prosthetics.”

“Helping someone walk back out with a new lease of life is very special.”


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Product focus


product reviews

Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature? If so, get in touch! Contact us at

Wooden cube raisers Price: £19.98 for pack of four Use these wooden cube raisers to raise furniture to more accessible heights. With your bed or chair raised, you can sit down and stand up more easily. Made from strong hardwood, these cube raisers are easy to fit ithout tools. vailable in t o heights to raise furniture u to 0 off the oor. Tel: 0345 121 8111

Libretto wheelchair home lift Prices from: £7950 he ne , affordable, fully enclosed through oor home lift provides a wheelchair user independent access bet een t o oors. he largest odel can now accommodate a standing attendant, which is not er itted in the unenclosed through oor lifts currently prevalent on the market. The lift travels smoothly and quietly and can be installed virtually anywhere in the ho e, fitting into a sur risingly s all s ace.

Terry Lifts 0800 2471229

Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test-Plus (CLQT+) Price from: £238.00 The new CLQT+ (Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test-Plus) offers ore e ibility in ad inistration and clearer interpretation for people with aphasia. CLQT+ is the updated version of the Cognitive Linguistic Quick Test which was designed by leading neurobehavioral researcher and author, Nancy Helm-Estabrooks ScD to assist with assessing strengths and weaknesses in five cognitive do ains (attention, e ory, e ecutive functions, language and visuospatial skills).

Pearson Clinical



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Men’s Magnetic Shirt Prices from: £39.99 No more buttons! This smart, classic looking men’s shirt incorporates special hidden magnets along the front panel that fasten effortlessly and removes the need to struggle with buttons. Magnetic fastenings may be easier to manage if you have restricted ove ent or stiffness in your hands or fingers and is perfect for clients who have arthritis and Parkinson’s. Please note: Unsuitable for pacemaker users and those with deep brain stimulation.

Adaptawear 0800 051 1931

FreedomChair Folding Powered Chairs Prices from: £2098 Joystick controlled, FreedomChairs are versatile powered chairs for both outdoor use and, being highly maneuverable, are excellent indoors too. hey fold incredibly easily and uickly and fit into most car boots, making them ideal for introducing more independence and mobility to your clients. They take up very little space indoors making them ideal for retirement apartments and are perfect travel chairs for days out being easy to use on public transport and taxis and very popular with cruise goers. With ISO, CE & FDA approval, the chairs are su erbly ade and finished. All models use a common battery across the range and can be fitted ith multiple batteries, doubling or even tripling the range up to 25 miles.

Proactive Mobility 0330 555 5225

Folding garden cart Price: £75.28 This useful folding garden cart is ideal for carrying plants, tools and other items. With a removable carry bag that attaches securely to the frame, it has two outside pockets on the handle side of the cart, which is ideal for the storage of gardening tools, or other items. It folds for ease of storage when not in use, and comes with a cover in which it can be placed. Simple assembly is required, with the wheels and handle clip needing to be attached. 0345 121 8111


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25/08/2017 13:58


Foldable Stretcher

New for 2017 Chiltern Invadex (UK) proudly introduce the TRT16 The TRT16 is a Folding Shower Stretcher, Trolley, and Changing Table which is convenient for daily and occasional use. The stretcher comprises a wheeled base with lockable castors and height adjustment that allows three height choices of 700, 800, and 900mm It is constructed from stainless steel with white anti bacterial power coating for easy cleaning. Assembly is simple and when not in use can easily be folded and stored away to minimise storage space.

* tem shown with mesh fabric top

Comes with a choice of two top sections. Mesh fabric with lift points to enable connection to a overhead or pool hoist this allows a supine transfer in and out of swimming pools. Grey Vinyl fabric with drainage holes and is intended solely for use on the wheeled base and allows a showering or changing function to the freestanding moveable base section. Additional padded side support rails are available upon request.


AquaMaster A13 Bariatric Shower Commode Chair

hiltern nvade ( ) are also proud to introduce the , a bariatric version of the popular attendant propelled shower chair, redesigned for the requirements of bariatric clients. art of the qua aster shower chair range it features a rigid one piece frame with interchangeable seat, backrest, arm and footrest options. Pressure relief padding as Reinforced one standard piece frame (other options available)

Large braked castors Increased seating dimension of 790mm x 550mm (31� x 21.5�)

Footplates with heel straps 55 stone (349kg) SWL

Seat, backrest padding and armrest pads are manufactured with the use of pressure relief foam to aid comfort when seated at no additional cost (a vinyl backrest fabric can be supplied if the pad is not required) Heavy duty twin wheeled castors and heel straps fitted to each removable and height adjustable footplate help to aid both user and care teams to provide comfort and security when in use, a full length close cell foam grip allows the chair to be manoeuvred comfortably when in use.

To arrange for a free, no obligation survey or request a full brochure, please call or email our Customer Service Department Call: 01869 365500 (Opt 1) Email: Visit:

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25/08/2017 13:27

Stroke Recovery

Battle back from stroke with Andrew’s homemade gadget When Andrew Marshall’s dad, Clifford had a stroke several years ago, he needed help to re-programme his brain. And Andrew was just the man to give it. Words by Niki Tennant

Dementia Café in Mulbarton.


“It can help people who have dementia, multiple sclerosis and muscle weakness,” explained Andrew, who designed two boards and eight handles, which differ in size and feel to cater for patients with different conditions.

erial inventor Andrew, of Norwich, wondered whether moving a handle around a pattern might aid his dad’s recovery through the simple principle of repeating a task to promote nerve cell activity in the brain. He created the RydaMablet – a sturdy map-like board with grooves for roads and pushalong pegs for vehicles. A basic concept made of plastic with no need for batteries or power, using the gadget gave 82-year-old Clifford the ability to regain some control of his hand and arm. Clifford was helped by the invention, which Andrew experimented with further, for eight years. He died three years ago. Designed and manufactured in the UK, the RydaMablet promotes physical activity and brain activity through the

repetition of the task. Even the colours of the boards in yellow and red or yellow and blue are designed to stimulate brain activity. As well as stroke survivors, the board can also help people who have dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, coordination difficulties, cerebral palsy and muscle weakness. It has been embraced by community groups, such as Norwich Stroke Survivors, the Pabulum Café in Wymondham and the Hanover

“It’s non-electric and is simple to use and it’s not going to break. If your neurological pathways have been weakened then the more you do an activity the more your pathways are strengthened. It can help a person’s memory as well. “Although my dad isn’t around to see it, it would be nice for something positive to come out of what he went through.” Andrew has designed two boards which cost £99 each and eight different handles for various conditions, ranging in price from £49 to £64.

For more information, call 01508 578435 or visit www.

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25/08/2017 15:17

The Weely Essential

More than just your Average Wheelchair Innovative Design at a Competitive Price

Six-wheeled Frame for Improved Stability

Ideal for Manoeuvring in Tight Spaces

Helps Avoid Manual Handling Injuries Comfort

Shock-absorbing Setup for a Smooth Ride

Postural Support

Tilt & Recline

See the Weely in action!

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If the Weely meets your essential criteria why not contact us for an assessment? Get in touch:

Contact BES Rehab Ltd on 01179 666 761, or email Š 2017 BES Rehab Ltd EOE

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The OT Show

OT Events

The Occupational Therapy Show 2017 The Occupational Therapy Show offers an outstanding educational programme, with world-class speakers from around the world presenting sessions relevant to the entire occupational therapy profession. However, the event offers so much more than initially meets the eye. Here’s what you can expect this November… The Occupational Therapy Show Awards

Global experts Spread across various educational features will be some of the biggest names in the occupational therapy profession; Professor Michael Iwama, Dr Jenny Preston MBE, Dr Joanne Fillingham, Gillian Leng, Michael Mandelstam and many more. In addition to the clinical experts, those at the top of the product develo ent and research field ill be in attendance, with more than 270 OTcentred suppliers and manufacturers represented across the bustling trade oor. heck out the latest innovations, technologies and materials on the sho oor and try out ne roducts.

New! New to The Occupational Therapy Show this year will be the Posture and Wheelchair Essentials Theatre supported by the Posture and Mobility Group (PMG) and National Wheelchair Managers Forum (NWMF), focusing on wheelchair and seating assessments, particularly pressure management, special seating and manual wheelchairs. It will be useful for anyone working regularly with clients requiring wheelchairs or special seating equipment, whether on a permanent basis or for occasional use.

Continued commitment to the profession The Occupational Therapy Show also provides OT professionals with a platform to showcase their research,

Award categories • utstanding ervice ser ontribution ard • Outstanding Occupational hera ist ard • Outstanding Occupational Therapy Leadership and nnovation ard, su orted by The OT Magazine

innovations and outstanding work.

The Occupational Therapy Show Poster Zone Submit your abstract at theotshow. com/posterzone.

Nominations for the awards are open to all OT professionals, so start submitting your nominations. The awards are aimed at grass roots OT professionals, whether in the statutory or private sector, to recognise and celebrate their outstanding contributions to the profession and their clients. oach’s en ash ill chair the awards and said, “There is so much great work happening out there and many OTs work without due recognition or reward. These new awards are a chance to celebrate the work of OTs”. The winner(s) of each (not per person) will be awarded a £250 cash prize, plus a lace on oach’s ‘ oaching kills for s’ online course, orth 20 ll nominees will receive a special gift fro oach - the bestselling e-book “Selling OT: from OT idea to value proposition”. For more information or to submit an entry visit

Network and have fun It is just as important to us that you have fun at The Occupational Therapy Show, while learning and developing your skills. More than 4,700 professionals are expected to attend, making it the perfect place to meet your peers at one of the array of social events including the free networking drinks reception and tea and cake afternoon

Register your whole team for FREE today at! www.

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Meals for your patients that tick all the right boxes.

627 Fish in White Wine & Asparagus Sauce

Nutritious: patients benefit from nutritious meals.

Simple: easy to order and cook straight from frozen.

Friendly: caring and reliable service.

Convenient: meals delivered direct to their freezer.

To request copies of our brochures or to arrange a FREE tasting session call

0800 524 4207

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25/08/2017 16/05/2017 15:51 15:27

A day in the life

cey a r T t Abou

A day in . . f o e f i l the

case injury S brain arted on a IL n a st en has be ears, having coming fully Tracey be 10 y n r e h fo t r an OT e d e was manag yed basis an ILS sh ostly e r lo , p s fo e le m 007. B y of H ro self-e 2 in c o d s ial t ye emplo ars in a varie moved into tions. n e a e y c h e t lo rent . She for fiv rology ears in diffe ditions n o c x in neu y le 0 p 1 r m ed o s fo ith c ecialis service ainly w and she sp m and lt g a s in e group ell as teach She d e g a ll w a within daptions, as taff. ra ising s v r e p in majo u s

When I saw the ILS role advertised, I was starting to feel frustrated by the constraints of statutory services and felt y e erience ould be beneficial for the case manager role. Karenmarie Smith (Chief Executive) gave me a real insight into how the job would work around having a young family and I was attracted to the friendliness and company culture – it was clear they care so I didn’t even consider other case management companies. e’re lucky that e have the benefit of small caseloads at ILS, this ensures safe working practices and a comprehensive service per client. I work part-time and usually have 6-8 clients. One client is an eight-year-old boy who sustained a birth injury. I’m advising him and his family about housing adaptations for his long-term needs. I’m working very closely with the architect, contractors, and statutory service – this is essential. I’m also working with an older gentleman who had been living in a bedsit after being hit by a car. I found and adapted a bungalow that he could purchase with his litigation funds. He has been living there for six years and

I love working with people and watching them grow and respond, develop and improve through the goals that we’ve set... is settled, engaging in DIY activities. I provide support and advice to his care team from a local agency.

