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MAGAZINE Issue 30 | Sept/Oct 19 | Improving Independence

LEGO THE RAP Y The building blocks of a brilliant intervention











About us

The Team

Editor: Rosalind Tulloch Staff Writers: Colette Carr and Katie Campbell Designer: Fionnlagh Ballantine Production: Donna Deakin Sales: Jacqui Smyth Contributors: Kate Sheehan, Firas Sarhan, Danielle Farthing, Esther Dark, Gurbi Sagoo

This month’s issue...


Get in touch

s you will see our cover is celebrating everyone’s favourite childhood toy, Lego. We take a look at how it is being used as a form of therapy to help children with communication skills, socialising, working as a team and dealing with emotions when their structures don’t work out.

2A Publishing Ltd, Caledonia House, Evanton Dr, Thornliebank Industrial Estate, Glasgow, G46 8JT 0141 465 2960 ot-magazine.co.uk 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 2019 © 2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN-2056-7146

This issue also explores ThisSchoolGirlCan, the initiative to keep teenage girls participating in sport at a time when they commonly move away from it. The programme saw young girls taken out of their education environment to get involved with sport at different local clubs, helping open up a world of healthy and active choices to them. We also take a look at needlework as a form of therapy – incidentally it appears that Mary, Queen of Scots unknowingly used this as a form of therapy when she was locked in a tower to stave off depression and keep her mind active. With the Great British Bake Off finally arriving back on our screens and filling our office with cake chat and an endless array of baked goods, we thought it the perfect time to introduce you to The Wee Baker. Richard Copeland started baking as a form of rehabilitation after he experienced a stroke during a routine operation to release pressure on his spine. Richard is doing his bit to promote baking as a form of therapy. You will also find Kate Sheehan’s regular instalment, details on upcoming events including the Care Show and The OT Show and a vast array of innovative products to help get your patients and clients back on their feet. You know we love to hear from you, so whether you have a new project to share, a successful pilot scheme to boast about or you simply work in a rather unusual setting, get in touch by emailing ros@2apublishing.co.uk. The OT Magazine, Editor

SUBSCRIBE TODAY Further your career and enhance your CPD by subscribing to The OT Magazine

Subscribe for only £9.99 Go to: ot-magazine.co.uk/subscribe -magazine.co.uk


What’s inside 07 What’s New? Bringing you up to speed with all the latest news from the health sector


13 Kate Sheehan Columnist Kate discusses how OTs can address rehousing and recycling

14 Getting Back

on the Horse

We celebrate 50 years of the Riding for the Disabled Association

19 Product Focus The latest must-have products on the market

22 On the Rise We explore baking as a therapeutic approach with The Wee Baker

25 Day in the Life Meet Danielle Farthing, an OT on an early intervention vehicle

26 A Stitch in Time How can embroidery and needlework be used as an intervention?

30 Choosing the

Right Wheelchair

Help and advice on picking the right wheelchair for your clients



33 Ehlers-Danlos


Get to know the often misdiagnosed and misunderstood EDS

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

39 PMG Conference Read about competition winner Gurbi Sagoo’s experience at the PMG Conference in July


57 57 Build Kids Up Take a dive into the brickfilled world of Lego therapy

60 Paediatric Products Innovative products for your younger clients

65 The Pressures

of Healthcare

A recent study shows healthcare workers are in need of better mental health support

69 What style of

learning suits you?



40 Wearable


Firas Sarhan explores the benefits of wearable tech

45 You’ve Got Mail Help source postcards for patients living with dementia

50 Making Sense

of it All

We look at sensory rooms throughout the UK

54 This School


Girl Can

Read more on the OT campaign to keep girls in sport

Making the most of gaining CPD

73 Freshers’ Advice Our solid advice for those heading back for a new semester at university

74 Starting as I

mean to go on

Student Esther Dark offers advice to new occupational therapy students

77 World OT Day Are you ready to celebrate your most esteemed profession?

79 Events Calendar Essential dates for your diary



We will be launching two exciting new products at this year’s OT Show! See for yourself on Stand D20.

Stand D20 Occupational Therapy Show 27-28 November, NEC Birmingham Welcoming



01905 823 274

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


EXTENSION GO-AHEAD The Chantry Neurological Care Centre in Ipswich has received the go-ahead for an extension from its original three rooms to allow the centre to provide additional care to people in the initial stages of brain trauma, which will bring its total number of beds to 32. Patients on the 12-week rehabilitation programme have seen positive changes to their health, with some regaining the ability to walk thanks to the care received at the centre, which was established in a link-up between Sue Ryder and Ipswich Hospital. Jo Marshall, centre director at The Chantry, told the Ipswich Star: “By working collaboratively with Ipswich Hospital and Ipswich East Suffolk and West Suffolk CCGs, we are now in a position to expand our specialist rehabilitation service offering it to more local people who need it. “As well as the specialist rehabilitation service, Sue Ryder The Chantry will continue to provide medium and long-term care for people with complex neurological disabilities as well as day and community services.” -magazine.co.uk






John Lewis & Partners are trialling a new shoe-fitting service, designed specifically for children with Autism. The five-shop trial follows a successful, smaller trial last year when the Cheadle shop teamed up with social enterprise AuKids, who provide information and support for parents of children who are on the autism spectrum. Shoe fittings can be a stressful event for children, but unlike other items of clothing which can be bought without the child being present, shoes correctly fitted to the individual child is massively important.

The new service has been developed in partnership with the National Autistic Society, whose training sessions to partners across childrenswear and the experience desk, focused on autism awareness and included sessions with the teams on how to deliver the service effectively for both children and their parents. Parents booking an appointment will speak first to a member of staff either in store or over the phone to discuss their individual child’s needs and how the shop space can be altered to suit. Partners then can suggest ways the appointment can be tailored to ensure a calming environment.  The service is now available in the following John Lewis shops: Cheadle, Cribbs Causeway, White City, Bluewater and Southampton.

. . . unlike other items of clothing which can be bought without the child being present, shoes correctly fitted to the individual child is massively important”


28/06/2019 11:29




Data published by NHS Digital has revealed that 33,000 patients in the Shropshire area missed appointments with various health professionals, including district nurses and occupational therapists. The new figures showed that 33,585 people either didn’t show up to appointments or arrived too late to be seen by the relevant healthcare professional, causing undue strain on the already stretched NHS. With patients booking 836,820 appointments between April 2018 and 2019, this means almost one in 25 appointments were missed. Speaking to the Shropshire Star, Steve Gregory, director of nursing at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust said: “When patients miss appointments it can be frustrating for our teams, but also for other patients who are struggling to book



7-9 – What's New.indd 8

ONE IN 25 appointments were missed

an appointment for themselves. “There may be multiple reasons why a patient might miss an appointment, and in some cases it can be an indication that something serious is going on for that individual – but we

would urge patients to let us know if they can’t attend as soon as possible, so that we can offer that time to someone else who really needs it and offer support or advice to the patient themselves.”



Bristol Library offered avid readers a strange new series of books to borrow from them last month as various healthcare professionals working in mental health, including occupational therapists, signed up to be “living books” for the library.

Visitors to the library could “borrow” members of staff from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health for 15-minutes at a time, allowing them the opportunity to have informal



and open conversations with them. The “living books” were listed in a catalogue, allowing visitors to book a slot for their chat.

Occupational therapist Katherine Godfrey, who was acting as a living book for the third time, told the BBC: “It’s a different way of relating to people - it gives people an opportunity to talk to healthcare professionals when there’s not necessarily anything wrong with them.”

NHS INITIATIVE TO REDUCE ADMISSIONS BY 2500 A new NHS initiative will aim to ensure faster diagnosis for people with brain and nerve conditions and reduce hundreds of emergency admissions a year. The NHS and seven charities, including the MS Society and Parkinson’s UK, have produced a

toolkit to help local services improve care for people with multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s. Experts hope it will avoid up to 2,500 emergency admissions to hospital each year and save up to £10 million which can be reinvested into the health care system. Genevieve Edwards, director of external affairs at the MS

Society, said: “This is an incredible opportunity to develop better services for progressive neurological conditions in England. Multiple sclerosis is relentless, painful and disabling, and a lack of standards for people’s care has been a major barrier to improvement. By providing clear guidance on what services can improve, and how, this toolkit can make a real difference and unlock the timely, joined up, and holistic support people deserve. We’re looking forward to working with commissioners to achieve this, and seeing the impact.”

point possible. As well as having the information readily available on the website, the Home Lift Experts has its own customer service, building and installation specialists to guide end users every step of the way. Having assisted a client with making their decision on what would best suit their needs, occupational therapists can be reassured that selecting a lift from this site will result in a thorough, step-by-step approach to installing one. homeliftexperts.co.uk

NEW RESOURCE FOR OTS A new home lift comparison website has been launched which can help provide guidance to OT professionals to help support their clients in making the right choice. The Home Lift Experts website (homeliftexperts.co.uk) shows a range of the most popular domestic lifts available on the market. Their team of specialists can take into consideration budget, the

aesthetic style required if it is for a classic or contemporary home, for example, and if multi-floor access is required. The Home Lift Experts can also help assist on the right size of lift if a wheelchair or walking frame is required. In terms of cost, the home lifts are priced differently depending on the requirements and installation, but the site aims to provide the best price

Looking for an OT job?




OT WEEK 2019 OT Week will take place on 4-10 November this year and the theme set by RCOT, is Small Change, Big Impact. The aim is to celebrate the impact that occupational therapy has on the lives of so many people. RCOT are inviting you to share

examples of best practice, success against the odds and addressing local challenges to showcase the profound difference that a small change can make to someone.

Sharing your success stories and innovative work with RCOT will allow them to reinforce the continuing evidence of the value of occupational therapy and will help them shape future campaigns.

As OTs you are intrinsically trained to improve the lives and wellbeing

Get planning your OT Week now by visiting rcot.co.uk.

OT WINS SEREN BETSI STAR AWARD Fabienne Rigotti is an occupational therapist who works in palliative care at the North Wales Cancer Treatment Centre. She was nominated for a Seren Betsi Star Award by her fellow specialist palliative care OTs who recognise the amazing work she does. Described as “going the extra mile

of people in our communities and increase their independence allowing them to live the lives they want to.

award, and I’m very touched that people took the time to nominate me. “I love what I do and love the people we care for and their families, it’s a real privilege to work with them. “We’re a fantastic team and do all we can to care for a really special group of people, and I’m really overwhelmed to receive this award for the work we do together.”

for her patients”, her colleagues wanted to acknowledge her tireless efforts in researching ways to access resources for her patients, and focusing on maintaining the independence and dignity of people in her care. On winning the award, Fabienne said: “It’s a real shock to win this

OTAC EVENTS There are still four Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conferences (OTAC) taking place this year. The next event will be held in Southampton on 11 September at the Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl and will provide a wide range of seminars and exhibitors all focusing on home adaptations and independent living equipment. They offer an opportunity to speak with experts, network with fellow OTs and expand your knowledge base. 10


The remaining OTAC events for 2019 are as follows: 1 11 Sept - Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl, Southampton 2 22 Oct - Hilton Hotel Newcastle Gateshead, Newcastle 3 6 Nov - Mercure Great Danes Hotel, Maidstone, Kent 4 4 Dec - Llechwen Hall Hotel, Cardiff Find out more at otac.org.uk.



IDDSI Compliant

Wiltshire Farm Foods is part of the apetito family, providers of award winning meals to hospitals. apetito.co.uk

Pictured: Purée Petite Fish & Chips

Because our expertly prepared Softer Foods range of texture modified meals is available in hospital and at home, patients who have difficulty swallowing can always rely on the same safe, nutritious meals.