Describe a typical day: There isn’t one! I’ve coordinated and chaired multi-disciplinary team meetings, discussed proposed adaptations to a client’s home with their deputy, written up copious client notes and meeting minutes, liaised with care agencies and client relatives, and visited an equipment company to assess for suitable equipment with a client and his parents. You may have your day planned out, an administration day for example, but as a case manager you need to be really res onsive, e ible and co letely empathetic.

Best part of the job:

I love working with people and watching them grow and respond, develop and improve through the goals that we’ve set and therapy support that I’ve implemented. It is so important to me to establish a rapport with my clients, and provide them with the necessary support to go through their litigation journey. Quite often clients and their families have had little or no support before I arrive, so supporting them on their journey is always an enormous privilege for me.

How do you keep up with your CPD and what keeps you at ILS? I am always looking at ways to keep abreast of developments in case management, OT and rehabilitation. ILS offers an excellent comprehensive in-house programme of training. I read journals, follow social media groups and belong to various professional bodies. ILS is an excellent supportive company that really cares about its staff and their professional development. Case management mentorship is an area that I have always enjoyed. Mentorship at ILS often becomes the natural progression path. I’m always open to new things and keeping knowledge fresh and up-to-date. www.

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.we talk to occupatio a different to see wh nal therapist at is for them a typical day a little mo and explain re about their role.

y e c a r T t r o p l l A

What is your current role?

Each month .. ..


25/08/2017 15:20



Access over 80 hours of free CPD Learn from world-class speakers and experts in their field Network with thousands of colleagues and peers Get practical advice and share best practice Update knowledge across all therapy areas Research and source new products and services Hear industry and regulation updates Have fun. Be inspired

Register for your FREE place now:

The OT Show

22nd and 23rd Nov 2017 NEC Birmingham

The Occupational Therapy Show



L-R: Dawn Hales, Expert Witness & Independent OT • Colin Jones, Independent & Lead OT • Ruth Gwynn-Thomas, OT Intermediate Care

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25/08/2017 13:28 11/08/2017 14:29:40

Arthiritis Awareness

Arthiritis awareness Often mistakenly noted as a condition reserved for our grandparents and presumed to be exclusively experienced by the older generation, arthritis is as surrounded in myth as it is in discomfort and pain.

Words by Colette Carr


nvisible in its appearance, the effects of arthritis can be ignored, unnoticed or self-misdiagnosed, but the reality is that it is the biggest cause of pain and disability in the UK. More than 10 million people live through the pain every day in Britain, either in isolated areas of the body or in multiple joints and in some cases with other chronic illnesses. Affecting around 15,000 children and young people in the UK, juvenile idiopathic arthritis debunks the belief that the rheumatic condition is only found in older adults. But occupational therapy can be overlooked in helping those living with the pain lead more comfortable and fuller lives. To mark National Arthritis Week which takes place 9-16 October, The OT Magazine looks at the role occupational therapy can take in

research has shown that joint protection really does help reduce pain and prevent further joint damage assisting someone with arthritis. Occupational therapists help those living with the condition with most aspects of life from self-care to work and leisure activities and so arthritis care is no different. They play an active part in a rheumatology team in order to ensure a client can learn to manage the long-term nature of arthritis along with pain management. They may also spot early ‘amber lights’ or warning signs if clients are displaying symptoms or show signs they could

develop the condition and take action to assist. Arthritis Research UK assure clients that occupational therapy is available to help manage and reduce pain and fatigue associated with the condition. y early intervention at first diagnosis, occupational therapy’s presence can be vital. By implementing practice at the early stages, preventative measures are taken. Part of this will be joint protection. Joint protection works to reduce strain on affected joints and therefore eases associated pains and aches. With joint protection, relief is provided as well as protective action against further damage. Through careful planning and pacing in balancing work and rest, joint protection involves a range of interventions to help a client learn to use their joints in the best possible way. Hand therapy can often play a part in this. If a client’s hands have been affected by their condition, 


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Arthiritis Awareness

National Arthritis Week 9-16 October motion and hand mobility is instantly reduced. Arthritis Research UK report that, “research has shown that joint protection really does help reduce pain and prevent further joint damage.” Specialist equipment and splints can also be provided or recommended by OTs to support a client’s pain. Bespoke or off the shelf splints help rest and support painful and swollen joints and OTs prescribe these often with the message not to wear them full-time, rather use them as relief. OTs also advise many sufferers on equipment to aid in regaining mobility, helping clients understand their options and how to make use of wheelchairs, scooters, walking frames or car adaptions. Household adaptions may also be recommended by OTs to help make small everyday tasks more comfortable in order to again increased independence. If you are an occupational therapist who works with clients living with rheumatic conditions and would like to share your story, get in touch!



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Understanding Arthritis Arthritis is a common condition that causes ain and in a ation in a joint and an umbrella term for various types with the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis in the UK, affecting around eight million people mainly affecting joints at the hands, spine, knees and hips. Adults over the age of 40 are most likely to experience the condition and it is developed more in women and people with a family history of the condition. However, it can occur at any age as a result of an injury or be associated with other joint-related conditions, such as gout or rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects more than 400,000 Brits commonly starting amongst 40-50 year olds. Similarly to osteoarthritis, women are three times more likely to be affected than men. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the body’s immune system targets affected joints, which leads to pain and swelling. n

For 2017, Arthritis Research UK are using National Arthritis Week to ask people to become a ‘Pain Killer’ for either themselves, a loved one or a client living with arthritis. While arthritis is commonly known, its reach is not. The pain isn’t always recognisable or visible and often many do not realise the impact it has. Arthritis Research UK are using the week to highlight this and raise awareness and vital funds to help them on their journey to finding a cure. They are calling on people living with arthritis and people who know those who do to assist them in their research by completing their survey found online at Input from the occupational therapy community this awareness week could bring researchers one step closer to putting an end to the condition, with occupational therapists’ experiences and knowledge providing invaluable support.

25/08/2017 14:00

g n i t e l i o t l u f Help solutions

“The Closomat is the most wonderful thing of all the living aids we have had added to our home, it’s beautiful! I now don’t have to get my wife to help me.” Karl van Gool, Halesowen

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25/08/2017 13:28

Mental Health



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Mental Health Mental Health

BIPOLAR DISORDER Words by Gloria Hammett


noticed changes in his behaviour. He realised he had occasional Gloria Hammett lapses in concentration, is Senior Partner but his workmates at The Romney Centre in had approached his Southampton, working with a line manager with highly ualified tea dealing with a wide range of mental reports of mood health issues. Trained initially as a swings, obsessions with Counselling Psychotherapist, later gaining ualifications in linical trivial concerns, and Hypnotherapist and NLP, she now deteriorating sho oor works in an integrative way using her many skills. Gloria also teaches relationships, which Clinical Hypnotherapy to Post they felt put themselves Graduate level, and is the current Chair of the British Society of and their customers at Whilst there is no cure as Corporate Coaching & Mentoring. risk. The line manager such, behaviour therapy Find Gloria Hammett at used an annual review and the right medication process to investigate mean that most people further, and made a with bipolar can lead normal, healthy referral to their in-house occu ational lives. However, this disorder is a health department. They in turn lifelong mental illness and some asked Tony to come along to us, and atients find the edication affects a diagnosis was made by one of our them in less than pleasant ways psychiatrists. and keeping the ongoing doctors’ ipolar disorder commonly begins to surface in late teens and unfortunately it often goes undiagnosed. It is only when a pattern of mood swings ranging from mania to depression forms over time and begins interfering with daily life that help is sought.

Gloria Hammett

appointments intrusive. For patients in the workplace, effective occupational health support can mean the difference between a career and careering out and on to benefits. Having a s ace to talk openly, discussing any issues as they occur, and coming up with not only the ‘reasonable adjustments’ required by the Disability Discrimination Act, but practical approaches to normal day to day activities are essential to build confidence, self-estee and success in the workplace. Tony has been attending The Romney Centre for some time after being diagnosed after he began work with a national retailer. He was initially unaware that his colleagues had

Fortunately for Tony, his employer has continued to support him ever since. A colleague and I were invited into the workplace where (with Tony’s full agreement, subject to their policies on confidentiality and data rotection) we discussed the disorder itself, the prognosis and treatment options with his close work mates. We answered any questions, which to their credit were mainly about what they could do

to help. We also discussed how to deal with a couple of avoidable triggers. The occupational health department have continued to take an active role in monitoring the ongoing medical supervision, any highs and lows in mood swings, and any of the other symptoms. They took great pains to avoid any stigmatisation, effectively dealing with any fears from other members of staff, whilst ensuring that they ere sufficiently trained to kno what problems they needed to report to the line manager rather than taking action themselves, as this could be interpreted as harassment. In this case the reasonable adjustments instigated by occupational health have succeeded in protecting Tony, his workmates, and his customers. There are no foreseeable circumstances that could lead to his employers considering dismissal on the grounds of capability. Unfortunately, this case is in our experience the exception rather than the rule. It is not uncommon for O.C rovision to be out-sourced, and provided either by phone or online these days. Most of the patients that come through The Romney Centre with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder do not report such positive outcomes. 

In this case the reasonable adjustments instigated by occupational health have succeeded in protecting Tony, his workmates, and his customers.

Read the case sudy on the next page  www.

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Mental Health


Case Study: Andrew, 34, London Andrew has bipolar disorder. Andrew used to work in marketing for a small company but ended up leaving after disclosing his mental health problems and not getting the support he needed. Andrew’s mental health is much better now, although it still fluctuates. For the last few years, he has worked for a much more supportive, understanding employer – small tech start-up, GrantTree.


t has made an enormous difference to work for a company that supports and accepts me as a whole person, including my mental health. Our sick leave policy explicitly covers time off for mental health issues - and occasionally, I’ve had to use it - but mainly it helps remind me that I’m OK, and there’s nothing bad or shameful about needing to look after your emotional health.

orking art ti e has definitely helped me reduce stress and manage my life better. I know that I am a valued member of the team - and no-one thinks any less of me for sometimes being unwell.

“I’m able to be totally open about my bipolar, and other members of the team are equally candid - although no-one has to share more than they feel safe to. A colleague said to me that our workplace has changed his view of mental health, and he felt more confident talking to eo le outside of work about their experiences of it.

“When I wanted to return to work, I was told I would be redeployed effectively a demotion. In some ways that eriod here you’re first getting back on your feet is the hardest time - and this was a massive blow. It was sad, because in the end I had no option but to leave. Thankfully I found a new job and I couldn’t be happier.” n

“In previous jobs, I haven’t been so lucky. My last employer was outwardly supportive, but when things got really bad and I had to take an extended period off, the relationship broke down, and I felt stranded.