For more information or to book a free tasting session, visit www.specialistnutrition.com or call 0800 524 4207


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 kate@theotservice.co.uk



RECYCLING My mum has recently moved from the large family home to a one bedroomed retirement flat. A fantastic move, which has given her a new lease of life, she is close to the library, shops, cafes and a bus stop. She is enjoying her new-found freedom of using her bus pass to pop to the shops or visit friends. Arriving at this point has been traumatic, for her and the immediate family, emptying your family home which is full of memories, has been difficult for us all. We have made discoveries of letters written in the First World War from our Great, Great Uncle Gordon, who died aged 21 in WWI, post cards from the grandchildren with the most hilarious spelling mistakes, the best one being ‘Get batter sone grannma’ and leaving the house for the last time, felt unbelievably heart-wrenching. However during the process a couple of key things have come to mind that we need to understand as occupational therapists.

struggled with leaving a home with so many memories and felt she was letting dad and us all down. We should not expect our clients to move quickly or without significant thought, a home is much more than mere bricks and mortar and to dismiss this could put clients’ mental health at significant risk. It should be discussed, planned and the benefits clearly defined. Remember a home you have lived in for decades cannot be dismissed due to a recent medical crisis or long-term chronic condition, a home is part of a person and we need to keep our clients at the centre of what we do. We need to ensure that any losses are balanced with renewed opportunities for occupation, in this case the ability to access shops independently, socialise at the café and library and build new friendships.


We often talk to our clients about ‘suitable’ housing and maybe the need to move, but do we really understand what this means to our clients?

As you can imagine, a large house down to a one bedroom flat was always going to be difficult, what does mum take, what goes to family and what goes elsewhere? We are a family of ardent recyclers and it has been a struggle not to put stuff in landfill.

It has taken my mum three years to make the decision and although we all knew it was the right thing to do, she

It made me think again about the amount of equipment that is dumped because it is not financially viable to


clean it and re-issue it. My mum only had a few pieces of equipment, most of which are going with her, but the stairlift is no longer needed, it has cost £330 to remove it, which mum can pay but what happens if you can’t? Will it end up in landfill? I was thinking about this and it made me wonder, do we as occupational therapists have an ethical duty to make sure we look after the planet and not overuse resources? I believe we do. 1 When working with a client are we first thinking ‘rehab’? Can we work with our clients to adapt the task and make them independent without equipment? 2 If we provide equipment, is it recyclable? We can all influence equipment procurement and request or demand that it can all be cleaned, washed and reused. 3 If we see equipment dumped, we should be letting the equipment stores know and encouraging collection. 4 Is there a point where environmental impact outweighs personal choice? We have a duty of care to the next generation to look after our planet, so let’s start a revolution by only providing equipment that can be reused and not dumped.



GETTING BACK ON THE HORSE RDA celebrates 50 years of providing amazing therapeutic opportunities through horse riding.


n 2019 Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating 50 years of enriching people’s lives through horses at its 500 centres across the UK. Each year 25,000 disabled adults and children participate in fun equinerelated activities such as riding and carriage driving which provides

therapy, fitness and the challenge of developing a new skill. Supported by its amazing 18,000 volunteers, RDA is an inclusive and diverse organisation that welcomes clients of all ages with physical and learning disabilities and autism. RDA’s motto, ‘It’s what you can do that counts’, encapsulates the charity’s focus on ability not disability and it prides itself on challenging stereotypes.



A large number of people who ride with RDA have been referred to the charity by either their doctor, physiotherapist or occupational therapist, who have recognised the therapeutic benefits that riding or just spending time with horses can have. The therapeutic impact can be felt immediately, particularly in those with learning disabilities, as the feelgood factor kicks in and a recent study found that 80% of its riders demonstrated a physical improvement in just 12 weeks or less. It is the movement of the horse that is the key therapeutic factor, which encourages strengthening of the core muscles. At walk a horse produces 1000 movements in three dimensions in ten minutes, the rider must respond to these movements in order to stay in balance with the horse. It would be impossible for this level of movement to be created in an average physiotherapy session. This is especially good for those with spinal injuries or conditions such as cerebral palsy.



Mental Health

For those with mental health conditions, riding can improve selfconfidence and general wellbeing, something that also extends to the charity’s many volunteers. Research is clear about the benefits of volunteering on mental health, with social interaction and the sense of purpose that comes from helping others leading to greater confidence and improved wellbeing.

Evie Toombes is participating in the RDA’s 50 Faces Campaign to celebrate their 50th Anniversay in 2019.

50 Faces As part of the RDA’s 50th anniversary celebrations they have launched a 50 Faces campaign to challenge preconceptions about disability, volunteering and equestrian sport, through the inspiring stories of people within RDA.

The 2,500 RDA horses are central to the success of the life-changing work of RDA and are carefully selected for their temperament and suitability. Their non-judgemental, quiet, intuitive nature is what makes them so special to everyone involved with RDA.

“RDA strives to bring the therapy of horses to as many people as we can and through extensive research we know that the charity’s work makes a real difference to the lives of our participants. “Increased confidence is one of the most important benefits that has a far-reaching impact into other areas of people’s daily lives. Setting goals and achieving them is at the core of RDA’s philosophy, supporting people to go further than they ever imagined possible.

“Some people think that they are too limited in their mobility for RDA but it is always worth contacting your nearest group to find out. We always try our best to support riders and the biggest challenge facing the charity in its milestone year is how Ed Bracher, RDA chief executive said: to ensure we can meet demand.”

so uplifting and therapeutic about being with horses. No matter how poorly you are, or if you’re feeling a little under the weather, horses will always treat you the same. They aren’t bothered about tubes or your appearance, they love you for you.

“This was priceless for me growing up. With my leg weakness as well as bladder and bowel issues, so many of my ‘friends’ used to judge me at school, yet my horses were the one consistent thing in life that I could count on.”

Evie Toombes is one of those faces and she is 16 years old. For Evie horses have been the one consistent thing in her life. At just one-year-old she was diagnosed with spina bifida and it was her neurosurgeon that suggested horse riding might be a good form of therapy. Evie’s mum was a keen horse rider herself so actively encouraged her to get involved from a young age. The way you sit on a horse mimicked the physiotherapy that Evie required as a child to help with her calf muscles and hamstrings, and the immediate benefit was a great incentive to carry on riding. Evie said: “There is just something

To find out more about how you could get involved with RDA visit rda.org.uk.



Are you a member of sleepless Britain? Do you find it difficult to drop off to sleep at night? The minute you decide it’s time to “switch your brain off ”, that’s when you start to wonder if the front door is locked, even though you’re absolutely sure you’ve checked multiple times before. Completely out of the blue, you remember you’ve run out of milk and start planning a trip to the shops the next day. You remember it’s your

daughter’s birthday in a week, and you haven’t posted her gift yet – what if there are postal strikes again? Often the quandaries floating around your mind go from vaguely frustrating, to completely ridiculous as you toss and turn waiting for sleep to find you. The next morning, once you’ve finally had a rest, you vow to yourself that you won’t stay up that late again.

Well, as it turns out, you aren’t alone. In a survey covering 13 countries, interviewing over 100,000 people, 38% of Brits said they didn’t get sufficient amounts of sleep. This figure was the highest of all the nationalities spoken to, meaning UK residents are amongst the worst sleepers in the world. The study asked a number of other health and well-being questions, including what their greatest health ambition was. In Britain, getting more sleep came out second, after losing weight. So, with it holding such a high priority, why are we so bad at following through? Experts have suggested that British culture is partly to blame as it undervalues the importance of a proper night’s rest. Many view people who spend long periods of time in bed as either weak, lazy or just “wasting the day away”. Leaders such as Winston Churchill were admired for being able to function on as little as 4 hours sleep per night. This attitude needs to stop.

Gold Pocket 5,000 Mattress

Countless health experts have stressed the importance of sleep. HSL’s Independent Occupational Therapist, Julie Jennings Dip COT HCPC states that:

“Sleep is an essential part of being healthy and enables us to perform our everyday daily demands. Resting well can help our body to grow, develop, repair and restore itself; failure to do this risks a whole host of other health implications. Put simply, sleep provides us with the natural restorative period our bodies need.” At HSL, they value the importance of a good night’s sleep. As such, they have dedicated countless hours to understanding how to foster the best sleeping environment. Their Yorkshire made mattresses offer complete back support, holding your spine’s natural contours in the

correct position, and encouraging good posture. These award-winning mattresses are made from the finest materials and come in a variety of spring counts; meaning you can tailor them to your own body’s needs. If you’re looking for a bit more flexibility from your bed, then they

also have a range of luxurious handmade adjustable beds. These allow you to sit up, lay flat, raise your legs or flex the knees at the simple touch of a button; offering numerous benefits for people with health related issues and sleeping problems.

To find out more about how HSL can help you have the best night’s sleep, visit www.hslchairs.com, pop into one of their 59 comfort stores, or they can come to you; call 01924 507050 for more information. Quote OTMDPS

Fit to work

Get drivers back on the road sooner by recommending the osteopath-designed Morfit custom-fitting lumbar support. 25% of all adults suffer from lower back pain*. With over 40 million drivers in the UK**, that means 10 million people – many of them your clients – who might be distracted or even prevented from driving. Morfit provides long-term reduction in pain. Using air-set technology, Morfit moulds itself to fit the vehicle seat to the driver, then holds that shape to provide solid, lasting support. Support that makes driver and their vehicle fit for work. For more information visit morfit.co.uk or phone 07757 541144.


RHMHRA Class 1 Medical Device. The Prevalence of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review of the Literature from 1996 to 1998. Walker, Bruce F. ** Statistical releases Department of Transport March 2018.

Product FOCUS Every issue we bring you the latest products from across the market to help you improve the lives of your clients.




Designed to help wheelchair users do more of the things they love, the Batec Scrambler is the most off-road wheelchair attachment to date. Its powerful motor, suspension stand, and extra-wide front tyre make it perfect for forest paths, rough terrain and even beaches. Free demonstrations available nationwide.  0800 180 4850 | cyclonemobility.com 2


Ideal for patients who do not have the ability to use one of their hands or arms, or experience weakness or reduced motor control. These easy-to-use one-handed scissors are available in two sizes, making them ideal for children or adults, while the wooden base enhances security. 01273 719 889 | essentialaids.com

2 -magazine.co.uk





This reacher is ideal for grabbing items a short distance away, and is great for those with reduced motor control or dextral weakness. The magnetic head means that the grabber is not only ideal for picking up objects, but can effectively facilitate the retrieval of ferrous items like paperclips or sewing needles. 0800 567 7222 | mobilitysmart.co.uk 4



The Ergo Lite 2 lightweight selfpropelling wheelchair from Karma Mobility is available in 16” and 18” seat widths and weighs just 10.5kg (6kg when broken down) which greatly reduces the risk of back injury to the carer should they have to lift the wheelchair. Superb comfort for the user is provided by Karma’s S-Ergo seating system. 0845 630 3436 karmamobility.co.uk/where-to-buy 5


The lightweight alloy frame on this trike cuts down significantly on the overall bulk, making for a supremely easy ride. Ideal for commuting, the Tribrid is perfect for riding on streets and bike paths thanks to its triple front chain, gear system, and 700c wheels. Additional adaptations can be made to suit the rider. 01622 815678 | missioncycles.co.uk

5 20


Not All People Handling Training Providers Are The Same

Successful completion of the EDGE People or Children Handling and Risk Assessment Key Trainer’s Certificate courses will provide delegates with the up to date skills, knowledge and tools to teach others in safer people or children handling skills and to conduct moving and handling risk assessments. • Healthcare Professionals All EDGE Services Trainers are nurses, occupational therapists or physiotherapists with at least ten years clinical experience and at least ten years training experience in this field. • Fully Accredited All our People and Children Handling Key Trainer’s certificate courses are accredited to Level 4 or above, are clinically endorsed and are officially recognised for providing continuing professional development. • On-line Resources and E-Learning Module Our training is supported by an extensive and informative on-line resources library and a user-friendly e-learning module designed for front-line staff.

All EDGE Key Trainer events comply with the following professional training standards; • The National Back Exchange Training Standards (2010) • The All Wales NHS Manual Handling Training Passport and Information Scheme (2010) • The Scottish Manual Handling Passport Scheme (2014). Please contact our friendly office team to discuss your training requirements in more detail.

Courses Availab le Across the UK

EDGE services 01904 677853 enquiries@edgeservices.co.uk

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something through from start to finish, and being able to consume it as well, instead of making something to clutter up your house. I wanted to make something but not clutter up my house, so food’s the best thing for that!”

On the


Baking is a satisfying and delicious skill – but it’s also an underutilised intervention which can help to improve mental and physical health.

Baking is the ultimate act of satisfying creation for those who like to work with their hands: following the hard work and arduous labour of following the instructions to a tee, the baker is left with a host of sweet or savoury treats to enjoy, and a feeling of satisfaction at the end of their task. The act of baking encompasses many interventions and techniques used regularly by occupational therapists to empower their patients and improve their lives. Baking is a skill, a life skill at that, which teaches self-empowerment, meditation, focuses on improving dextral skill, fine motor skills, and provides

a sense of satisfaction and achievement. It’s great for mental health, and has been seen to aid improvement in physical health as well. Richard Copeland, who goes by The Wee Baker, is a Glasgow-based baking fanatic who only learned to embrace the power of breadmaking and beyond after a stroke left him physically weakened and in a state of poor mental health. On the suggestion of his father, who Richard says has always baked in one way or another, he took up the skill, making his first loaf of white bread as a form of physical and mental recovery. “I was at a point in my life, after my stroke,” Richard said, “and I didn’t feel like I was recovering any more. My mental health was in a big decline as well, because I was so frustrated with everything that was going on with my body – I just wanted to make something. I didn’t know what I wanted to make. My dad said one day, why don’t you give baking a go? And I did, and something just clicked. It was a good thing, seeing



Richard is intensely aware that when we bake, we walk a fine line for our mental health: one bad batch of cupcakes can be damaging to our mental health in terrible ways, making us feel the lows of failure with a physical and tangible object. However, in his opinion, the highs even the lows out, and there’s nothing better than

feel comfortable and talk to people. Let them see that this isn’t the end, and to be excited about what can happen, because you still recover after you leave hospital.

producing a beautiful loaf that not only looks and smells incredible, but tastes amazing. The meditative, physical and mental benefits of baking have changed Richard’s life for the better, and his – as he calls it – side hustle, The Wee Baker, has provided him with a platform upon which to enthuse about the benefits of baking. Richard has appeared in his capacity as a baking expert on the BBC’s Flour Power as a judge, alongside Nichola Reith, one of the bakers behind the Scottish gem that is Three Sisters Bake. He was voted one of the Big Issue’s 100 changemakers for 2019, and starred in a short BBC Three documentary about his desire to promote baking as a form of therapy. The most important thing that Richard does, in his mind, is bring the therapeutic aspect of baking to the forefront. At the moment, he’s trying to get involved with hospitals or occupational therapists in Glasgow to promote the intervention which has helped him so much.

“If my message has gotten out and someone has taken up baking for physical or mental rehab, if I’ve changed one person’s life, then that’s worth it.”

“After being in hospital for four months,” said Richard, “it was hard for me to get back into my everyday life, and having the confidence to go out and do things, and be happy with the body that I now had, I guess. I want to have this avenue, this little place where you can come, work if you want, don’t work, hang out, whatever. A place for people to

“When I left hospital, I was very depressed and very alone. When you’re in hospital, you’re surrounded 24/7 by people. You make friends with the nurses and with your fellow patients, and there’s a constant stream of people so you’re not lonely at all. When you leave, you lose all your friends, and you can’t keep in contact with the nurses because that’s unprofessional. You go from that to being alone, and it puts you in a slump of “is this my life now?” If I can get a place where people will realise it’s not the end.” Richard’s ultimate goal is to open his own café, staffed by outpatients – he hopes of Glasgow’s spinal ward – where they can work, rehabilitate, or even just socialise. For him, the hardest thing about his rehabilitation was the feeling that he was on his own. He had ways left to go, but felt isolated in his recovery. Learning the skill of baking not only opened Richard’s life up and improved his mental health, but gave him the power and confidence to help other people. “If my message has gotten out and someone has taken up baking for physical or mental rehab,” Richard said, “if I’ve changed one person’s life, then that’s worth it.” If you’d like to get involved with The Wee Baker, tweet him at @The_Wee_Baker, follow his Facebook page The Wee Baker, message him on Instagram at @wee_baker, or visit theweebaker.com.



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Bilateral Turning Air Mattress Suitable for patients with high to very high risk of pressure injuries. n

n 30° of bilateral rotation therapy to enhance pressure relief. for patients with high to very high risk of pressure n nSuitable 3-in-1 therapy available for individual healthcare plans withinjuries. effortless

patient repositioning. therapy to enhance pressure relief.sitting position. extra support in sacral area during therapy available for individual healthcare plansthe with effortless patient repositioning. n n3-in-1 Heel relief function-Single air-cell deflation can float heels with zero-pressure. Inflation offering extra support in sacral area during sitting position. n nSeat Visual and audible alarms. relief function-Single air-cellpressure deflation canfor float thethan heels with zero-pressure. n nHeel Transport mode-nonstop static relief more 6 hours during power failure or transport. n Visual and audible alarms. n Transport mode-nonstop static pressure relief for more than 6 hours during power failure or transport.

of bilateral n n30° Seat Inflation rotation offering







Care for a Healthy Life

Tel: 01905 774695

180Kg 180Kg

Email: sales@apexmedicalcorp.co.uk

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What is your current job role? I am an occupational therapist on the Early Intervention Vehicle (EIV). We support patients in their home with the aim of preventing a hospital admission or a trip to the emergency department after a 999 call. This service is a collaboration between East Coast Community Healthcare, the East of England Ambulance Service, James Paget University Hospital and Norfolk County Council.

Describe a typical day... Each shift is 12 hours starting at 7am. The vehicle is staffed by a senior occupational therapist or physiotherapist, and an emergency medical technician (EMT). We receive referrals from 999 and 111 calls, and from other ambulance crews throughout the day. We specialise in falls and frailty assessments, helping medically well patients remain at home, or using alternative pathways for best care such as rehabilitation support, or beds with care. One in five of all 999 calls to the ambulance service are from patients who have suffered a fall, and the EIV can provide a longer

term strategy to help people remain safely at home; improving their quality of life.

What is the hardest part of your job? As we are responding in a time of need we have the opportunity to work with patients who are not in contact with health services, or have previously declined input. In this instance there can be a lot to consider, but by having a ‘foot in the door’, patients can begin to identify with the therapist what their goals are, and be introduced to the support they can access in managing their health conditions, before this gets to a crisis point. As an ambulance resource we can

be first on scene to cardiac arrests if we are the closest vehicle, in an attempt to save a life. In this event we are always supported by other crews.

What is the best part of your job? Preventing avoidable emergency admissions when people are medically well, so people can remain where they want to be – in their own homes. Additionally working in a fully integrated team has given me a wider insight into frontline healthcare in other trusts. Our team is made up of a great bunch of people, and even on tough days we still make each other laugh. -magazine.co.uk


A STITCH IN TIME Needlework and embroidery have long been hobbies taken up by those who wish to experience creative mindfulness in both therapeutic and non-therapeutic settings.


anging in the Victoria and Albert Museum, there are some of the finest examples of embroideries completed by royals, and a unique insight into the mind of Mary, Queen of Scots while she was held as Queen Elizabeth’s prisoner. Nicolas White, an envoy of Elizabeth, spoke of Mary’s embroidery: “I asked her Grace, since the weather did cut off all exercises abroad, how she passed the time within. She said that all the day she wrought with her needle, and that the diversity of the colours made the work seem less tedious, and continued so long at it till very pain did make her to give over.”



Mary’s embroideries were a thinlyveiled representation of her feelings as a prisoner: she stitched a unicorn, the national animal of Scotland, was thought to be a proud animal who would rather die than be conquered; and a phoenix, a symbol of eternal life and rebirth. Mary’s amateur cross stitching was in itself an intervention, and her attempt to stave off the feelings of depression, anxiety and fear, and can be viewed as an unscientific attempt at a kind of mindfulness. Hundreds of years later, in the aftermath of the First World War, thousands of soldiers found themselves recovering in hospitals across the Commonwealth with a host of often life altering ailments and injuries. Many were suffering from the effects of shell shock – what is now referred to alternatively as post-traumatic stress disorder or combat stress reaction – which manifested itself in various forms of anxiety, restlessness and disassociation. First reported by Robert Williamson in 1917, he noted that combat survivors who were experiencing “melancholy” were helped by an occupational therapy approach which included embroidery.

Needlework pioneer Louisa Pesel was a huge supporter of embroidery’s place in early occupational therapy, and the 500 needlers she tended to in Winchester created a huge assortment of cushions, alms and bags for Bradford Cathedral, many of which are still in use there to this day. Stage actor Ernest Thesiger was also a huge proponent in the advancement of needlework as therapy. In 1915, he was wounded in the trenches of the Western Front. While in France, he had developed a keen interest in needlecraft after buying and repairing historical embroideries with his brother in law, the painter William Ranken. His hands were damaged in a barn explosion, and despite being told by the Ministry of Pensions that embroidery was “too effeminate an occupation for men,” he began producing sewing kits for other soldiers who were similarly injured. This in turn became the Disabled Soldiers’ Embroidery Industry, and Thesiger was convinced that through needlework, injured soldiers could experience both relief from pain and a boost in morale.

The oft-reported case of Australian soldier Alfred Briggs shows just how helpful embroidery could be as a form of therapy: when he received catastrophic nerve damage at the second battle of Bullecourt in his arm and right hand – which left it almost functionless – he was encouraged to begin embroidering by hospital staff. Despite it being known as women’s crafts or “fancy work,” the embroidery helped to greatly improve fine motor skills in Briggs’ left hand, and as Lieutenant Colonel CLS Mackintosh, another resident at the hospital, said, it helped patients “to forget that they have any disability”. Similarly, Lance-Cpl James Ernest Muth was caught in a gas attack and suffered shrapnel wounds, resulting in him being hospitalised in the UK. As a method to overcome both the trauma of his injury and regain fine motor skills, he learned to do intricate needlework. It was the Royal School of Needlework who introduced him to the skill, and as his son would later point out, despite both his hands being “terribly wounded,” he became “awfully good with his hands,” and was charged with embroidering intricate detail work on a project led by the group – the altar cloth at St Paul’s Cathedral. In a modern setting, the skill of needlecraft can provide significant benefits as an intervention and form of therapy. It can be an individual or group activity, allowing sights set on a common goal to be achieved through teamwork. Patients who may be struggling with personal issues and fears can find a sense of mindfulness twhrough the act, which encourages them to focus solely on their needlework. Embroidery also allows the mind to be drawn away from obsessive or self-absorbed thoughts, and into the task at hand. Modern craft has changed in such a way that needlecraft doesn’t have to be about samplers and embroidery flowers (if you don’t want it to be), and the prominence of starter kits on websites like Etsy and shops like Hobbycraft means that getting involved in needlecraft, like tapestry work, embroidery or cross stitching, is easier than ever.