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25/08/2017 14:02

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25/08/2017 13:29

Independent Living

Independent Living

Helping people live an independent life Sign up for Independent Living Scotland’s renowned CPD programme


cotland’s largest disability lifestyle and independent living event returns to Glasgow’s SEC on 4-5 October 2017, promising to be bigger and better than ever with a new and improved show format and more than 100 exhibitors. Sally Magnusson, Scottish broadcaster, author and founder of Playlist for Life (a charity which aims to bring music back into the lives of those living with de entia) ill be at the to officially open the event. Now in its third year, Independent Living Scotland will offer healthcare professionals and students the chance to gain valuable knowledge and insight from experts and industry leaders, through the exclusive CPD seminar programme. A recurring policy theme in health and social care, this year’s programme focusses on self-care, with specially selected opportunities to learn how best to support people with various health conditions to look after themselves. ith confir ed s eakers fro the Healthcare Professions Council, Diabetes Scotland, Arthritis Care Scotland and Health Improvement Scotland, there will be something for everyone working in Scotland’s healthcare sector. On day one, Karin Orman, from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, will speak about the contribution that the profession makes to the prevention agenda; particularly in social care. In addition, Alison McKean, Andrea Boyd and Dr Jenny Preston MBE will take to the stage to focus on the continuing tradition of

Scots can take advantage of the many CPD opportunities

Scottish occupational therapists leading industry innovation. Presentations from Health Improvement Scotland’s Lianne McInally and Ben Lukins will highlight Scotland’s leading role in the UK roll-out of the Living Well in Communities Programme and will also offer an interesting insight into the new Buurtszog model, adapted from the Netherlands. New for 2017, healthcare professionals are being encouraged to make use of the designated working hub area, which will allow visitors to combine show attendance and CPD seminar sessions with day to day working life. Tsitsi Lynn Makuni at QD Events, organisers of Independent Living Scotland, said: “We are pleased to bring this event back to the SEC for another year and we have some fantastic speakers lined up to share their own knowledge and experiences of assisting Scots with living independently. “For those working in the health and social care sectors in particular, we

are confident the event ill be both valuable and memorable for ongoing professional learning and development. We would advise anyone wishing to benefit fro our se inars to sign u as soon as possible to secure a place.” New show sections include the new Alzheimer’s Hub and Autism Awareness areas, with virtual reality experiences that will allow visitors to put themselves in the shoes of those living with these conditions and understand how it affects their day to day lives. Set to welcome 2,500 visitors over the course of the two days, Independent Living Scotland is a free to attend event, with ticket holders entitled to free parking in the SEC surface level car park (T&Cs apply). The show’s programme of accredited educational content is s ecifically tailored for occupational therapists, physiotherapists, paediatric specialists, nurses and professional carers. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to sign up for the CPD programme in advance.

For more details please visit www.

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Product focus


product reviews

Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature? If so, get in touch! Contact us at

Swivel Bath Seat Price: £100.10 The NRS Swivel Bath Seat has a robust, yet lightweight, aluminium base frame and plastic moulded seat with drainage holes that automatically locks at 90-degree intervals. It can smoothly rotate 360 degrees by pulling up the easy to use leaver, whilst the base frame easily adjusts with ‘e-clips’ and features non-slip rubber ends. The backrest has an integral handle for ease of transportation. Suitable for enamel and acrylic baths. 0345 121 8111

Solo Call Pager Price £119.99 The Solo Call Pager, Transmitter and over-bed mattress Sensor Mat kit picks up an alarm signal, within a 30m range when a sensor mat is activated and can be set with an audio alarm, vibration alarm or both. t also ashes in each of these odes to draw attention to an activation. The broken link indicator light ill ash on the ager if it loses contact with, or goes out of range of, the transmitter. The transmitter has a wall mounting bracket and can be set to alarm instantly, or have a two second delay to help avoid false alarms caused by people moving around in bed.

0345 121 8111 products



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The AquaMaster Price available on request The AquaMaster Tilt in Space shower chair was introduced in 2012 to meet the increasing demand for a quality, cost effective loan store solution. The Clos-o-mat Palma Vita compatible chair was added in 2015. The range has been designed to have a convenient modular design, enabling easy s eciďŹ cation change to facilitate a uick and si le re-issue service which negates the need for new chair purchases. This includes armrest, footrest, seat, headrest and backrest fabric options, which, when combined with their large range of support strap and padding accessories, allow the chair to be conďŹ gured to safely eet the needs of the a ority of end users.

Chiltern Invadex (UK) Limited 01869 365500

Black Furniture Raisers Price available on request Langham are relaunching their trusted Langham Furniture Raisers after receiving positive feedback from occupational therapists. The response to the changes has been great so far, both from OTs and end users - They are much less noticeable under furniture and they look smaller which makes them less intrusive. The new Black Langham Furniture aiser range includes the d ustable hair aiser ( P), d ustable ed aiser ( P Ps), the ultiPurpose Raiser (MPR) and the Langham Suregrip raisers. Furniture raisers are the ideal solution for disabled and elderly people or those who have recently had hip or knee surgery by raising a chair or bed to reduce overbending when sitting or standing. Langham have over 50 years of experience supplying furniture raisers to social care settings and hospitals, helping to promote independence and help people get on with their everyday lives.

Gordon Ellis 01332 810504

Tenura CupCaps Price available on request Silicone CupCaps with straw inserts are applied with ease onto cups & cans to seal openings, preventing spillage and stains in the event of being knocked over. The CupCap not only seals cups, mugs and cans preventing spills and stains but keeps drinks fresher for longer and can be applied with ease. It is made with a strong anti-microbial construction preventing bacteria from harbouring on the material.

Tenura 01254 832266


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New Product

of entering and exiting the lift car and a gently-angled ramp for easier wheelchair level access. The car body has also been s ecifically designed for wheelchair users with wider entry and exit points. The overall footprint is just 1040mm x 1378mm. As with all Stiltz HomeLifts, the new product can be installed in less than a day with no load bearing walls or hydraulics required. The car of the Trio+ is designed in a stylish warm grey aluminium casing with a clear body, which helps it blend seamlessly into customers’ homes. The lift plugs straight into a normal domestic power socket using minimal power as it travels quietly between oors on self-su orting rails hich are discreetly recessed between the slightly wider entrance/exit. A unique thru-car option is available which allows entry and exit from opposite sides giving greater e ibility hen choosing a location for the lift.

Stiltz Lift

Trio+ HomeLift Stiltz Lifts to launch new wheelchairfriendly homelift at The OT Show


omeLifts specialist Stiltz Lifts has just launched a new wheelchair-friendly lift which will be unveiled to the OT industry at The Occupational Therapy Show at the NEC Birmingham this November. The Trio+ HomeLift is the new groundbreaking addition to the Stiltz range of unique HomeLifts and has been s ecifically designed to take a fullsized wheelchair or up to three people. Its modern design encompasses both practicality and style, to give a contemporary, elegant look. The new lift will enable independent OTs to recommend the product during in-home OT assessments when

meeting with those who need to adapt their homes to help make their lives easier. These adaptations can be partially or fully funded - depending on the individual’s circumstances - by a Local Government Disabled Facilities Grant. Local authorities provide funding for around 2,000 wheelchair lifts per year according to Lift & Escalator Industry Association ( ) figures. The new Trio lift has undergone extensive testing and will fully comply with BS 5900:2012 Powered Homelifts along with being BS EN 81-41 accredited. There is the option of an automatic door to allow for ease

hair an and hief ecutive fficer of Stiltz Group, Mike Lord (pictured) said, “The new Stiltz lift gives OTs the opportunity to advise and recommend a life-changing mobility solution for wheelchair users such as the Trio+ HomeLift. “Our new lift enables the user to maintain their independence and live a full life in the home they love. It ticks all the boxes required for a local authority Disabled Facilities Grant for those users who desperately need to adapt their homes but do not have the finances. e are confident that once OTs have seen the Trio+ they will understand why we are so excited to be showcasing it at The OT Show.” Former British Army corporal Josh Boggi, a triple amputee Invictus Games athlete and Paralympics hopeful who, as well as being a Stiltz customer, acts as brand ambassador for Stiltz Lifts, will be available for OTs to meet and chat to at the two-day OT Show on November 22-23.

For information about Stiltz Lifts visit, email or phone 0808 278 8684.


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25/08/2017 13:29

Being Creative

Words by Paul Aitken

Everyone can be more

creative Exploring how being more ore creative will give us a lot m space in our lives


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25/08/2017 17:09

Being Creative


n my experience, our educational system tends to treat creativity as if it’s something special, reserved for certain types of people. You are creative, or you are not. At university level, you study a creative or an academic course. Neither side of this coin tends to offer much training in way of the other. A lot of ‘creative’ people also tend not to think of themselves as particularly ‘academic.’

David Kelley – a successful American businessman – described seeing one of his best friends at school being mocked by a girl for his attempts to make a clay horse. Kelley said he never again saw this individual attempt such an exercise. He explained that when he tells that story, people often share similar experiences, they seem to ‘optout’ of being a creative person when they are told they are no good. “I’m not really the creative type,” you might hear someone say. Kelly argues that this occurs as a result of fear of judgement, and a deficit in ‘creative confidence.’ Kelley goes on to talk about the psychologist Alfred Bandura, who worked with phobias. He used a technique called ‘Guided Mastery’ which exposes people to their fears in baby steps; having those with life-long snake phobias go from being told there was a snake in the next room, through to looking at it through a window, through to touching it with a glove, through holding it in their lap unsupervised. Not only does their apprehension disappear, but participants end up caring about the snake, finding beauty in it and actually displaying lower levels of fear and anxiety in other

If you are able to respond with few, very similar ideas to the original idea, then you aren’t exactly being very creative aspects of their lives. Bandura called this confidence ‘self-efficacy,’ the sense that you can set about things in the world and attain your goals. The same process can be applied to your own, or a patient’s creativity, as big things come from little breakthroughs. Jordan Peterson explains that psychologists typically measure creativity according to the dimensions of creative outputs and creative thought. He defines the latter as the capacity to generate ideas that are both novel and useful. If I throw you out an idea and you have a number of ideas off of the back of this which are broadly dispersed from the original idea, then you have been creative in your analysis and expansion of that original idea. If you are able to respond with few, very similar ideas to the original idea, then you aren’t exactly being very creative. Peterson points out that creativity and intelligence are highly correlated. If you are intelligent you are likely to be creative and vice versa. He says: “You need to be pretty damn smart to be creative, otherwise you’re just gonna get to where other people have already got.” A review of evidence published between 2000 and 2008 carried out by Perruzza and Kinsella (2009) identified six areas as being particularly affected by engagement in creative occupations in therapeutic practices. These were: enhanced perceived control; building a

sense of self expression; transforming the illness experience; gaining a sense of purpose and the development of social support structures. Therese Schmid’s 2006 book, Promoting Health Through Creativity highlighted that creativity can be used in all processes, and that the process of creation itself tends to be meaningful to the individual doing the creating, it seems to generate in them positive feelings. Whilst – like intelligence – there is no singular definition for creativity, it is generally accepted in science and philosophy that the process of creativity is applicable to all aspects of life. Being creative doesn’t require an ability to paint, sculpt or otherwise create artwork. It is more about innovative novelty. Carl Jung – who has written extensively on creativity and its role in the process of ‘individuation’ wrote: “Conventions themselves are soulless mechanisms that can never understand more than the mere routine of life... Creative life always stands outside convention.” Not only do thinkers like Jung and Peterson contend that creativity is important in an individual’s development, but that it is necessary to avoid social devastation, “when the mere routine of life predominates in the form of convention and tradition, there is bound to be a destructive outbreak of creative energy”. Jung expected that convention was what kept people unconscious of what was going on around them and of their own potential, and that it was necessary for people to develop the individual nature of their own 


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Being Creative personality through approaching things creatively – that is to say, by aunting the rules ith innovative novelty. If common enough, creativity ill hel to avoid the terrible dangers of mass unconsciousness, such as those dis layed throughout the 20th century. My contention is not that everyone is creative but that everyone has the capacity - through the conscious develo ent of their ersonality - to be more creative than they currently are. An important aspect of this seems to involve a breaking do n of the ty ical conce tion of creativity and to see that being creative is not something that you are born ith but is instead a dis ositional trait. f you have the confidence and drive to ractice, ake istakes, refine your techni ue and find your identity as an artist then it is likely that you ill be able to roduce ‘creative’ or ‘artistic’ orks that are orth hile. Practices such as these not only soothe people and build their ersonal confidence, but can also – according to ung and Peterson – save the orld. nn ucker – a no retired useu creator - once said ll art re uires courage and this is certainly true. Creative practice requires a confrontation ith your li itations and allo ing yourself to ake istakes. reativity is allo ing yourself to ake istakes, art is kno ing hich ones to kee , says cott da s, creator of Dilbert. reativity akes you stand out, hich any eo le loath to do – and for good reason. here is a rice to ay for artistic expression but it is certainly a rice orth aying – es ecially if your artistic out ut is only for your o n thera y. our ork ight cause you to ask important questions about yourself, hich is, in itself, thera eutic. obody gets any here ith anything ithout racticing. f you find that you aren’t getting better ith ractice, try another instrument or technique.