Providing a full survey, design and installation service for access ramps and handrails.


As distributors for Easiaccess, QuadraBuild have the backing of the UK’s largest metal modular ramping company. QuadraBuild can also carry out associated works, such as door and window replacements, paving and small scale landscaping. From our main base in Hampshire and depot in Devon, we cover both the South and South West of the UK. We can put you in contact with partners further afield if necessary.

Fast installation User friendly Meets Doc M recommendations High traction and instant draining ‘Warm touch’ handrails Extensive component range Galvanised for longevity Adjustable, removable, re-useable Facilitates recycling initiatives

Contact us to see how we can help:

sales@QuadraBuild.com | 02086 445 434 | www.QuadraBuild.com CASE STUDY | QuadraBuild Easiaccess Ramp | Private household, funded by Disabled Facilities Grant After receiving an enquiry from the local authority responsible, we carried out a detailed survey of the property to check dimensions, levels, obstructions and anything else that could affect the proposed design.

This information was then used by our in-house team to design the ramp to meet the requirements of the user. A proposed design was sent to the authority for approval by the

The ramp components were then assembled on site within a single day and the ramp was immediately ready for use.




OT and any amendments were incorporated.

QuadraBuild Modular access ramps and home extensions QuadraBuild, an innovative construction company located on the Hampshire and Berkshire border, are specialists in areas of construction designed to minimise disruption to households: modular access ramps and off-site manufactured extensions. QuadraBuild are distributors and installers for Easiaccess modular access ramps which provide an ideal solution to provide permanent or temporary access for both wheelchair and pedestrian users and can be fitted at almost any property, ranging from houses to hospitals and schools. From their base in Newbury, Berkshire and small depot in East Devon, they cover the whole of the South, South East and South West of England, plus most of the midlands and have contacts further afield if required. Being distributors for Easiaccess brings support from the UK’s largest metal modular ramp company with years of experience in supply and installation of a huge variety of ramps. A wide range of components including ramp sections, platforms and steps means that almost any

requirement is accommodated. Custom parts are possible for more unusual situations. Covering survey, design, supply and installation ensures that QuadraBuild manage the process to make it as straightforward and disruption-free as possible for all clients. Associated services such as replacement doors, paving, landscaping and fencing can also be included. Featuring a free-draining, non-slip surface and ‘warm-touch’ handrails, these ramps are built to last being arguably the highest quality available. A ramp that’s no longer needed can usually be removed with minimal disruption to put the property back to its prior condition. The ramp components are reusable or recyclable and there’s usually no charge for removing a ramp. QuadraBuild also construct modular extensions which are built off-site in a factory and craned into position to be supported on QuadraPile helical pile foundations.

in other ways: ideal for providing an extension such as a ground floor wetroom facility with minimal disruption at the property, this system reduces time on-site considerably. Finishes, fixtures and fittings can be chosen to suit. Building in a factory as opposed to on-site also means that quality can be ensured and the weather doesn’t delay the process. A single-storey extension can often be installed and fully finished in just a week or two. QuadraBuild are used to dealing with clients and contacts from all backgrounds. From professionals such as occupational therapists, housing managers, architects and engineers to private homeowners who are often vulnerable and in need of guidance, they have friendly staff to make the process as smooth as possible for all concerned. The QuadraBuild and Easiaccess supply process is more about solving problems as opposed to supplying products and they often combine experience from various aspects to provide the right solution for a customer. For more information: T: 02086 445 434 E: sales@QuadraBuild.com W: quadrabuild.com

Comparable in cost to a traditional extension, the benefits manifest



Choosing THE RIGHT


elping your patient choose the wheelchair that is right for them is of the utmost importance. Many wheelchair users see their wheelchair, not only as a means of mobility, but as an extension of themselves and their personality. It must fit their lifestyle as well as be comfortable and perfectly fitted to them to ensure they can lead as independent a life as possible in as much comfort as possible. Posture is vitally important for wheelchair users, the correct posture can avoid discomfort and reduce the risk of pressure sores and bladder issues, and it can improve the independence of the user. Occupational therapist Clare Schwalbe of the OT Agency, has written a great guide on Invacare’s Passionate People website (passionatepeople.invacare.eu.com) that offer tips to ensuring good wheelchair posture.

Stabilise the pelvis The pelvis is the foundation of a good body position. Start by ensuring the wheelchair seat is supporting and stabilising your client’s pelvis.

Check the seat size. The correct depth ensures that they sit all the way back, with their weight spread evenly throughout their thighs and buttocks. The correct width stops the pelvis from sliding to one side or twisting, which can damage skin and alter their spine position. The seat angle can sometimes be adjusted as well, which can reduce forward slipping or provide more support if they have poor sitting balance. Always ensure you use the right wheelchair cushion and it is well maintained, as the incorrect cushion can undo the posture support of a good seat.



Stabilise the ‘S’ curves of the spine Your spine has three natural curves that provide the most stable position for your back. If these curves are not properly supported, it can cause abnormal positions, discomfort and potential long-term damage.   Ask your client to sit upright, bring their shoulders back and ensure they are not slumping or leaning to one side. If they cannot maintain this position, then the back of the wheelchair may not be providing sufficient posture support. Ensure the back height and width are correct as these support the lower curve of the back. The back tension and back angle may also need to be adjusted to provide further posture support. Or, for those with difficulty even in a well measured chair, additional back support systems may be required to properly align your spine.

Support the feet

Your feet support some of your weight and provide additional stability for your pelvis. Insufficient foot support can pull the body out of alignment.   Check that the height and position of the footplates are correct. The height should place the hips and knees at right angles, and ensure their weight is evenly distributed.  If their feet are too far out in front, this tilts the pelvis and causes slouching or a risk of pressure damage. If they are tucked too far back, this pushes the pelvis the other way and alters the normal curves of the back.

Support the arms

Arm position can pull the shoulders down or push them up, which affects the upper curves of the

spine and head position. Ensure the armrests are the correct height to support the arms, keep the shoulders level and maintain the natural curves of the neck.

Centralise the head

Your client’s head should be upright, in the middle, with their chin slightly tucked, and with sufficient stability to look in different directions. If their head tilts forward, backwards or to one side this will pull the spine out of alignment and cause discomfort. If they are unable to maintain a central head position after other parts of their posture have been stabilised, you may need additional neck or head supports. Use these tips to ensure the wheelchair is providing good posture support from your client’s head through to their feet. You will find a variety of useful articles on the Invacare’s Passionate People website, you can explore it at passionatepeople.invacare.eu.com.


INNOVATIONS The mobility industry is moving at a fast pace and it can be hard to keep up with the new manual wheelchairs and powerchairs that are coming to the market. Innovation and independence are at the forefront of the design world at the moment and there are some incredible mobility aids being produced for disabled people. Take a look at some of the more innovative wheelchairs that have come to market in recent years.

Going Self-Balancing Wheelchair This slightly futuristic looking, Segwaystyle wheelchair uses self-balancing technology and a compact style to allow wheelchair users greater manoeuvrability in any space. Its compact size means it can be transported easily in a car and there are optional upgrades for different back supports and all-terrain qualities. 2020mobility.com

Gyro Head Control Precision Rehab produce powered wheelchairs and they have recently become one of the first UK suppliers to offer the Gyro Glory headset, a revolutionary technology that is now compatible with all of Precision Rehabs powered wheelchairs. The Gyro Glory headset is designed to provide powered wheelchair users with an easy-to-use, discreet headset from which they can control their chair and computer through head, cheek or eye movement. The technology is very accurate and simple to use and it can open up a world of independence for users. precisionrehab.co.uk

Levo C3 Stand Up Wheelchair Carbon Black 2 The second generation Carbon Black wheelchair is a stylish set of wheels for the discerning wheelchair user. It is incredibly light, weighing just 5.5kg and comes with a new, revolutionary, adjustable rear axle. Sporting the signature five-spoke fully carbon fibre wheels, minimal wrap-around backrest and a range of optional extras including LED lights, this wheelchair is a statement chair that perfectly combines style and functionality. carbonblacksystem.com

This outstanding wheelchair has electronic controls to elevate you to a standing position, allowing users to manoeuvre in a seated or standing position. The C3 has four powered wheels which take kerbs, ramps and rough ground in their stride, keeping the user safe when travelling in either a seated or standing position. This style of powerchair can open up a whole new world to a user as it can present different working and social opportunities. gerald-simonds.co.uk -magazine.co.uk



Cambridge 08.10.19 Bolton 16.10.19

CPD Accredited by

DON’T MISS OUT! “A Study Day bringing together the fields of Tissue Viability, Occupational Therapy and Moving and Handling, with speakers from all disciplines discussing practical solutions of interprofessional interest to improve patient outcomes.”

Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare are excited to announce


IDEAL FOR PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED WITH; Tissue Viability Moving and Handling Occupational Therapy Physiotherapy Rehabilitation Equipment selection



• How do I know if a product is fit for purpose? Now and from 2020… Understanding the new Medical Device Regulations and MHRA guidance

• Graham Turner Vice President International Product Management and

• Interprofessional solutions for the heavier patient

• Mark Collier B.A (Hons), RGN, ONC, RCNT, RNT. Associate Lecturer

• Beds are not just for sleeping! Optimising clinical patient outcomes through bed technology

• Jan Healey Occupational Therapist Msc Ergonomics in Health and Community

• One carer or two? Changing approaches to home care

• Carol Bartley Occupational Therapist MSc Applied Ergonomics, Pg Cert

• Seating Biomechanics • Pressure mapping in practice

Marketing, Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare Ltd

• Julia Love RGN ONC. Co-Editor of the 6th Edition of the Handling of People series.

• Melanie Stephens DipNurs; BSc (Hons); MA. Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing and IPE Lead at Salford University

Ergonomics Dip COT. Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at Salford University

• Professor Michael Clarke PhD Welsh Wound Network Director. Professor in Tissue Viability, Birmingham City University.

A fantastic opportunity to update clinical knowledge and best practise from independent industry experts and specialist members of the DDH team.

Limited spaces available, please email events@drivedevilbiss.co.uk to reserve your place today.

Ehlers-Danlos Toolkit People with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome have a difficult enough time just trying to get an accurate diagnosis, so it’s important to have a good foundation of knowledge behind you to make sure treatment is as effective as it could possibly be.

Types of EDS


hlers-Danlos syndrome is not actually one disorder, but is a basic name that covers a group of disorders, all of which are connected by extremely flexible joints, stretchy skin and abnormal scar formation. Further, there are 13 “types” of EDS, many of which have overlapping characteristics. Some of the most common types: Hypermobile EDS: joint hypermobility, loose joints, skin that bruises easily, digestive issues. hEDS is the only type which cannot be diagnosed through genetic testing. Classical EDS: joint hypermobility, loose joints, fragile skin that splits easily, smooth and velvety skin, wounds that heal slowly leaving wide scars, hernias and organ prolapse. Vascular EDS: skin bruises easily, thin skin with visible blood vessels, fragile blood vessels, risk of issues with organs including tearing and collapsing, hypermobile fingers and toes. Kyphoscoliotic EDS: joint hypermobility, curvature of the spine,

loose joints, weak muscle tone, fragile and easily damaged eyes, velvety soft skin that stretches and bruises easily.

Differential diagnosis Patients may have previously been wrongly diagnosed due to the shared characteristics of EDS with cutis laxa syndrome due to loose skin, Marfan syndrome or Loeys-Dietz syndrome due to the joints issues.