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My contention is not that everyone is creative but that everyone has the capacity - through the conscious development of their personality to be more creative One of the prevailing theories of brain dyna ics at the o ent is kno n generally as neuro lasticity. t argues that gravel aths bet een neurons that are hard and slo to traverse can beco e su erhigh ays that infor ation o s through fast and s ooth and this is achieved through repetition. he brain abides by the adage that ractice makes perfect. It is true that children’s brains are ore lastic than adults, but adults can change the neural landsca e of their brains ore than e used to think they could. What is possible at any age is a journey in ard, looking for health, ellbeing and ha iness ithin ourselves rather than fro out- ith. his allo s us to rediscover the ‘creative s irit’ according to ung – hich he said e tend to lose touch ith before the age of 0. hen you observe yourself ithin, you see oving i ages, a orld of i ages, generally kno n as fantasies. et these fantasies are facts, it is a fact that such and such a an has these fantasies... everything as fantasy to begin ith... fantasy is not nothing. It is of course not a tangible object but it is a fact. It is a for of energy. Psychical events are facts.” hen e consider this in the light of ung’s revious insight that outbursts of creative energy can be catastrophic, it seems important to direct this a arently intrinsic energy in beneficial ays. e creative instead

of abusing the eo le around you. his article ai s to re ind you that creative processes – like any other – can be trained and i roved, and that causing creative outputs lets out so e stea that ight other ise be released in unhealthy or ersonally unfulfilling ays. Iain McGilchrist, a particularly creative sychiatrist and riter, said he nature of creativity is to make space for things to ha en e can drive it out ith our busyness and our plans.” He goes on to cite oethe, ho said that art is as about making things as it is clearing things a ay, aking s ace. t is a atter of utting distance bet een yourself and that hich is too close to your nose for you to see hat it is. reat triu hs in creative ork or thought ake ne aths here none e isted before – creativity is a atter of creating s ace in the orld and in our o n lives as it is about creating things. e can all be ore creative, and it ill give us a lot ore s ace in our lives. t is ise to re e ber this hen dealing ith atients and to re e ber andura’s study. t takes time, compromise, patience, courage and the overco ing of ob ections and fear to get people to touch the serpent or carry out the creative act; but the self-efficacy achieved through it see s to be orth the effort 0-fold. n

25/08/2017 17:11

MADITA-Fun mini The therapy chair for initial assistance


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25/08/2017 13:29

Brand New to the UK market for 2017/18

Repton Medical Ltd are the sole UK distributor for Ubio who provide high quality Postural Cushions, Pressure Care, Comfort and Support products • Specialised Pressure Care • Lasting products of superior quality • Favourably Priced • Improves Quality of Life • Comfort, safe and soft to touch • Variety of Viscoelastic, Silica Gel, . Liquid or Air Flotation • Norton Scale Pressure Ucler Risk . (1-4) Low - High Alternative Positioning & Bespoke work undertaken Phone: 01909 724890 Email: Visit us to see our launch of brand new products at the

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25/08/2017 13:36

Words by Niki Tennant

THE SILENT FEMALE KILLER? POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is commonly perceived as a chronic mental illness that largely affects men, particularly males in the military. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

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ore than two-thirds of people in the UK who experience PTSD are, in fact, women.

So, what puts women at greater risk? Females are twice as likely as men to experience PTSD partly because domestic violence is a common cause of repeated trauma. Women are also at greater risk of sexual assault, which is another main trigger for the condition. Childhood trauma and pressures from social media are also blamed for dramatic increases in the number of young women self-harming and having post-traumatic stress disorder or another chronic mental illness. Dr Lesley Parkinson specialises in EEG neurofeedback for ADHD, fibro yalgia, autono ic nervous system dysfunctionality, hormonal dysfunctionality, anxiety, stress, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, eating disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, head injury, stroke rehabilitation, epilepsy, mild traumatic brain injury, brain trauma and peak performance. The consultant, clinical psychologist and specialist in neuropsychophysiology explained: “Female PTSD sufferers tend to self-sedate or selfcomfort with alcohol, drugs, coffee, cigarettes and binge eating. “Some don’t eat at all for long periods. Sufferers can have problems with


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boundaries and relationships, so they need a trusting relationship. They can’t easily make judgements and everything has a tendency to build up on them. And, if the people around them get angry, this can exacerbate things too. “If sufferers get over-tired, the trauma gets worse and they can even resort to self-harm. It’s so diverse a condition that not one size fits all. t’s very complex.” An inquiry into the state of mental health in England found alarming evidence that more women aged between 16 and 24 are experiencing mental health problems than ever before and are now considered a highrisk group. According to the government-funded Adult Psychiatric Morbidity survey, psychological distress is now so common that one in four in that age group has harmed themselves at some point. In that age group, the number of women who screened positive for PTSD trebled from 4.2% in 2007 to 12.6% in 2014. That’s one in eight. It should be noted, though, that the use of a more accurate screening tool in the refreshed survey helps to explain that leap. A report by NHS Digital found that young women are more than three times as likely as their male peers to have PTSD.

According to the independent study of 7500 people of all ages, just 3.6% of men in the age group had it, and women in that bracket are more likely than any other group to have experienced a common mental disorder in the past week. Researchers found that 26% of women aged 16 to 24 had anxiety, depression, panic disorder, phobia or obsessivecompulsive disorder. Overall, 19% of women of all ages had one of those, compared with 12% of men. The report states: “The gender gap in mental illness had become more pronounced in young people and there is evidence that this gap has widened in recent years.” Dr Parkinson offers some useful insight and tips to help women experiencing PTSD: “Try to get back to your usual routines. Engage in regular activities such as meeting friends for a coffee once a week. Regular exercise and hobbies can be very therapeutic. Practice mindfulness to train your mind to stay in the present. Take time to be with your family and friends.” She recommends the use of a portable cranial electrotherapy device that works for PTSD by sending a signal to the brain that is refined and filtered, providing a very clear message to which the mind responds.

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PTSD Therapy

THE ROLE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Studies show that OT is particularly effective in providing PTSD victims with the coping and management skills needed to conduct their daily activities.

Devices such as the Alpha-Stim® help by slowing down the excess fast waves in the brain that are creating the anxiety in the mind. t uses a s ecific ave for ith a 10-second pulse width during which an imperceptible microcurrent passes across the brain via ear clips coated ith a conducting uid. The device is designed to talk the same language as the body and encourages the production of alphawaves in the brain. It stimulates the brain cells to trigger a reaction to produce serototin. Unlike anti-depressant drugs, cranial electrotherapy stimulation achieves this without side effects. Its positive effects are also cumulative, suggesting that it may bring about permanent positive change in the neurological make-up of people experiencing PTSD. Dr Parkinson says: “Because I work with the brain, I have looked with some patients at the brain wave changes that occur pre, post and during Alpha-Stim® training. I use the Alpha-Stim® routinely if I am seeing patients with anxiety or depression, also with women with endocrine dysfunction, also of course stress and/ or anxiety where there is an element of hyperarousal”.

Occupational therapists are at the forefront of helping people who experience PTSD to rebuild their lives and in some cases, their identity to discover who they are again. The occupational therapist is able to look holistically at the whole person and identify their strengths and prioritise improvements. Occupational therapists conduct a

comprehensive and collaborative evaluation to identify strengths and barriers to occupational performance and their cause(s), for example: needs, trauma triggers, environmental barriers. They provide individual and group therapy sessions related to the impact of trauma, phases of recovery, and health/wellness strategies, often in collaboration with other professionals. They also provide consultation to organisations and policy makers, and may work in supervisory, managerial, and case management positions in this area of practice.

WHAT IS POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety disorder which develops after being involved in or witnessing traumatic events. he condition as first diagnosed in war veterans and has been known by a variety of names, such as ‘shell shock.’ Common signs and symptoms include reliving aspects of what happened, including vivid ashbacks, intrusive thoughts or images and nightmares. A person may experience alertness or feeling on edge, avoiding feelings or e ories and having difficult beliefs or feelings such as not being able to trust, feeling nowhere is safe and overwhelming feelings of anger,

sadness, guilt or shame. When given a diagnosis of PTSD, you may be told you have mild, moderate or severe PTSD. This describes what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently – it’s not a description of how frightening or upsetting your experiences might have been. Mental health charity Mind says there are many misconceptions about PTSD. People may wrongly assume it means you are ‘dwelling’ over past events. They might even suggest you ‘get over it’ or ‘move on.’ But having PTSD is not a choice or a sign of weakness and it’s important to remember you are not alone.


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25/08/2017 13:30

Stroke Awards Kathleen O’ Neil

Stroke charity applauds contribution of OT Kathleen Getting Out of the House (£1.4m) multi centre randomised control trial, helping recruit patients, managing the therapist who delivered the intervention and contributing to the analysis of data and writing the main paper.

Words by Niki Tennant


he achievements of clinical specialist occupational therapist Kathleen O’Neil have been honoured in the coveted Life After Stroke Awards 2017. Kathleen, who works at the Stroke Rehabilitation ward at Gateshead’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, was na ed as one of five finalists in the Professional Excellence category of the awards. The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding achievements of stroke survivors, their families and carers. They also recognise the compassion and unfailing commitment of people and organisations that help rebuild the lives of those who have been affected by stroke. Heavily involved in her clinical role as well as stroke research since the 1980s, Kathleen is passionate about stroke care and rehabilitation. She was nominated by colleague Emma Palmer, who says Kathleen strives to make patient experience and recovery the centre of all decisions made on the ward. This has not been clearer than over the past year throughout the restructuring of the Acute Stroke Pathway in the North-east region and the relocation of the community stroke team and stroke ward. In her nomination, Emma stressed: “She will not rest until she believes that patients on her ward have had

She has presented at the UKSF Conference and, together with Dr Jane Horne, at a European stroke conference in Barcelona.

She will not rest until she believes that patients on her ward have had the best chance possible of returning to their own homes and leading a full and meaningful life after stroke. the best chance possible of returning to their own homes and leading a full and meaningful life after stroke.” Prior to being promoted to a senior position, Kathleen had made the Gateshead Stroke Team into a centre of excellence for OTs, turning out a cadre of excellent stroke therapists. She has developed new ways of interdisciplinary working and shows that therapists, assistants and carers can combine their efforts to achieve more than a conventional approach. Kathleen was the principal investigator for the NIHR funded

Kathleen supported Professor of Stroke Rehabilitation, Marion Walker, in recruiting stroke patients on the stroke unit for her community therapy randomised controlled trial which was published in the Lancet. Professor Walker commented: “Kathleen O’Neil has enjoyed a long, successful career in stroke care and has been a huge advocate for every stroke survivor she has treated. She is an amazing occupational therapist who strives to make very patient’s recovery the best it can be.” Pip Logan, Professor of Rehabilitation Research and occupational therapist, described Kathleen as “a true clinical academic occupational therapist.” “She uses evidence-based practices in her work, contributes to clinical trials, has resented her findings at national conferences and been an author on papers while maintaining a full clinical role in a busy stroke unit,” she said. The Professional Excellence winner and winners of the other six categories will be honoured at a ceremony at the Dorchester, London, on November 1.


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Paediatrics n o i t c Se T

he summer has passed almost all too quickly and children have all returned to school. Personally, the summer was never long enough, but school wasn’t really all that bad. For some children though, returning to the routine is more than just a little bit annoying.

any children have difficulty in the classroo can see their learning and development affected as a result. This issue, The OT Magazine’s Paediatrics Section goes back to school and looks at how OT can be implemented in the classroom.


Firstly, we explore how occupational therapy intervention can help children with dyspraxia in lessons and help them get the most out of the early years. Turn to page 53 for our whistle stop guide to OT, dyspraxia and schools.



Many children have difficulty in the classroom and can see their learning and development affected as a result.

We then meet Tommy Taylor, a primary school teacher whose personal experience with physiotherapy rehabilitation led him to team up with an occupational therapist to bring alternative seating arrangements into the class. Learn about ‘The Bouncing Classroom’ on page 57. As always, we bring you innovative products to help your younger clients lead comfortable and happy lives which can be found on pages 54 and 55. We love to hear your experiences and stories, so please get in touch with any paediatric stories you would like to share! Email us at

Read on to find out more... www.

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Challenging Disability through Outdoor Adventure The Calvert Trust has been delivering outdoor adventure breaks for adults and children with disabilities in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District National Park since 1976. Whether you are looking for new experiences and to meet new people, or just active holiday fun with friends and family, we have something amazing to offer you. To find out more, including dates and availability, call us on 017687 72255 introduction Reg Charity No. 270923



The RAZ AT Shower Chair The RAZ range of shower chairs is winning contracts in the UK through market leading design, saving money and removing the need for ‘specials’.


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25/08/2017 13:30

Dyspraxia & writing


Getting a handle on handwriting Words by Colette Carr


eturning to or starting school isn’t always a smooth ride for children. Whether they enjoy it or not, it doesn’t always come without difficulty. hether it’s a reluctance to accept a tighter routine or the restrictiveness and confine ent of the classroom, some children just don’t feel at ease in the classroom. But in some cases, the causes run slightly deeper than just being overexcited or uninterested. One condition that may be causing a child to not settle or find tasks slightly ore difficult could be develo ental coordination disorder (DCD) – also kno n as dys ra ia. ccu ational thera ists often ork with children experiencing the condition to find better ays to complete activities or ease frustrations and it is no different in the school environment with OTs in a great position to support teachers. Advice can be given to teachers to tackle issues such as concentration and balance but handwriting for many is the first ort of call for assistance. A huge part of supporting children

with dyspraxia is understanding what stage they are at with their motor skills. ften, children ith dys ra ia can have difficulty ith hand riting and show signs of dyspraxia through dis laying difficulty in re e bering how to form letters and copying, poor spacing and positioning, pain or disco fort in holding a encil or eak fine otor skills such as hand strength and dexterity. Moreover, some children can show unwillingness to complete written tasks, beco e fatigued hen riting, lack of concentration hile riting or misbehaviour that isn’t consistent with behaviour out-with the classroom. Suggestions occupational therapists can ake to teachers and arents can go far in supporting a child’s development. By recommending the use of wide stemmed pencils or felt tip pens or applying rubber grips, physical discomfort in holding a pencil or pen could be eased and writing could become smoother. Adjusting their seating arrangement or space in the class could also help a child’s writing. By placing them nearer the white board or by the front of the

class, feelings of distance are reduced and concentration can increase. Distractions are minimised and the child can focus ore on the task in hand. llo ing children to take a ste back and move around while writing may also improve their performance. If they are struggling so much that they are building frustration and causing the selves distress, taking a break ay allow them to collect themselves and again in turn build concentration as they stop writing for prolonged periods of time. y asking dys ra ic children to ork under tight time restraints, you are unintentionally adding more pressure and further decreasing their self-esteem. Suggesting that a teacher allows rela ed deadlines and ore e ible time frames can allow a child the time they need to process, understand and co lete the task successfully. Small interventions recommended by OTs go a long way in the early development years of children, laying greater foundations for further occupational therapy later down the line.


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Prices ON available REQUEST

Product Focus

As part of our Paediatrics Section, we take a look at the products on the market that can help improve the lives of your younger patients.

Leggero TRAK For a limited period, BES Rehab is offering 25% off the Leggero TRAK – the buggy that delivers excellent positioning and postural support, similar to that which can be achieved in a wheelchair. Fully crash tested, the TRAK is comfortable and easily foldable. One can fully adjust the seat depth, seat width, back length, knee angle, and footplate height. It also allows for 0 to 45° tilt-in-space and 0 to 30° recline. The TRAK comes with lateral trunk supports and adjustable hip guides, and is available with contoured seating system and lumbar support. The Leggero Trak offers a great alternative for young clients who do not wish to use a wheelchair.

BES Rehab | For a demonstration, call us on 01179 666 761, or email us on and quote BESOT.

Prices from


The MiniStandy The Mini-Standy is a comprehensive support aid for children who require postural assistance. Its vertical frame features heel rests, knee pads and pelvic and chest supports to give the child excellent stability. The heel and knee supports are fully adjustable to each child’s unique needs. Both lateral arm movement and torso rotation are allowed by the frame design. To allow the child to perform tasks, the Mini-Standy has a removable activity table surface that is adjustable in both height and depth. A set of four castors makes it easy to move; the rear wheels have brakes for safety.

Tel: 01273 719889


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Tactile Discs These Tactile Discs are a great resource for use in settings such as play and sensory therapy. They are carefully designed to encourage exploration of the child’s sense of touch and recognition. The set of 10 discs contains five s all and five large discs that have different raised textures. With a textured and colour coordinated design, the discs are fun to explore, helping the child learn about shape and tactile sensations. The Tactile Discs can be used in a variety of creative ways, such as blindfold games based on memory and recognition.

Tel: 01273 719889

Prices from


The Madita-Fun mini The Madita-Fun mini is designed for children aged four months and up. It has a starting seat depth of just 12cm. As with all of the adita-fun chairs the base is re ective of the size of the chair and is extremely compact giving the chair an inviting and unintimidating feel. The Madita-Fun mini has been developed s ecifically for young or very s all users. t offers tailored su ort and gro th ai ed at the first hases of sitting and is therefore ideally suited for early intervention. It offers functions such as simple height adjustability. This allows the chair to be lo ered to the height of the oor for laying or even to allow for work on standing transfers if the user is able. It can also be placed at nursery or kitchen table height. There is a range of accessories available for the chair including adjustable abduction pads and specially designed lateral/ trunk supports which help to control the whole trunk from below the axilla.

Schuchmann 01733 561885

Prices ON available REQUEST

Flexible Paediatric Cutlery This Flexible Paediatric Cutlery has long bendable handles that can wrap around the child’s wrist or hand. This is an ideal ada tation for those ho ight have difficulty gripping standard forks and spoons. Its design enables the head of the cutlery to be set at the desired angle. The foam handles of the Flexible Paediatric Cutlery are 19mm (3/4 inch) in diameter and 250mm (10 inches) in length. Easily customised to the size of the individual’s grip, they are a highly versatile and ractical feeding aid. his e ible handled cutlery for children is supplied with a hand strap to provide additional security.

Tel: 01273 719889

Prices from



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independent designed for


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25/08/2017 13:30



Classroom OT

Bouncing classroom The

As pupils and teachers head back to school after a long and enjoyable summer break, teachers and support staff alike continue to look for new and improved ways to get the best out of our children.

Words by Colette Carr


ow more than ever teachers are implementing more creative and inventive practices backed up by science in the classroom in the hope of introducing productivity, better behaviour and improved well being. And occupational therapists' role in schools is growing as a result. Many teachers are now seeking advice from occupational therapists on changes that could be made to enhance the learning experience. One teacher who has sought advice from OTs is South Ayrshire primary teacher Tommy Taylor, whose classroom changes have reaped i ressive benefits on a er as ell as in behaviour and physically. Last year, Tommy introduced the ‘Bouncing Classroom’, replacing normal seats with bouncing balls for the children to sit on at their desks.

The scheme proved highly successful in raising attainment, decreasing low level classroom behaviour and increasing fitness and i roving posture.

high attaining academic countries such as Switzerland use the balls rather than chairs as standard practice in 

Working with educational psychologists and OTs, Tommy grew the project to secure school funding to bring it into another two classes and is continuously in talks with the local authority to extend its reach to other schools. The project, which is popular on the continent, came to Tommy during his own physio appointments. as involved in a road traffic accident two years ago and my physio recommended using the balls for rehabilitation,” Tommy began. “While using the balls I began to wonder about the potential impact that they could have in the classroom. I began researching the topic and discovered that


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25/08/2017 14:08



their schools. It was clear, from the existing research, that there was a direct correlation between the use of the balls and attainment as well as physical wellbeing,” he shared. As time went on, Tommy continued to take stock of the attributes born from introducing the children to the new seating plan both in and out of the classroom and reported throughout. He shared: “Physically, I noted improvements in the children’s posture hich led to greater gross and fine motor control. During PE sessions, I observed increased levels of fitness and improved balance. “Within the classroom setting, children appeared to be more focussed and less agitated. Learning became a wholebody experience with many children ‘bouncing out’ spelling words or times tables. Research shows that this way of learning strengthens neurological pathways. “Attainment has increased dramatically over the course of observation - even the highest-achieving child saw an u lift of 0 on assess ents. ecific figures can be found ithin the re ort I produced. Low level classroom behaviour vanished and children were able to focus on learning. One child went from being on task 4% of the day to 52% of the day which is huge for that individual.” Before taking the ‘Bouncing Classroom’ to the school, occupational therapists and other health professionals helped Tommy prepare for the change and highlighted any concerns in order to not prove detrimental to the early learning environment, but as Tommy explained, OTs were and still are huge advocates of the policy. “An occupational therapist was involved during the initial planning stage to ensure that this was feasible and would not have any negative impact on the children. “Advice was given regarding what type

One child went from being on task 4% of the day to 52% of the day which is huge for that individual.” of initial assessments could be carried out from an OT point of view, such as balance and posture. Occupational therapists are still involved in supporting this initiative and trying to move things forward within the authority." n the first eek back, o y is e cited about restarting the project with a new group of pupils to see how this year pans out as he enthused about where it could go moving forward. “With the academic year just starting, it will take a while to re-do baseline assessments to gain the ‘before’ results,” he began.