Linked Conditions There are many linked conditions, each of which link to the different types of EDS, but many are common and shared between types. These include: postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), gut dysmotility, chronic fatigue, small fibre neuropathy, cervico-cranial instability, sleep disorders and anxiety.

The OT Approach Occupational therapist Jo Southall, who also lives with Ehlers-Danlos

syndrome, has recommended a number of conventional approaches for OTs to help EDS patients optimise their everyday activities. These include: Joint protection: to help deal with the stress and strain on joints caused by EDS. Increasing muscle tone: this can be done through adaptive physiotherapy, and exercise like yoga Splinting: this helps joints, and can be countered with anything from splinting to kinesiology taping. Pain management: many people with EDS live with chronic pain that can be alleviated with OT Pacing: this helps people living with EDS optimise and prioritise energy expenditure Sleep hygiene: this can help reduce pain, insomnia, and as Jo says, “painsomnia” Using mobility aids: to assist with movements and increase quality of life


As Jo Southall points out, there are also other aspects of EDS which patients may need to take to their primary care doctor, which includes dietary changes to reduce symptoms of digestive issues and bladder issues. Working with a physiotherapist will also help the patient build strength and muscle tone, which helps to combat hypermobility.



Falls cost the NHS over ÂŁ2bn and 4m bed days per year* Consequently, falls are the number one factor for a person losing independence and going into long term care. The transition form sitting to standing often incurs the risk of falling. Whilst this task carries risk, a fall is not inevitable. Following an assessment, Handicare are able to provide support and equipment which will work for both the client and the carer. Visit the Handicare blog for assessment tips and considerations.

Visit the new Handicare blog:

www.handicare.co.uk For special deals and online sales visit


T: 01384 405792 E: mhbsenquiries@handicare.com * Statistic from Public Health England 2019.

Product FOCUS Every issue we bring you the latest products from across the market to help you improve the lives of your clients.




The Boston portering chair features wing handles for ease of portering when the chair is occupied and backrest reclined. Ideally suited to be part of a client’s 24-hour pressure care management programme. It has a choice of electric or manual models, features tilt in space, independent backrest recline and leg elevation, and a height and angleadjustable footplate. See the Boston on stand A70 at The Care Show. 0844 7766001 | reposefurniture.co.uk 2


Wessex Lifts create Through-Floor Lifts that are designed to offer their owners independence in their home. Easy to install, easy to operate, and affordable, these lifts just make getting up and down stairs more straightforward. Contact Wessex to find out more about what they can offer. 01794 830303 | wessexlifts.com







Designed for wheelchair users of all age, shapes and sizes, Aergo uses a network of patent-pending air cells to dynamically react to users’ shifts in position and provide automated postural management. Controlled either by the user or automatically, Aergo allows for hands-off support throughout the day, radically increasing independence. 02075904463 | aergo.co.uk 4


Designed for patients with a high risk of pressure injuries, the Pro-care Turn’s air mattress enhances pressure relief by 30° of lateral turning. The air mattress also provides optimal comfort and enhanced pressure relief, which optimises increased capillary circulation. Caregivers can select appropriate settings for repositioning allowing for improved circulation and the careful management of skin integrity. 01905 774695 | apexmedicalcorp.co.uk 5


Easiaccess metal modular ramps, supplied by QuadraBuild, provide an ideal solution for wheelchair and pedestrian users and can be fitted at almost any property. With free-draining, non-slip surfaces and ‘warm-touch’ handrails, they are built to last. Components including ramp sections, platforms and steps meaning that almost any requirement is accommodated. 01635 38222 | quadrabuild.com

4 36





This simple keyring is an ideal solution for keeping vulnerable people safe. It is small and discreet, can be attached to keys, worn round the neck or attached to baggage or clothing to ensure the user always has it with them. It features an SOS button and GPS tracker to allow you to locate the individual. 0330 010 1418 | techsilver.co.uk 7


The Keywing is a simple and effective solution to provide a larger surface area to grip and turn a key. No more fiddling around with awkward keys and tricky locks, the Keywing is ideal for those who struggle with hand dexterity and arthritis. They can be attached easily to any key.

6 7

thekeywing.com 8


These fun and brightly coloured socks are ideal for patients who require compression socks to help circulation. No longer do you have to stick to the plain colours, these graduated compression socks give your patients an option to inject a bit of style into their medical needs. amazon.co.uk

8 -magazine.co.uk


Wessex Lifts have been designing, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining through-floor lifts and platform lifts with the help of Occupational Therapists and other healthcare professionals, for over 40 years...

Contact Us:

01794 830303 info@wessexlifts.co.uk www.wessexlifts.co.uk

PMG Conference 2019 Gurbi Sagoo won our competition earlier this year to attend the PMG Conference in July. Here she shares her experience of the event.


ttending the Posture & Mobility Group (PMG) Conference 2019 was an inspiration. I was very impressed with the balance of clinical information, the lived experience and product information available; it gave much food for thought and was a reminder of the core reason I trained to become an occupational therapist. The event provided countless learning opportunities from the product designers, suppliers and providers, however, for me, the top two insightful learning opportunities were those of the lived experiences. Opening speaker Rachael Wallach, founder and CEO of Disrupt Disability, gave an inspiring insight into her experiences travelling at home and abroad as a wheelchair user. Rachael challenged social constructs of disability and the barriers faced by wheelchair users; from the equipment available, to the attitude of society. She outlined how, using her solution-focused outlook, she established Disrupt Disability, creating and building adaptable wheelchairs for individuals.

Rachael explained how Wheelwear was created, using a modular wheelchair system which can be customised to unique bodies, environments, styles and colours. The same idea as having several different pairs of comfortable shoes, and we can all relate to having a pair of shoes which were uncomfortable that we just wanted to take off at the earliest opportunity! Another inspirational meeting was with Josh Wintersgill, the founder of easyTravelseat. Having experienced difficulties travelling, particularly with transfers from a wheelchair to a car or aeroplane seat, Josh devised a seating device which can be used both as a seating cushion and as a method of transferring individuals with dignity and ease. The travel seat, which is available in a range of sizes compatible with different airline seat sizes, provides a simple, workable solution which again has been designed with a keen solutionfocused mindset. Both of these examples demonstrate how essential it is to communicate with and understand the experiences

of individuals with disabilities. Not all individuals are as determined as Rachael and Josh, and may not be able to verbalise their thoughts, feelings and aspirations, which makes it all the more important for professionals to provide opportunities for this communication. I would certainly recommend attending the PMG Conference and becoming involved to increase your understanding of this specialist area. The conference enabled me to learn from experts, relearn and refresh my knowledge of wheelchair and postural seating provision, whilst also making very useful contacts, which I hope to utilise in my roles at the Royal Borough of Greenwich and in private case management.



WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY Firas Sarhan, Director of Centre of Excellence for Technology Enhanced Care (CETEC)


earable technology is enabling individuals, carers and healthcare professionals to access data and information more easily and is helping to improve the quality of life and outcomes of both health and social care. Due to the increased numbers of older people with long-term conditions and the need to monitor their medical conditions remotely, the use of wearable technology is on the increase. The use of smart phones and tablets offer an enormous potential for digital wearable technology to improve many aspects of health and social care provision. The use of wearable technology has the potential to reduce healthcare costs, increase access and improve outcomes.


In the last few years wearable technology has been used to deliver benefits to health and social wellbeing through the use of smart technologies with the ability to collect clinical data through artificial intelligence. Wearable technology is designed to be worn, attached to the individual’s body, or integrated into textiles and garments for the purpose of monitoring activities of daily living, individual’s vital signs and to influence the health and wellbeing of the individual wearing it.



Wearable technologies are used to track a user’s lifestyle behaviours in their activities of daily living, allowing them to be more engaged in the management of their lifestyle and wellbeing. Recently key software companies have been heavily engaging in the development of wearable technologies such as Apple, Google and Samsung. They are focusing on fitness, medical conditions and wellbeing. Recent research indicates that wearable technology is having an impact on the quality of life of the wearer, as it is helping to promote a healthy lifestyle, influencing healthy behaviours and there are increasing positive health outcomes in cardiovascular, diabetes, weight loss, physical activity and stroke patients. The wearable devices have the ability to track, collect and analyse data, presenting it in a meaningful and professional way that is linked to the individual’s psychological, motivational, behavioural and environmental aspects of their life. This approach to the use of wearable technology is holistic as it considers the individuals wellbeing as a whole, linking it to their medical condition and lifestyle allowing them to

develop a better understanding and engagement with their day-to-day life. There are three distinct categories in wearable technologies: 1 Body enhancement wearable technology - the purpose is to enhance or replace a function of a certain body part – known as bionic technology. 2 Active Sense enhancement wearable technology - the purpose is to amplify or extend the range of our human senses by digitally detecting environmental data and using it to enhance human capabilities. 3 Passive body monitoring wearable technology - the purpose is to track various parameters of our bodies or physical activities of daily living.

TESTING Validity There are key issues that need to be considered and outlined regarding the use of wearable technology which will influence the use of it, as well as the testing of its impact on the quality of life of individuals. There is a need to establish the reliability and validity of these devices through testing, this could be achieved through having pilot evaluation projects examining the functionality of such technologies. It is important to note that these wearable technology devices require medical accreditation and must be clinically approved due to the highly sensitive clinical data they collect, which will have

legal and ethical implications. It is important to note that there is an essential need to adhere to ethical principles when using wearable technology to enhance the safety of users. These ethical principles are: 1 Maintain privacy and confidentiality to ensure safe data transfer 2 Maintain trust between users and health and social care professionals ensuring transparency of communication among all individuals involved. 3 Respect the autonomy of the individual who is using technology. 4 Maintaining equal access to health and social care. 5 Facilitate the concept of user self-engagement allowing the users to choose appropriate

devices that meet their needs. 6 Wearable technology requires effective broadband connectivity to increase access to healthrelated information. 7 Provide teaching sessions to users and professionals to ensure full understanding of the wearable technology and how to use it effectively and maximise its potential. 8 Establish measures to address issues linked to technology limitation (i.e. connectivity, interoperability of devices). Regulatory requirement regarding accreditation of devices. Security of establishing measures of protecting data. Personal data protection regarding individual users.

Barnet and Southgate College 020 8266 4000 info@barnetsouthgate.ac.uk barnetsouthgate.ac.uk

“… it considers the individual’s wellbeing as a whole, linking it to their medical condition and lifestyle allowing them to develop a better understanding and engagement with their day-to-day life”



We are

We are

Client Centred

Supportive We are


We are

Quality Focused Bringing ILS values into focus As the UK’s leading independent Case Management and Rehabilitation company for over 25 years, listening to our clients and our workforce lies at the heart of the ILS culture. That’s why we worked collaboratively with clinical and head office staff to define our ILS Company Values. By bringing these into focus, we recognise that these are core values that Occupational Therapists utilise within their work and professional development. Providing a person-centred service to our clients has always been our priority, but we give equal importance to giving the therapist the freedom to tailor their clinical approach to suit the needs of the client. Our therapists tell us that their work has been enhanced by being able to put their clients’ needs at the heart of their professional decision making. ILS’s ethos of supporting our OTs with dedicated mentors has also helped with professional development and the confidence to work as an independent practitioner.

We have

Integrity “Many team members tell us they really appreciate the flexibility offered by ILS. Roles with us allow for part-time or negotiable hours of working, enabling work for ILS to sit well alongside existing positions whether within statutory services or on a self-employed basis. At ILS, OTs can work from their own homes and receive paid travel and mileage for all client work.” Catherine Williams, Clinical Lead at ILS Rehabilitation Solutions.