“However, the parent council have agreed to fund another two class sets - hopefully one for lower school and one for upper, allowing a set across all levels. "The class I was working with has changed teacher and her values differ slightly from mine, so, as yet, they have not been able to continue use with the balls. I will, however, introduce them to my new class and with the continued support of occupational therapists, educational psychologists and my head teacher I will hopefully be able to move forward and tackle the opposition against forward thinking ways of working.” n

To find out more about Bouncing Classroom email 58


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25/08/2017 14:08

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25/08/2017 13:30

The New Neptune 2 JCM Seating and Sunrise Medical are proud to announce the all new Neptune 2 seating system. Designed from the ground up with eye catching appeal, modularity and ease of use at the forefront, the Neptune 2 is perfectly placed to meet the requirements of the user with mild to moderate postural needs. Strong and durable, with its 100% modular design the Neptune 2 is ideally suited to meet the changing needs of the user, as well as reconfiguring when the time for re-issue comes along. Come and see for yourself at Stand K50 at the Occupational Therapy Show where we’ll be delighted to take you through the Neptune 2. 0845 605 66 88 option 4

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25/08/2017 13:31

Crowdfunding homes

Accessible Homes

Crowdfunding campaign aims to open door to accessible homes A collaborative project founded by two entrepreneurs who have a track record of dedication to sustainable social business initiatives has announced the launch of the first crowdfunding project to provide adapted, accessible properties for rent.


ommunity Sponsors Homes is launching the crowdfunding bid to transform the lives of UK wheelchair users and their families. They say a large proportion of UK wheelchair users are forced to live in unsuitable homes because there are not enough accessible homes for them to live independently. The funding campaign will change that by providing adapted properties to let on the mainstream market by wheelchair users and their families. According to recent research carried out by Aspire, every eight hours someone is paralysed with a spinal cord injury. The London School of Economics estimates there are currently 1.8 million disabled people in the UK with identified housing needs. et, eonard Cheshire says approximately 330,000 homes are required to meet that demand.

The Community Sponsored Homes team celebrate the campaign launch

users, in particular, are becoming increasingly disadvantaged in this marketplace. “Through our research, we have recognised that there is simply a lack of homes that are specially adapted for wheelchair users and their families to rent on a long-term basis,” said Eleanor Bowden, CEO of Community Sponsors Homes.

This is exacerbated by the fact that within the UK housing market, which Community Sponsors Homes say is widely acknowledged as being expensive and broken, most private landlords have neither the appetite, inclination nor knowledge to provide wheelchair accessible properties.

“As a result, wheelchair users have to live in unsuitable accommodation. They may be unable to bathe themselves at home, reliant on a carer to assist them in everyday tasks when they may not need to be, unable to leave one or two rooms of the house and are often unable to leave the house at all.

This, they claim, means that wheelchair

“We strongly believe that there is

a need to transform this situation. This lack of suitable housing can undoubtedly cause detriment to the physical wellbeing of wheelchair users, in some cases meaning that they cannot work, incur higher heating bills and have radical emotional and financial distress. The Community Sponsors Homes crowdfunding campaign will be live for donations on until September 12. It is hoped to raise £30,000 to establish the social initiative to provide specially adapted accessible properties for wheelchair users. The organisation also plans to pilot a new method of providing subsidised rent, as well as a way of rewarding residents with shares in their properties.

To help please visit


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25/08/2017 14:08

Quality Care


the right

choices Taking the headache out of finding quality care services. Words by Katie Gartland


early 1.2 million people in the UK aged 65 and over are not currently receiving the extra care and support they need with daily living activities. This means it’s highly likely that we all know at least one person who would benefit fro receiving health and social su ort, hether this erson is elderly, has a learning difficulty or has a disability. hat’s ore, the gro ing distance bet een fa ilies is also aking lanning care for fa ily e bers ore difficult as those ho are likely to be in a osition of finding care for a relative no live nearly an average of 00 iles, or a t o-hour drive, fro their loved ones. his eans that finding the best uality care that suits a fa ily e ber’s needs can be challenging. key concern for those finding care for a loved one is that the care they receive on’t be of a high uality. s s ecified by the ational nstitute for Health and are cellence ( ), having people with knowledge and expertise about looking after elderly and vulnerable atients in care ho es is e tre ely i ortant. he role of occupational therapists is to support current and ros ective residents of care ho es, and ensure they’re being rovided ith beneficial person-centred activities. hen a erson does receive uality care fro a carer or occu ational thera ist, the benefits for the and their fa ilies can be farreaching, hel ing the to continue living their life ho they ant to. Here are five ti s on ho clients or their relatives can find uality care for themselves or a loved one. 



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Katie Gartland As Marketing anager for ife co, res onsible for both customer and care rovider engage ent, Katie focuses on understanding what people and businesses ant, ensuring that offers a choice of ersonalised, uality care services.

25/08/2017 14:09

Quality Care

When a person does receive quality care from a carer or occupational therapist, the benefits for them and their families can be farreaching...

Do your research When it comes to choosing care, there are multiple options available and you will feel ore confident and ha y in your decision if you’ve explored every choice available. There are lots of platforms that can help you do this, such as Life co. Find out about the occupational therapists and care providers that will offer the activities and care that will meet the care recipient’s needs. Don’t be afraid to ask them lots of questions!

Don’t forget what your loved one wants If your loved one wants to be as independent as possible or enjoys particular social activities, ensure that the chosen care provider or occupational therapist has the resources to enable them to continue doing what is important to them.

Keep your budget in mind All care providers and services vary in cost. Whilst it’s natural to think that price doesn’t matter when seeking care for your loved one, as you want the best care possible regardless of cost, keep your budget in mind so as to avoid any complications further down the line. Make sure you check any deposits that are required and any ongoing additional costs, such as hairdressers or social activities.

Don’t rush your decision Take the time to visit a few care homes or meet with different carers and care agencies in order to find out the ty es of care they can offer and, i ortantly, to find the care provider that best suits you and your loved one’s needs. Meet with the occupational therapists that will be providing your loved one with personcentred activities to see if they will suit their needs and be enjoyable for them.

With a lot of the focus in the news recently around the quality of care and the cost of care, it’s easy to forget that there are some great care providers and occupational therapists available and that finding the doesn’t need to be e ensive, difficult or stressful.

Learn how to recognise a good care provider When meeting with a potential care provider or occupational therapist, look for signs that they focus on person-centred care, have respect for the people they care for and their families and that they provide residents with activities and opportunities to socialise. You can also check official standards such as ratings, food hygiene ratings, financial ratings and the general level of staff training.

Take time to meet with great occupational therapists and carers and see how they can support you and your loved one. Finding great care doesn’t have to be an arduous experience.


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25/08/2017 14:09

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25/08/2017 13:31

Data Protection Tracey Clarke

Are you GDPR ready? • The fundamental policies in place • Privacy impact assessments (posh name for risk assessments) carried out • Information notices in place • Audit of your internal and external data processing activities • A data protection breach register for recording breaches

The new data protection compliancy involves making sure you and your team/associates are familiar with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), enabling you and your company to be fully compliant with the different processes, systems and policies you are required to have in place by 25 May 2018. Words by Tracey Clarke


s with any new legislation which generates mandatory requirements with which to comply, the initial response is to panic and stress over yet another set of red tape regulations to bow down to - more paperwork and things you have to remember. Just too much! Certain types of personal data must be treated with particular care due to its sensitive nature. ‘Health’ comes under what the ICO calls the ‘special category’, making it a mandatory obligation to comply with the GDPR. Enough of the scare-mongering tactics - good old fashioned common sense and a balanced approach are what

is needed. You have all experienced the wrath of CPD, that fear of being randomly picked every two years by selection to be brutally grilled and audited. The HCPC are not monsters, in the same way the ICO are not there to hold you at gun point. Make sure you have a solid plan of action in place with areas like: • Your team is properly trained with an understanding about breaches • A chain of command – who are the processors, who is the data controller and ho is the data rotection officer • A good understanding about ‘consent’ and ‘the right to be forgotten’ • How all your systems are data mapped – hat the infor ation o is

There are many more areas that need to be addressed, including: • Technology used for Processing Data • Subject Access Requests • Privacy by Design • Updating your Terms of Business and Associate Contracts • Appointment of Data Protection fficer (if re uired) • reaches and fines The right for individuals to be forgotten is going to be the biggest theme that runs throughout this legislation. Transparency, making your organisation available to be contacted on all your materials, website, email signatures, newsletters is absolutely paramount. Any person new to this legislation will likely feel daunted by its implications of looking at what needs to be put in place, who is to be responsible for compliancy as part of the occupational therapy practice, who is going to police the system and what are the breaches that need to be addressed and how they need to be reported. But there’s no need to panic, there’s still plenty of time to schedule in everything required to be compliant in readiness for May 2018. It’s about staying calm, being organised and thorough, breaking down each component and tackling each part one at a time. You all do battle on a day-to-day basis running your practice so further stress in dealing with more mandatory legislation can be dealt with.

For more info please visit or


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25/08/2017 14:09

Light Therapy

Words by Niki Tennant

Banish the winter blues with light therapy

How does light therapy work? Light entering our eyes stimulates our brain to control our daily rhythms through hormone production. Bright light in the morning will trigger the release of get-up-and-go hormones like cortisol, while a gradually fading light at bedtime brings on the production of sleep hormones like melatonin. The light signal also helps to keep our internal body clock synchronised to the 24-hour day. As most people’s body clock runs at slighter longer than 2 hours, insufficient light means it gradually drifts later and later in time each day. This crucial light signal can be provided both by a dawn simulator, when light gradually increases during the last part of sleep, and by a light box on awakening. 66

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Wellbeing and light therapy nsufficient daylight e osure and inadequate indoor lighting can have an adverse impact on our wellbeing.

get-up-and-go ones like cortisol so you find yourself aking naturally feeling alert and ready to get up.

Daybreak light is the signal for the pineal gland to stop producing the sleep hormone melatonin but the light level in our bedrooms isn’t always sufficient to trigger this rocess. s a result, any eo le find their body clock slowly moving forwards, making it harder to get up and in the mornings.

In addition, you can use a light box which typically provides a level of light equal to the brightness on a clear spring morning. This equates to approximately 2000 lux, the technical measure of brightness, which is about five ti es brighter than a ell-lit office.

Waking with light using a dawn simulator like Lumie Bodyclock will provide the stimulus the body needs to help keep the body clock on track by suppressing the production of the sleep hormones and stimulating the

Just 30 minutes’ sitting in front of a bright light like this is enough to boost your mood, energy and alertness making you more productive during the day. Get yourself a Lumie light box to kick start your day and to give you a

25/08/2017 14:10

Light Therapy

Dawn Chorus Therapy and its beneficial effects on sleep, waking, mood and energy The Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University used Bodyclock Active to see what impact waking up with light would have on performance. They recruited eight subjects who were prone to sleep inertia (waking up with that groggy, still-halfasleep feeling) to come in to their Chronobiology Laboratory for a twopart sleep study. Compared with waking in dim light, the 30-minute sunrise left subjects feeling more refreshed and alert on waking up. uring the first couple of hours after waking, various cognitive tests showed that

average reaction times in this group ere significantly uicker. here as also a physical challenge, to complete a 4km cycling time-trial as fast as possible; waking up with light shaved an average of 21 seconds from their time. This study shows some of the allround benefits of aking u ith light. Subjects woke up with dawn simulation or had a 20-minute session of monochromatic blue light (BL) shortly after waking. Throughout the day, they took part in mental tests and co leted uestionnaires about their sleepiness, mood, etc. Those who had woken up with dawn simulation (DS) did better on the

cognitive tests and reported improved mood and wellbeing, differences that were sustained all day. This seems to be linked to raised levels of cortisol on waking (only seen in the DS group) and the body’s response to it rather than any effect on melatonin production (which only altered in the BL group; blue light is known to be particularly effective at shifting circadian rhythms).