If your values align with ours, why not join us? ILS are currently recruiting experienced OTs looking for a new challenge to the following specialisms: Moving & Handling - especially in the South East region. Posture Management- especially in the South East and West regions. Paediatric Occupational Therapists- especially in the South West. If you are interested in working for ILS as an independent Therapist on a selfemployed basis, please contact either Catherine Williams, (Clinical Lead, Rehabilitation Solutions) or the ILS Human Resources Department on 01722 742442. You can also register your CV and apply via our website www.indliv.co.uk

T: 01722 742 442 • www.indliv.co.uk

Homelift video goes viral the most viral video in the mobility and be independently reviewed in this independent living industry in history!’ way by such a prominent US-based Zack and Cambry were searching for YouTube Influencer. It shows Stiltz a mobility solution that would enable Homelifts are proving as popular in her to move safely and independently the US as they are here in the UK, and with an increasingly younger between floors, as at the moment audience. We hope the Trio makes a he has to carry her upstairs. They real difference to Cambry’s life and film the entire installation process of wish them all the best.” a Stiltz Trio Homelift – which is large


video about how to install a Stiltz Homelift by a popular American YouTuber for his occupational therapist partner went viral over the summer after it was viewed more than two million times in just 24 hours on the video sharing site. Zack Nelson, better known as JerryRigEverything online, has gained fame for his technology reviews and has 3.9m subscribers on his DIY YouTube channel. His video ‘How to Install an Elevator in your LivingRoom!’ was published on 22 July and reached #11 on Trending. Zack, 31, had the Stiltz Homelift installed in the house he shares with his fiance, Cambry Kaylor, who lists herself as an OT on her Instagram page with over 30,000 followers. Cambry was an international equestrian vaulting star and suffered a spinal cord injury after falling from her horse in a training accident in 2005. The video has had over eight million views on YouTube which prompted Mark Blomfield, President of Stiltz Homelifts USA, to say it ‘has to be

enough to accommodate Cambry’s wheelchair in the video. The video is full of humour but also packed with tech insights about the lift.


Zack writes in the YouTube video preview: “Cambry and I put an Elevator IN OUR HOUSE!! And it is awesome. Fully electric, futuristic, and quiet. It turned out pretty cool.” Once the Stiltz Homelift is in place, Cambry rides it for the first time and says: “I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like I’m in a spaceship or submarine or something. It’s cool and looks awesome!” Mr. Blomfield, said: “Zack and Cambry obviously did their research on homelifts and reached out to us a few months ago. They purchased our top-of-the-range Trio model and Zack told us he was going to make a video of the installation with one of our authorised installers in Utah for his YouTube channel. Once we discovered how many subscribers he had, we couldn’t wait to see it. The video is absolutely brilliant and has to be the most viral video in the mobility and independent living industry in history!” Yola Mealing, head of marketing at Stiltz Homelifts UK, added: “It’s fantastic for the Stiltz Homelift to




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Leading OTs recognise stairlifts are not suitable for all clients or for all types of homes. Many are now considering Stiltz Homelifts as an alternative. A Stiltz Homelift is available in the wheelchair-accessible 3-person Trio+ model (shown), or the more compact 2-person Duo+ model. The Stiltz OT service level promise means our assessment, customer service and installation teams will work with OTs and healthcare professionals to provide exceptional service and support at all times.

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ack in the day, postcards were a magical way of reaching loved ones from far and beyond that were a real source of excitement and happiness. A postcard from a land far-flung was one of the only ways to connect with the world beyond the phone or limited TV and radio channels.

will help patients with dementia trigger memories of places they have visited before.

Now, Giffnock’s Eastwood Court Care Home is looking to harness the power of these simple cards to help their residents with dementia.

Droves of initiatives have been undertaken over the years to help those with dementia reconnect with their past and present, with this just being the latest.

The Glasgow suburb home is now appealing for holiday-goers to drag themselves away from that all-inclusive bar or take a minute out of their jam-packed sightseeing schedules to send residents a postcard, in a bid to reawaken some treasured memories. It is hoped that the small memento, that means little to us nowadays in a time of digital giants meaning we are only a touch away from our friends’ travels or curiosity about other lands,

The drive has already seen more than 40 postcards arrive through the letterbox from the Yorkshire Dales to as far away as Italy, and they are keen to see how many places they can receive one from.

Manager Lorraine Douglas told STV News: “It’s mainly visual, when they see the pictures on the postcards and the comments it gets them talking. They’ll talk about places they’ve been and tourist attractions. It helps them remember these places. “They look forward to the post coming through. They are always asking if there are any postcards today,” she added.

Send your postcards to: Eastwood Court Care Home 1 Eastwoodmains Road Giffnock Glasgow G46 6QB

“The drive has already seen more than 40 postcards arrive through the letterbox from the Yorkshire Dales to as far away as Italy” -magazine.co.uk


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here was a time when the idea of having a lift in your home was reserved for the very wealthy, requiring the construction of a dedicated lift shaft and lots of space for the lift. The benefits of such a lift are plain to see! A passenger lift is arguably safer and more comfortable to travel in than a stairlift, multiple people can use it at once, and it can carry other objects (your shopping, luggage, etc.) up and down the stairs for you.

the ceiling is cut, tracks are fitted through the hole, and the lift travels upstairs and downstairs on the tracks!

Initially designed for wheelchair users, these lifts were found to be useful to anyone seeking to move between floors more easily.

Installing through-floor lifts creates little disruption, like having a stairlift installed. Unlike a stairlift your stairway is kept free of any obstruction! The idea of taking a passenger lift with you when moving home would be costly and impractical. But a through-floor lift can be easily removed, the floor filled in, and the lift reinstated in your new home (you might consider leaving the lift behind though, as a through-floor lift can increase the value of your property!). These lifts succeed in taking the best elements of the stairlift and passenger lift creating a lift perfectly suited to the domestic environment. They are far more affordable than a passenger lift, and more comfortable than a stairlift.

The design is simple; a hole in

Their affordability is not reflected

Is it possible to benefit from the functionality of a passenger lift, but with less impact on your home, and for far less cost? That is the problem that Wessex Lifts set about reconciling in the mid 70’s, with their “Through-Floor Lift”.




in product quality. We design and manufacture all our lifts at our headquarters in the UK to ensure consistent high quality, complying with UK and international standards of safety. CONTACT DETAILS: Tel: 01794 830303 info@wessexlifts.co.uk

THE OT SHOW Shining a spotlight on occupational therapy


id you know at The Occupational Therapy Show you can benefit from:

1 Networking with 4,800+ of your OT colleagues – don’t miss out join your peers;

2 Meeting 270+ OT-centred suppliers to source new products and find the latest innovations for your clients – 32 new to the show; 3 Having access to 100+ accredited CPD education sessions with topics across all OT areas - more than 31,000 hours of free accredited CPD have been delivered to delegates over the past six years; 4 Learning from 89+ world renowned speakers, 70+ are new and have never spoken at the show before. The countdown is on to the UK’s most exciting and most talked about event for occupational therapists – The Occupational Therapy Show! Full to bursting with motivational lectures and demonstrations presented by speakers at the very forefront of the OT world, thousands of occupational therapy professionals are set to journey to the NEC, Birmingham on 27 and 28 November. Not only is it completely free of charge to attend, but you may be surprised to learn that the education programme is also put together by occupational therapists. Here’s what Adam Ferry, OT and

education programme manager, has to say about what he sets out to achieve when programming the educational content: “Each year when I start formulating ideas for The Occupational Therapy Show education programme, I consider what occupational therapists (myself included) want to take away from their experience. Are delegates wanting certificates to demonstrate that they have simply attended; sessions that reinforce that what they are doing clinically is ‘right’; or dynamic new ideas for them to reflect on and implement within their own services? “I always hope the latter but also accept that depending on which sector the OT is working in their motivations and professional needs may greatly differ. My experiences within statutory services suggest that CPD becomes about meeting professional standards to support registration but in the independent sector is much more about increasing knowledge base and expertise to aid high quality intervention. That experience will certainly not be the same for everyone and indeed if it were, strong specialist sections or media such as #OTalk would not exist. So all in all, I seek to produce an education programme which contains something that every single

OT can take and learn from.” As you will have come to expect from the show, this year we are excited to present yet more globally renowned speakers for you to listen to and learn from. The outstanding speaker line-up comprises of Baroness Jolly (Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson, House of Lords), Alexandra Green (Director of Local Delivery, Adult Social Care, Essex County Council), Clive Gilbert (Policy Manager, Assistive Technology, Policy connect) and many more. Each considered leaders in their respective fields, you are sure to gain some invaluable pearls of wisdom while developing your skills and gaining fresh new ideas. What’s more, the major exhibition, which is home to 270+ OT-centred suppliers, will enable you to source great deals on all the latest products and services you need to enhance your daily practice and grow your business. Leading suppliers from across the industry will be in attendance including, AKW, Invacare, Sunrise, Etac R82 and many, many more. Dates: 27 - 28 November 2019 Venue: NEC, Birmingham Register for your free pass: theotshow.com/OTMag





Children do not just use bathing for self-cleansing. Bathing can be a fun and relaxing experience, and even a time for bonding and playtime between siblings. However, for some children a bath can be stressful and that’s where a sensory bathroom comes into play. An expert blend of bathing and sensory elements can create a safe haven to be enjoyed, not feared. 1 Sensory mood-lighting has been used in various studies with researchers unanimously agreeing that, when used correctly, colours of light can positively influence people’s mood. Mood-lighting can help stimulate and balance the sensory system, particularly for those on the autistic spectrum. 2 Sensory projectors can provide relaxing imagery as a distraction for those who feel anxious during bathing time, whilst also helping to develop a range of skills including tracking and colour recognition. 

3 Bluetooth speakers are a great addition to any sensory bathroom. Music therapy is a magnificent tool for helping to create ambience and promote a feeling of safety, relaxation and tranquility. Amazon Alexa integration can also be used to help aid voice control. 4 Aromatherapy is recognised as an extremely powerful addition to the sensory experience, delivering immediate sensory stimulation and achieving an immediate and positive therapeutic effect to help soothe the bather. At Sensorykraft, our expertise and product range enhance every element of the sensory bathing experience. Not only do we specialise in assisted bathing equipment, changing and toileting equipment, but we also offer state-of-the-art hoisting solutions. We can work with you to design a bespoke sensory environment which is expertly tailored to meet the needs of any user, any age, anywhere.

Find out more at www.sensorykraft. co.uk, call 0114 229 3434 or email info@sensorykraft.co.uk Occupational therapist Stuart Barrow stated: “Sensorykraft have a great understanding of the options available to meet the needs of our clients. Working with families and professionals, their expertise enables them to create a bathroom environment to meet the needs of children regardless of the funding source, be it statutory or private funding. I have been fortunate to visit their factory in Sheffield to see baths being made and to meet the team, and it is clear the ethos of Sensorykraft is truly holistic. Sensorykraft ensure the needs of clients are met whether that means they cannot provide a service and refer on or they provide a sensory toy or a complete changing room facility, they will endeavour to support the clinician and families as much as possible.” 

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All the latest from the world of paediatrics


SECTION chools may be back after a long summer of filling up days with activities, but it won’t be long until the October break is upon us and parents are struggling once again to find activities that the whole family can enjoy, a difficult task especially if one of your children has additional needs or sensory impairments.