About Lumie Based near Cambridge, Lumie has been researching, designing and developing light therapy products for more than 25 years. Lumie lights treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and winter blues, boost mood and energy levels, improve sleep and waking, optimise sport performance, and treat jet lag and acne. The company is currently involved in research at Cambridge University and an EU project investigating the link between circadian rhythms and diabetes.

boost whenever you need it – it’s ideal for beating the post-lunch slump. Circadian Rhythm Specialist at Surrey University, Dr Revell, explains the two ways in which light therapy can help: “A brightly lit environment has been shown to stimulate your brain resulting in an increase in mood and alertness. Also, a lot of people, because they’re not getting that early morning light cue, drift later in time making it harder for them to get up and get going and that obviously has a knock-on effect. You can use early morning light or a dawn simulator to shift your body clock back and keep it synchronised so you find it easier to wake and get up in the mornings.”

Lumie is also a member of the Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR), an international group devoted to promoting research and knowledge about the biological effects of light.


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25/08/2017 14:10


The team at The OT Magazine are striving to produce a magazine that rovides s ith a useful resource filled ith relevant information, interesting articles, innovative products and thoughts and opinions from OTs themselves. We would love to hear your thoughts on The OT Magazine to ensure we are producing a publication that you want to read.

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your opinion What would you like to see in The OT Magazine? • Products ....................................................................................................... • Case studies of products and methods in practice.................... • Columns from OTs ................................................................................... ntervie s ith s fro different fields ...................................... • Research articles ...................................................................................... • Services available for patients ........................................................... • Information on respite and accessible holidays ......................... • Information on events and exhibitions .......................................... • information for students ....................................................................... • Recruitment section................................................................................ • Other (please specify) ............................................................................................................................. .............................................................................................................................

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25/08/2017 14:21

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25/08/2017 13:32

Assistance dogs

It’s a dog’s life After placements with assistance dog training centres, animal lover and OT Kirstie Hughes discovered distinct parallels between OT action and the training programmes undertaken by man’s best friend. Here, she discusses the similarities.


here is much evidence boasting the benefits of pet therapy, animal assisted intervention and assistance dogs, from increased levels of mental and physical wellbeing to improvements in motivation and social participation.

Kirstie Hughes Kirstie is an occupational therapist with an interest in animals as therapy and their impact on health and well being. She has volunteered for a number of animal charities and is currently supporting Dogs Trust West Midlands Dog School. You can contact Kirstie via Twitter @Kirstie_OT.

Despite the correlation between assistance dogs and improved occupational performance, there is little research focussing on the role of OT within this sector and how it can support in the training and provision of an assistance dog. To gain a greater insight into the process, I undertook placements with two UK assistance dog charities identifying an OT role. I noted



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similarities between the OT process and those undertaken by UK assistance dog charities, and evaluated core OT skills that can be utilised.

Applications are screened to ensure they meet the criteria for an assistance dog and if there is any missing or unclear information the client is contacted for clarification. At this stage, the client is notified about the success of the application and is informed of the next stage. his can be a difficult conversation for unsuccessful applicants and it is vital to support the client through this in an empathetic way, offering advice or signposting to other appropriate services. Initial assessment and needs

identification through gathering an occu ational rofile is created to understand the person’s life and routines. Having knowledge of both physical and mental health conditions and the impact they can have on a person’s function is useful during this stage so they can consider where the dog may be of most use. This information also supports in identifying a suitable type and temperament of dog that will be able to cope with the client’s lifestyle. An environmental visit is then undertaken to gain insight into the client’s home and ensure there is adequate space for the dog and suitable toileting facilities. This visit will also include the local area where the dog will visit such as shops or walking and exercise routes. Information about the client’s support system and any care packages is sought so they can ensure the client is supported and the dog will be

25/08/2017 14:12

Assistance dogs cared for should the client not be well enough to meet its needs, then we work with the client to set realistic goals and look at what they would like to achieve with the support of a dog. They also need to be achievable within the time allowed for advanced training - usually between 12 and 16 weeks. Activity analysis is used to identify areas of dysfunction in the client’s occupations or function. Here we may need to consider equipment such as wheelchair adaptions that can hold the dog’s lead or s ecific sha e or size treats that allow the client to treat the dog in a timely manner. During the planning stage they will look at what skills and attributes the dog will need to be equipped with to support the client. For example, with a client in a wheelchair who will not be able to bend down to place a lead on the dog we will need to teach the dog to come to the client’s lap to facilitate this task. They may also need to adapt the way in which a client will instruct or reward the dog depending on the client’s conditions. A report containing all this information is then passed to advanced trainers who will use it to train the dog. The trainers use positive behaviour techniques and reinforcement to create habituation in the dogs. A graded approach is used to break down tasks so the dog can learn gradually and develop performance in the required activity. In addition to generic obedience the dogs are trained to eet the s ecific needs of the client. It is helpful for the advanced trainer to have an understanding of the client’s condition and their s ecific conte ts so they can attempt to replicate likely scenarios during training. An example would be taking the dog to places where the client regularly attends or via their chosen mode of transport to ensure the dog is comfortable and able to act accordingly in the situation. Here the trainer will risk assess the activity to ensure the safety of both the dog and client.

Following advanced training the client is invited to an intensive course where they learn how to instruct and train their dog. Here they will assess the dog and the client as a partnership to ensure they are compatible. This course can be difficult for clients as it is away from their home environment and requires a lot of practical work - some may fatigue easily or have co unication difficulties as ell as physical impairments. Therefore, the trainer needs to have

The provision of an assistance dog is essentially an environmental adaption that supports the independence and performance of people with both physical and mental health difficulties excellent communication skills and an understanding of how these issues can impact on performance and learning. Knowledge of learning styles is hugely beneficial to ensure e are su orting clients appropriately and trainers will sometimes need to adapt how they deliver information. For many, this will be their first ti e orking ith a dog and the intervention may not go as planned and will require revision, so

the ability to roble solve and find creative solutions is desirable. At the end of the training course the client takes the dog home and is asked to implement the strategies and techniques they have been taught. Shortly after, a trainer will go out and review the partnership in this new context and offer support, allowing an opportunity to review the client’s instructing skills and ensures both are adapting well to their new partnership. Here they can refine the intervention to suit the client’s home environment, and may involve adapting an occupation for either party to increase its effectiveness. Multiple visits are planned over the next 12 weeks until the partnership has been signed off as successful. Once signed off they are passed to an aftercare team who will support the client and the dog for their time together. The aftercare team cultivates a therapeutic relationship with the client and their family or support system making regular visits to review current interventions and support in the development of new ones. Community and social activity assessments are undertaken to check for performance in a variety of settings. Further goals can be set to work towards should the client want to develop their skill in instructing or try new occupations. The provision of an assistance dog is essentially an environmental adaption that supports the independence and performance of people with both hysical and ental health difficulties. For occupational therapy, this is an emerging area of practice, but one that provides an opportunity to apply its core skills while contributing to the evidence base for OT in non-traditional settings. From screening referrals and conducting initial assessments, to dog training and aftercare, I believe there is a role for occupational therapy and its s ecific skillset ithin the assistance dog sector. n


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25/08/2017 14:12

Kidz to Adultz North

Thursday 16th November 2017 9.30 am—4.30pm EventCity, Manchester, M41 7TB



One of the largest FREE UK events supporting children & young adults up to 25 years with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them.

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25/08/2017 13:32

Dawn Blenkin Senior Lecturer, Teeside University

Dawn is a senior lecturer at Teesside University. She also holds external roles as a specialist advisor to the CQC and is a visitor who inspects educational programmes on behalf of the HCPC. @OTBlenkin

Student Advice

Networking: Top Tips Do you take advantage of the opportunities to network at professional events? This issue, Dawn Blenkin has teamed up with Orla Hughes, a first year MSc student from Teesside University, to give you some top tips for networking.


ver heard the phrase “it’s who you know, not what you know”? Networking opportunities are plentiful in the world of OT. Socialising, increasing your rofessional rofile and learning from others are just some of the benefits. Here are our to five ti s for networking.

1. Attend networking events Let’s start with the obvious. To network you need to attend events. Ho any have you attended this year? There are always events happening such as the RCOT Annual Conference in June, The OT Show in November and RCOT regional roadshows throughout the year. In my local region we hold monthly OT curry nights. Make it top of your to do list to find out hat events are coming up in your area. A good place to start would be the RCOT website and eventbrite.

2. Do your research So, you’ve found an event to attend – now prepare. Who might be there? What do you know about them? Are they a potential future employer? A good opener is to ask them what they do and what their role is. After all, people like to talk about themselves! You could lookup key speakers in advance - many have a social media rofile. lthough re e ber, there is a

fine line bet een ell-researched and just creepy. Tread this line carefully.

3. Prepare your ‘get out of jail’ question Orla recently attended the student networking session at the RCOT conference. The message she gives is that we need to silence self-doubt. Many hold back from starting that conversation at a conference due to the fear that the ‘banter’ might not o or it could dry u into an awkward silence. The advice here is to have a question prepared. Orla’s current get out of jail question is, “what advice would you give to students?” What might yours be?

4. Get interactive Look out for the interactive sessions where you can start conversations and network. Don’t miss out because you think I have no idea what I might contribute. You learn from hearing

what others say and hopefully it will spark some thoughts that you can share. If nothing else at least introduce yourself. It’s always embarrassing to be asked at the end of a conversation, “and who are you?”

5. Finally, follow up! Connect with people on social media! At most events, particularly ones where people have given a presentation or facilitated a session the speaker has shared either their email or Twitter handle. Send a follow up Tweet or email. We would love to hear your student networking tips so why not tweet us, @OTBlenkin @orlatheot, but for now I will leave you with Orla’s new mantra: ‘Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.’


73_DawnBlenkin_StudentAdvice.indd 73


25/08/2017 14:12

The ProMove sling provides a safe and comfortable means of moving and handling disabled individuals. Ideal for holidays and days out, allowing access to many more new experiences in places where a hoist cannot be used. 20% off your first order, please email and quote OTMAG17 to claim.




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25/08/2017 13:32

Posture & Mobility Group Mobility Services

Posture & Mobility Group - 25 years on Here one of PMG’s new members, Ali Alalshaikh describes his experience of attending his first PMG conference.


efore joining the East Berkshire ecialist obility ea , orked in the field of osture anage ent and obility services outside the UK. Being new to the country, and unfa iliar ith so e of the products here, I felt I would benefit fro attending the PMG Conference 2017.

direction of the chair. I caught up with Chi during the break to find out ore about the range of sensors and the different settings for indoor/ outdoor wheelchair use a ongst other things. Then there was the research fro the ford entre for nable ent on the introduction of fans into seating syste s ith the ai of reducing heat. We regularly face the issue of heat build-u in carved foa seating and, although this can be dealt with by using other seating solutions, as e cited to hear about this otential ne technology. o e of the co anies are develo ing roducts ith the sa e ai - e.g. a backrest which can be used as a cooler/heater. These new products could potentially aid with wound healing, because cooler te eratures ay result in less sweating, thereby helping prevent one of the ain contributing factors of ressure ulcers - oisture.

Ali Alalshaikh, Occupational Therapist

Alongside the conference proceedings, the event also hosts a large industry e hibition, eaning could fa iliarise yself ith a huge range of roducts under one roof, and co are and evaluate the ith the hel of the co anies’ e hibition staff ho ere on hand throughout. Additionally, over the three days, I was able to e lore solutions for so e of our ore co le cases ith e erts orking ithin the K and fro around the world; it was fascinating to learn ho a roble could otentially have ulti le solutions, and be addressed differently by different practitioners. Mobility technologies have developed enor ously in recent years, and it was very interesting to hear the resentation by hine elu ( hi) zeh of University College London about the develo ent of a so-called s art heelchair using sensors, the s art wheelchair will help wheelchair users avoid obstacles and self-correct the

The PMG Conference 2017 was one of the best learning e eriences have had it ins ired e to consider conducting y o n research in future. believe that y re aration beforehand definitely a i ised y learning, and ould reco end that others do the sa e. re ared ell for all the topics I wanted to discuss, and ca e a ay ith ans ers to the any questions I had.

About PMG Posture & Mobility Group (P ) ai s to ro ote good ractice in the field of osture and heeled obility. heir annual conference was set up in 1992 by professionals working in NHS wheelchair services, and has been their ain educational and networking event ever since. he e bershi is broader no , e bracing rofessionals working in other areas such as local authorities, charities, anufacturing and distribution and all ith the sa e as iration of hel ing i rove the lives of people with physical disabilities, focusing articularly on the e ui ent needs of wheelchair users.

The next PMG Conference takes place 23-25 July 2018 at Manchester Central. Find out more at


75_PMG.indd 75


25/08/2017 14:13

We are the largest provider of HP expert witnesses in the UK, renowned and respected in the field

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Occupational therapists play a key role acting as expert witnesses in clinical negligence and personal injury litigation We require experienced occupational therapists to undertake case work, who are confident, have excellent communication skills (verbal & written), enjoy a challenge, are intrigued by the forensic nature of this work, and above all are keen to learn new skills. We offer Regular work on a case by case basis to fit in with other work commitments Excellent remuneration Full & on-going training, supervision on every case & support You will work on a self employed, flexible basis, alongside your “day job” You will be working at a senior level with a minimum of 8 years post qualification experience as an OT or/and case manager Request an information pack at

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25/08/2017 13:32

Events 7 September 2017

4-5 October 2017


Independent Living Scotland

Kent Event Centre, Maidstone Brought to you by Made2Aid, this is the combined conference and exhibition for health professionals and disabled people to resource and identify suitable equipment. Free to attend and is also CPD accredited for healthcare professionals. Further information is available at

27 September 2017

Adapting for Children with Challenging Behaviour (Introduction) Hamilton House, London

This course develops awareness of the legislative and policy context within which adaptations for children are provided, and also explores the pros and cons of equipment aimed at promoting safety within the home

SECC, Glasgow

With free entry, this event offers the perfect opportunity to discover products and services available to the Scottish market. Find out more on page 35 or visit

Kidz Exhibitions 10-11 October 2017

Care and Dementia Show NEC, Birmingham

Education, products and networking opportunities for organisations responsible for the care of older people, bringing you inspiration, innovation and ideas to assist you in running your care business. You’ll learn more in two days than you ould in onths fro your office.

17 October 2017 27-28 September 2017

Moving & Handling People North/DNEX Newcastle Racecourse

The best of hands-on practical workshops with informative seminars focusing on the very latest issues. P -certified training, keynote speakers, seminar sessions and practical workshops using the latest equipment. DNEX’s free exhibition provides information, advice and equipment for disabled people, older adults, carers and health and social care professionals on a range of disability related issues. DNEX provides a unique opportunity to handle and sample products and services first-hand, e o ering you or those around you to live independently.

Throughout 2017

Care Roadshow Cardiff

Kidz to Adultz Scotland: 14 September, Highland Hall, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh Kidz to Adultz North: 16 November, EventCity, Manchester All exhibitions run 9:30am4:30pm. Dedicated to children with disabilities and special needs, their parents, carers and professionals who work with them. Over 130 exhibitors offer information on mobility, funding, seating, beds, communication, access, education, toys and much more. A full programme of CPD seminars runs alongside each exhibition. More info call 0161 607 8200 or visit

Cardiff City Stadium

Care Roadshows enable practitioners to source high quality products and services from established suppliers in order to exceed the expectations of their clients. This includes care management systems, catering and laundry equipment, pharmacy services, recruitment, HR plus much more– all integral components for an organisation providing care. The events provide the chance for likeminded individuals to meet and discuss staying rofitable hilst addressing challenges faced in the sector when trying to achieve the highest care rating. Register for your free ticket at or call 01425 838393.

22-23 November 2017

The Occupational Therapy Show

NEC, Birmingham, Day 1: 9am-5.30pm, Day 2: 9am-4.30pm The main date in many occupational therapists’ diaries, The Occupational Therapy Show makes its return packed full of CPD opportunities. Find more information on page 7. Registration open - book your tickets and more information at The Occupational Therapy Show website:


77_EventsCalendar .indd 77


25/08/2017 14:14

SEMINAR PROGRAMME: Transforming Health & Social Care Services in Scotland Inspiring care for older and disabled people

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Wendy Perry, Amanda Britain, Ben Lukins, Karin Orman, Rebecca Dunstall, Linda McGlynn, Angela Donaldson Bruce, Melanie McLean, Andy Lowndes, Alison McKean, Andrea Boyd, Jonathan Jones, Maureen McAllister and Stacey Highfield

4 & 5 October 2017 SEC Glasgow

Independent Living Scotland 2017 will be opened by award winning journalist, broadcaster and Playlist for Life founder, Sally Magnusson.

Get inspired with CPD accredited seminars and case studies from a host of industry experts! • Update on key areas with our two-day seminar programme led by thought-leaders and practitioners • Network with fellow professionals • Hear from industry leaders on the developments in Occupational Therapy

Keynote October 4th:

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• New Features: Alzheimer’s Hub • Autism Awareness Hub • Retail Avenue • Energy in Scotland Area • Lifting, Moving & Handling Hub Visit to register for Free Entry, Free Parking and to view our full Seminar Programme.

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28/06/2017 14:01

25/08/2017 13:32

Learning styles Kate Lovett

Getting to grips Kate Lovett helps us understand learning styles for effective manual handling training.


uch has been written over many decades, and much understood, about different ‘learning styles.’ What has become abundantly clear as we read around this subject matter, is that every person learns differently. Technically, an individual’s learning style refers to the preferred way in which that person absorbs, processes, comprehends and retains information.

Kate Lovett Kate Lovett is a Director of EDGE Services, the manual handling training company. EDGE Services offers College of Occupational Therapists endorsed manual handling training across the UK. 01904 677853

The four main learning styles are found within the VARK model of student learning. VARK is an acronym that refers to Visual learners, Auditory learners, Reading/writing and Kinesthetic learners as outlined in the 2006 text ‘Learning Styles Again: Varking up the Right Tree!’ by Fleming and Baume. One element of manual handling training is learning how to hoist a person. For visual learners, this group will want to see a hoisting task being undertaken. Auditory learners will follow the task more easily with clear

and effective verbal instructions; by listening and speaking in situations such as lectures/ classroom settings and group discussions. Some individuals will understand the process best by following written guidance, maybe including diagrams and images. This group may present themselves as copious note takers and identify as reading and writing learners.

Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners and will learn best from doing the hoisting activity by themselves in order to ‘figure it out’. Occasionally the VARK model is also referred to as the VAK model, eliminating reading/writing as a category of preferential learning. In reality, many people use all the above to different degrees, so successful teaching programmes will utilise a variety of styles to ensure that the session is beneficial to all. his would be particularly true if the time available was limited and the trainer was unfamiliar with the learning styles

of the people being taught. A training session - again let’s take hoisting as an example – might commence with a written set of simple instructions or diagrams showing a hoist being operated safely, giving learners the opportunity to write notes next to the diagrams and to add additional i ages they ight find useful. This could be followed by the trainer taking the learners through the safe use of a hoist, explaining the processes to be followed and providing opportunities for learners to ask questions. This stage could include a video. The next stage would be to show a hoist in practice, referring back to the visual prompts (instructions/ diagrams/images) and reinforcing the earlier verbal instructions. Finally, learners would have a go at hoisting each other. By delivering the training in this way, all learning styles have been encompassed ensuring that all learners’ needs have been met. In conclusion, a good understanding of different learning styles will help you, as a teacher/trainer, undertake the most effective teaching and ensure the most stimulating learning opportunities and environment for your audience.


79_EdgeServices.indd 79


25/08/2017 15:13

Recruitment & Training

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Expert Witness Opportunities

Occupational Therapists needed for flexible shifts and long-term placements

University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Bank is currently recruiting Occupational Therapists. We have both ad hoc shifts and longer term work available with weekly pay at competitive rates. As well as offering a great location and flexible working options, UCLH Bank workers are given priority shifts over agency workers and benefit from a unique opportunity to gain experience in one of the best teaching hospitals in the UK, if not the world. If you have HCPC registration, contact our recruitment team or visit to begin working with one of the country’s leading NHS Trusts committed to delivering top-quality patient care.

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• Work with like-minded clinicians at the top of their field, most of whom are Occupational Therapists. • You will have access to continuous collaborative and structured professional development. • You enjoy report writing and are looking for a flexible role to complement your hands-on therapy work. • Become the Occupational Therapist you trained to be and maximise your clinical potential. Learn more by visiting our website or by attending one of our open events in Reading, Nottingham or Edinburgh. W: T: 01722 342 512

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09/05/2017 17:22

Jacqueline Webb

25/08/2017 13:33

Recruitment & Training

Case Managers


ILS – a leading case management and rehabilitation company – seeks case managers from across the UK to complete our team. Use your skills, experience, and innovative approach to achieve positive outcomes and make a significant difference to the lives of people who have sustained a catastrophic injury. We offer full induction, training and mentoring support alongside an excellent remuneration package and flexible hours. Roles are home based with a client caseload within your geographical area. Call Sarah Ransome or Phil Perry for a chat about the role, or send your CV to:



Monday 25th - Wednesday 27th September Watling Street, Hinckley, LE10 3JA

Moving & Handling Who really cares?


The only conference of its type Don’t miss out on the most important CPD moving and handling event of the year. The role of National Back Exchange NBE is to promote excellence in all aspects of moving and handling in order to reduce potential injury to patients, staff and carers. The Conference brings together an in uential grou of eo le and visitors to learn, debate, network and re ect and is the key event in the oving and Handling calendar. It is an excellent opportunity to meet within a multidisciplinary environment, with those working to promote the health, safety and welfare of staff and patients.

Put the dates in your diary NOW

This includes moving and handling advisors, ergonomists, academics, therapists, nurses, occupational advisors, social care and industry, all in one venue. The Conference and Exhibition will feature strategic plenary lectures, practical workshops, streamed presentations, equipment evaluation workshops and exhibitor interactive workshops. The exhibition affords delegates the opportunity to have a ‘hands on’ experience of all the latest moving and handling equipment.

For further details and booking forms email or call 01327 358855

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25/08/2017 14:24

Pro Package

Only £45 a year Standard price £90 a year • 6 x issues per year of The OT Magazine • 3 x issues of CPD Life magazine • 1 x Wallplanner feat key events & training dates • Access to The OT Magazine App • Access to online content • PDF versions of magazine features

Yes, I would like Payment details to subscribe... Please tick the appropriate box:

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The OT Magazine, Caledonia House, Evanton Drive, Thornliebank Industrial Estate, Glasgow G46 8JT

25/08/2017 14:14

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25/08/2017 13:33

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25/08/2017 13:34

Profile for 2A Publishing

The OT Magazine - September / October 2017  

Created for occupational therapists (OTs) and distributed free of charge to OTs throughout the UK. The OT Magazine has filled a niche in the...

The OT Magazine - September / October 2017  

Created for occupational therapists (OTs) and distributed free of charge to OTs throughout the UK. The OT Magazine has filled a niche in the...


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