We explore the steps being taken in the UK by attractions and businesses to welcome children with a range of sensory impairments, autism or learning difficulties. From theme parks to science museums, supermarkets to toy shops, sensory awareness is on the rise. It has been well documented that girls entering their teenage years are more likely to fall out of sport participation. We take a look at an

OT-run initiative that is tackling this issue to ensure our young women recognise the importance of leading a healthy active lifestyle. Have you discovered Lego therapy? Everyone’s favourite childhood toy transcends generations and helps kids to communicate, socialise and problem solve. It can be an incredibly effective therapy when used in the right situations and immediately puts children at ease in a fun environment, allowing them to open up and learn life skills. You will also find our usually innovative selection of products for your younger clients on page 60. As always if there is anything you would like to see featured in our paediatric section please don’t hesitate to get in touch at ros@2apublishing.co.uk.

Read on to find out more...








hildren who have a sensory processing disorder (SPD) struggle with the environment around them. Their sensitivity may be to light, sound, texture, smell, taste, or it could encompass all of the senses. Sensory integration therapy can help a child living with SPD enormously. Occupational therapists who specialise in sensory integration can help to regulate a child’s responses to certain sensory triggers and ongoing treatment can help them to learn how to regulate their own responses over time. Homes can be transformed into sensory havens to allow children to experience calming areas in living spaces, bedrooms and even bathrooms. Special lighting, relaxing music and calming smells can help a child to balance their emotions and thoughtful sensory toys can be used to help a child focus, relax and develop in an environment where they feel safe and calm. However, when a child with sensory processing disorder leaves their home and enters the chaos of the world around us with its harsh lights, loud noises and unfamiliar smells it can pose many challenges for parents and carers. Fun family days out, trips to the shops and trips away can fill both child and parent with panic and stress. What if it is too busy, too loud and the child becomes overwhelmed and simply needs a quiet place to recuperate? Sensory rooms are thankfully becoming more and more popular in the UK, enabling families to experience tourist attractions, days out and even everyday tasks like supermarket shops.



SENSORY ROOMS Over the last few years we have seen sensory rooms installed in a variety of public places. Many airports have introduced sensory rooms to offer a safe and calming space for people who have autism, behavioural and learning difficulties or SPD. This provides an escape from the commotion of busy airports, especially when you are experiencing travel delays. These specially designed environments may incorporate interactive equipment, including, bubble tubes, sparkle fibre strands,

liquid floor tiles, soft seating areas, weighted blankets among many other pieces. As more and more organisations recognise the importance of these rooms to families with a young disabled child, the more we are seeing appear. Theme parks are starting to take notice, alongside museums and even some shopping centres have installed a sensory room for shoppers. A reasonable number of football clubs have also incorporated a sensory viewing room for supporters who want to watch the match from a quieter, calmer environment.

QUIET TIMES Last year supermarket chain Morrisons introduced a quiet hour on a Saturday morning to be more welcoming to shoppers who have autism or SPD. All stores throughout the country between 9am and 10am ensure the lights are dimmed, the music is turned off, the check out beeps are turned down and there are no tannoy announcements. Shoppers now know that there is a safer and calmer time to venture to the supermarket. You will also find these weekly quiet hours introduced in retailer Home Bargains and toy retailer The Entertainer. October will see Autism Hour take

FAMILY DAYS OUT Weekends and school holidays can be a challenging time for parents who have children with additional needs. We have found some of the best attractions in the UK that offer sensory rooms, accessible interactions and dedicated times for little ones. EUREKA! – YORKSHIRE Designed to be fun and educational, this children’s museum has over 400 interactive exhibits. They have a sensory guide and a sensory code to help identify exhibits. They have detailed information on what to expect from your visit and a map of the museum too. An amazing free service they offer called Extra

place during the first week (5-12 October). Arranged by the National Autistic Society, businesses are encouraged to offer an Autism Hour in their shop, office, cafe or restaurant in the hopes that it will help customers and also teach employers and employees about the importance of providing an autism-friendly service. There is still a long way to go to make our society more inclusive to those who have a sensory processing disorder or autism. Hopefully organisations are starting to become more aware of the importance of offering dedicated sensory spaces or quiet times for families and we will start to see an increase in these throughout the UK.

Pair of Hands can be booked and a staff member will contact you to ask about your child’s likes, dislikes and any triggers, they will then tailor your visit and accompany you for your visit and help out with your kids! There is also a Changing Places facility. eureka.org.uk THINKTANK – BIRMINGHAM A science museum that is packed with fun and interactive areas for kids, from learning about your body to discovering all about aeroplanes and playing in the science garden. On the website you will find a social story that you can download that will help you plan your trip with your child and understand what to expect. Accessible toilets and

changing facilities are installed and the museum encourage you to call for any access requirements you need for your trip. birminghammuseums.org.uk/ thinktank LEGOLAND – WINDSOR A great theme park that has recently made some welcome improvements to cater for guests with additional needs, including the installation of a sensory room for children who need a break from the hustle and bustle. They also offer a Ride Access Pass that assists guests who do not understand the concept of queuing by allowing them to use a virtual queuing system and giving them time to explore other areas of the park until it is their turn on the ride. There is also a Changing Places facility. legoland.co.uk THE EXPERIENCE – GLASGOW A hub of activity, this centre offer accessible go-karting and laser tag, but they also have a dedicated multi-sensory room that can be accessed for free by booking a session. Designed to provide a fun, immersive sensory experience and stimulate the imagination through equipment and toys such as an interactive floor, fibre-optics, colour changing LED lights, wind and smoke machine, and aromatherapy. A great, calming and fun sensory experience for children. theexperience.org.uk DISCOVER CHILDREN’S STORY CENTRE – LONDON A wonderful place where children and their families can share in the magic of playing, learning and making up stories together. The majority of play equipment and events are made up of multi-sensory elements to engage with a wide audience of visitors. The sessions are led by skilled and dynamic Story Builders who are on hand to support children of all needs to get as much out of their visit as possible. There is also a social story on the website that you can download prior to visiting. discover.org.uk





The original Sensory in a Suitcase, beloved by care professionals, occupational therapists and educators throughout the world has inspired, stimulated and improved the lives of tens of thousands of users. From its introduction in the early noughties, our breakthrough Suitcase has enabled professionals to enhance sensory sessions for users wherever they are and to maximum effect. After careful consideration and bringing together all of our experience and knowhow as industry leaders we are extremely proud to introduce to the market the new and improved Sensory in a Suitcase II. The advancement of technology at a rapidly increasing pace and new wealth of resources made it imperative for us to modernise and upgrade this already life-changing resource. Upon consultation with OTs, clients and professionals, it became clear to us that even more value could be added to the Sensory in a Suitcase (SiaS).

Sensory in a Suitcase II

Also in our SiaS range, our newly revised Sensory in a Suitcase UV II is now available, and features a wide and exciting range of sensory products for use in darkened and UV lit environments. Evolving through a ground up redesign while maintaining some of the best classical features, we have added some new and exciting sensory products to make the SiaS II. These include the Opti Aura, an amazing product now as standard which is a major upgrade on the traditional space projector. We have also replaced the traditional but loved mirror ball with a sound to light projector which is also an ‘all in one’ unit making setup and use far easier, especially in mobile locations. Adding to these new products are a range of new tactile resources featuring our sensory ball kit and hand held light projector. All of these innovative sensory products get packaged into a new much more rugged and

modern suitcase with a noticeable weight reduction for transport and ergonomic carry handles. While we have changed a lot about the SiaS we have ensured that everything you could do with the old suitcase you can still do with the new one. This includes maintaining old favourites such as the Vibrating Snake, UV lighting and resources and much much more. To ensure accessibility and maintain our SiaS II as a market leading product we are proudly offering the SiaS II at the same low price of £1,299.00 and £695.00 for the Sensory in a Suitcase UV II.  We are so excited to bring this new product to market, be one of the first to add this to your collection of sensory resources to further enhance any sensory session. Please contact us for more information and we are more than happy to provide video demonstrations and a full product data sheet prior to sale.

SPECIAL OFFER We are offering a readership discount to The OT Magazine subscribers of £50.00 by using the code OTMSO912. This will be valid for use until 31st December 2019. 01302 645 685 sensoryplus.co.uk

Sensory in a Suitcase UV II -magazine.co.uk


This School Girl For one reason or another, girls falling away from participation sport when they enter their pre-teen and teenage years is commonplace.


port is a huge occupation in many of our lives, and like many, if we drop it from our routine, it can impact our occupational balance or wellbeing. Dropping sport in particular can have multiple lasting effects on both our mental and physical state. Even just dropping the social aspect of sport can be massively detrimental to young girls when they reach that impressionable and important period in their development. Occupational therapy can help this, though. Girls at Harlow’s Passmores Academy have completed a 20week programme designed to promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and encourage more involvement. The programme ThisSchoolGirlCan, inspired by Sport England’s successful ThisGirlCan campaign, was funded through Active Essex’s Satellite Club, Fit4Life and backed by TV doctor Zoe Williams and delivered by Sport For Confidence. Teachers at the school encouraged 13 and 14-year-old girls to attend the weekly, hour long, after school sessions over the 20-week course running parallel to term-time. Sessions were delivered by Sport For Confidence alongside the PE department to offer practical and discursive sessions, exploring the benefits of keeping active and the knock on effects it has on teenage girls’ and young women’s lives. Sport for Confidence OT Sinead Kelly said: “As girls enter their teenage years, many stop being active. The programme explores the reasons behind this and gets the girls thinking about the benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle, whilst also enabling them to practically try a range of activities including; swimming, climbing, yoga, dance, dodgeball,



badminton, boccia, curling and basketball. The sessions were interactive and fully inclusive. Focus was on fun and enjoyment rather than performance and competition.” The first eight weeks of the programme was hosted by the school, before the remaining sessions took place at various local leisure facilities. PE teacher Sophie Banks discussed how well thought out the programme was and how beneficial it has been: “Taking the girls off site, out of the school environment, to enjoy sporting activities took some organising but was hugely beneficial. Many young people’s only experience of sport is via the education system. Showcasing alternative environments provides new perspectives. Physical activity engagement can’t be achieved via a onesize-fits-all approach. It’s about providing information, education and opportunity to promote the many opportunities on offer.” This was the first programme of its kind to be run in Harlow and followed a successful model completed at Lower


“… it’s so important that we inspire young women so that physical activity becomes part of their normal, everyday lives as they get older”

academy in Basildon, Essex. Sinead added: “Following the success of these two, initial programmes, we plan, with the support of funding partner, Active Essex, to roll out to other schools. Keeping young people, especially girls, engaged in activity is absolutely crucial if we are to effect positive change into adulthood.

“It has been amazing to watch the girls grow in confidence and self-belief as the programme progressed. I am so proud of everything they have accomplished during this programme and very much hope that the girls involved will continue to enjoy all the benefits of an active lifestyle as they move through their teens and into their adult years.”

A recent study by the Youth Sport Trust reported that physically active girls are happier and more resilient than those who are not, reiterating the importance of programmes like Sport For Confidence’s. The report also linked being active with a wide range of benefits which included;  increased happiness, confidence, resilience, ambition, empathy and a willingness to pursue new ideas. Commenting on the initiative, Active Essex relationship manager Hayley Chapman, explained: “Active Essex is pleased to support this initiative reaching out to girls. It really fits with our strategy to get one million people active across the county and it’s so important that we inspire young women so that physical activity becomes part of their normal, everyday lives as they get older”. sportforconfidence.com




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Lego therapy encourages children to open up, socialise and follow instruction in a therapeutic and safe setting.


ego bricks have existed since 1949, when Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen, who had been making wooden toys since losing his job in the Great Depression in 1932, moved from making wooden toys to the famous construction bricks, whose name is a contraction of the Danish phrase “Leg godt,”which means play well. In 2004, paediatric neuropsychologist Dr Daniel LeGoff was trying to produce an effective intervention for children who live with autism, but was struggling to find something that the children were interested in interacting with. However, he noticed that when Lego construction sets were around, children would come together and engage in social

communication. Despite there being a room full of toys for the children they could play with, they gravitated naturally towards the Lego, and from there, Dr LeGoff created a therapeutic intervention that would naturally support and reinforce the children’s pre-existing approach to the toy. From there came Lego therapy, which seeks to build on communication and social interaction among other aspects of therapy through functional and fun play. The therapy promotes a collaborative experience through group-work – although it can just as easily be performed between only a therapist and their patient – while taking part in social activity and having a great time doing it.

LEGO THERAPY IS EXCELLENT FOR IMPROVING: Fine motor skills Visual perceptual motor skills Cognitive skills Sensorimotor skills Self-efficacy skills Social communication skills Problem solving Conflict resolution Eye contact Verbal skills Creativity



Lego therapy is traditionally carried out in a group setting, with the multiple members of the group taking up different roles in the session, where the loose aim is to build a model following a set of instructions. The engineer has the instructions, and works with the supplier who has the bricks, the builder who of course constructs the model, and the foreman or director who ensures the group collectively works as a team towards the shared aim. As the session progresses, the children swap roles, allowing each to take the various mantles that are necessary to ensure the group works effectively and in harmony. Towards the end of the play session, the children are given time to build whatever they like. For children on the autism spectrum, the structured and predictable nature of Lego therapy is highly appealing due to its systems, and also encourages the members of the group to solve problems with the security of adult supervision. It aids in the development of problem solving skills and deepens the children’s relationship with their surroundings. The role of the adults while the children build is to act as a mediator: it’s an unfortunate fact of the nature of group play that tensions can easily rise in groups, especially where communication skills are poor or nonexistent.



Adults are therefore expected to maintain the fairness and calm in the group play, suggesting ways the group can compromise over issues, mediating fights, encouraging positive expressions and actions, and ensuring the group remains focused on the end goal of what they are building. Speaking to WeLoveBricks, a site which promotes the use of Lego therapy, child development expert and research psychologist Dr Maryhan Baker explains how the intervention can help improve fine motor skills, develop creativity, and promote the opportunity for children to try new things without the fear of failure. “Through their manipulation of Lego bricks children learn about applying differential pressure; some bricks need small amounts of pressure when building, whilst others require a great deal. The benefits of this hands-on trial and error learning is far more valuable than anything we can say as parents to teach our children about applying the right amount of pencil pressure as they write,” Dr Baker writes. “Through imaginative play children lose themselves in their fantasies. An anxious child loses all inhibitions when they are slaying dragons, teaching their pupils,

“An anxious child loses all inhibitions when they are slaying dragons, teaching their pupils, caring for poorly animals, or saving the universe with their super powers.” caring for poorly animals, or saving the universe with their super powers. “When children play they are constantly learning new skills, which can then be generalised to other areas of their life. Playing with Lego provides an understanding of spatial awareness, promotes a sense of creativity, and teaches mathematical concepts of symmetry, shape and geometry. “Children learn so much more through Lego play because there is no fear of failure, Lego creations fall down when you stack them too high, not all our creations quite work out as we planned, but we can always start again.”

Changing the world one step at a time...

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30/04/2019 12:34

Product FOCUS Every issue we bring you the latest products from across the market to help you improve the lives of your younger clients.





Promoting safe sleep, the Bearhugzzz is a bespoke bed that can be made to any size your room will accommodate. With optional height adjustment it meets the needs of children, adults and their carers. Ensuring a good night’s sleep for everyone. 01978820714 | kinderkey.co.uk 2


Tenura cutlery grips are produced from 100% silicone and are designed to fit onto virtually all dining utensils as well as additional items such as pens and toothbrushes. Easy to apply and use and washable by hand or dishwasher. Available in packs of two in adult or child sizes. 01254 832266 | tenura.co.uk 3



The all-new Sensory in a Suitcase II is now available at the same affordable price of £1, 299.00. A complete evolution of the original SiaS in consultation with OT’s clients and professionals, it will provide you with a wealth of vital sensory equipment for education and play activities. An essential tool for OTs. Special £50.00 discount - use code OTMSO912 (expires 31/12/19) 01302 645 685 | sensoryplus.co.uk







This clever little alarm clock helps to teach kids when it is time to sleep, play or wake up. The cute face uses a smile to indicate that it is playtime and a sleepy face to show them when it is bed time. It also has a colour-changing light, sound machine, alarm function and night light.


amazon.co.uk 5


Ideal for children needing to work on their fine motor skills, visual perception, visual-motor skill and memory strengthening, this board lets children practice their grip, matching, copying, constructing and recalling from memory. Also suitable for children with dyspraxia. 01572 737 100 | fantasticdyspraxic.co.uk 6



Splashy Big can be used in the shower or taken outdoors to give younger clients access to new environments and improves postural support at the beach, allowing a child to feel the waves on their feet or dig their toes into the sand.   0289 27 8879 | fireflyfriends.com



Only at the the OT Show can you expect... 80+ hours of FREE accredited CPD education across 6 lecture theatres 200+ exhibitors to find new business ideas and increase profits Massive savings on time and money with exclusive offers from exhibitors all in one place Learn and share ideas with over 5000 OT colleagues New expert lectures from world renowned speakers

Secure your FREE place now www.theotshow.com/otmag Dedicated to shining the spotlight on OT. Don’t be left in the dark.

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David Jackson speaks openly about how the Nexus Rota-Pro® chair bed from Apex Medical has saved his life David has a curved and fused spine; the worsening conditioning was putting extra constraints on David’s quality of life and independence until he found the Rota-Pro® chair bed.

comfortably. It has also made my carer’s life much easier as they are now able to wash me at a height that is safe and comfortable for them. I am looking forward to the future with this bed.”

One year on we catch up with David to learn how this innovative chair bed has provided increased mobility, independence and dignity.

Apex engineers programmed the Rota-Pro® chair bed to fit with David’s positioning requirements and preferences. David comments on the ease of working the bed by stating: “The two part back-rest has made it much more comfortable for me to sleep as being flatter is really uncomfortable for me. The hand control makes it so easy as it’s just one button to achieve the position I want.”

“The bed has been excellent for improving my independence, and has even saved my life!” David found himself slipping out of bed and would have fallen on the floor if it wasn’t for the hand control that changed his position to stop the slipping. More importantly it prevented David falling onto the floor where it could have been hours before he received help. “As my condition has gradually worsened it means that I can still enjoy going to bed and sleeping

the Rota-Pro® I received much more function for significantly less investment.” The positive benefits of the RotaPro® have had such an effect on David’s quality of life. From providing much needed postural comfort, to allowing a good night’s sleep, David feels his independence has been revived. A final message from David: “I used to hate getting into and out of bed. I don’t tend to have any problems with sleeping now.” Find out more at from Apex Medical by visiting apexmedicalcorp.co.uk or call 01905 774 695 to discuss further.

The results are far reaching. As David’s mobility and condition worsened his sister researched possible assistive solutions and discovered the Rota-Pro®. “There were alternative options, but with -magazine.co.uk


Versatile porter and rise recliner chairs for healthcare environments




Delivering care and comfort into care homes and hospitals

Model shown: Multi C-air

• Adapt your chair for a single user’s changing conditions or for a new client • Use your chair as part of a 24 hour pressure care management programme • A range of interchangeable pressure management seat and back cushions • Unique portering features reducing manual handling • Made to measure options For more information visit

See us on Stand A70 9-10 October 2019 NEC Birmingham REPOSE CARE SHOW ADVERT 190x135 AW.indd 1

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13/08/2019 10:10




A recent survey has revealed that healthcare workers are in need of better mental health support


t has recently been reported that 86% of healthcare workers say that the healthcare industry needs to do more to support the mental health of their staff. Over a third (39%) have also said that their mental health has deteriorated as a direct result of their job, and 41% say that they have had to take time off work due to this at least once.   Medical job search specialists Jobmedic.co.uk recently conducted a survey and the results showed that almost half of Brits working within the healthcare sector admit to struggles with the emotionally straining aspects of their role. A fifth of those surveyed said that although they have wanted to, they haven’t taken time off due to their mental health.  

role more than any other career with 28% saying they struggle all the time and a further 48% who struggle sometimes. That’s a total of 76% of doctors who struggle at least sometimes.   Of course, the role of a medical professional is by no means all doom and gloom: in fact, 91% of respondents find their job rewarding, 41% have a touching moment at least once a week and 27% say they enjoy these moments daily.   Elsa Thumerel from Jobmedic says: “The purpose of our research was to give our healthcare workers a voice, Jobmedic welcomes the

discussion around how we can better support our valuable medical staff. We know that being in the healthcare industry is by no means an easy job, but we were blown away with the high level of career satisfaction that was reported back to us by medical workers.”  The two biggest drives for Brits working in the healthcare sector are; the knowledge that they are helping others (36%); and feeling like they’ve made a positive impact each day (27%).  Thumerel continues: “If you’re looking for a career where you can make a real difference to lives, this is the option where you can do it. The industry has it’s struggles, but our survey has shown that the rewarding positives far outweigh the negatives.”  

The NHS works around the clock and it is a well-known fact that the pressures that the staff go through on a daily basis are huge. Discussion around the strain on the NHS due to lack of staff, costs of treatments and budget cuts are constant. We rarely hear from the front line with doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physios and carers and support staff kept out of comment. However, the new research shows that the impact on their mental health is a concern.  57% of men confided they had taken time off due to mental health concerns, compared to only 34% of women. However more women (24%) than men (12%) have felt they needed to take time but haven’t due to increasing pressures.   Doctors struggle with the emotionally straining aspects of their



CARE SHOW An unmissable event for anyone working in a caring role.

Care Show is the largest and busiest care event in the UK dedicated to showcasing new products and services, and inspiring attendees to look at new ways to help improve the lives of those in your care. A comprehensive, free-to-attend programme brings together key thought-leaders and suppliers in the care sector. The two days will offer advice for business owners, opportunities to network, as well as a chance to help your budget go further by taking advantage of some amazing, exclusive show deals.

CPD-ACCREDITED The conference programme is now fully CPD-accredited and will offer over 60 sessions that are accredited. The programme offers a balance of interesting and informative talks designed to expand your knowledge base, renew your passion for the care sector and drive efficiency. There will be over 80 expert speakers present to spark your interest, with talks on designing for people who live with dementia and improving palliative care, to panel sessions on shaping the future of homecare and what the sector needs to thrive.

EXHIBITORS You will have access to more than 250 leading suppliers of products and services that are designed to assist you in a caring role and help your patients achieve a more independent life. The opportunity to discover new innovations, talk to experts and get advice on improving your methods of care is second to none, so be sure to save the date in your diary. Register for free today at careshow.co.uk.



New bariatric chair on display Repose Furniture will be debuting its Arden Bariatric chair on stand A70 at this year’s Care Show. What sets the Arden apart from other bariatric chairs currently available is its four-motor mechanism which enables independent movements for the four different functions of the chair; tilt in space, backrest recline, leg rest elevation and rise, all of which combine to provide a comprehensive range of positions for care, comfort and independent living. With an adaptable waterfall back, which provides superb comfort and postural control, a 50-stone weight capacity and 25-stone leg rest limit, combined with a 16” seat height option and extendable leg rests if required, the Arden is without doubt one of the most advanced bariatric chairs to be

produced in the UK. For increased comfort, there is a range of pressure management seat cushion options available which when combined with the independent movements ensure a significant reduction of pressure and pinch points. To help ensure the Arden meets the exact requirements of the user, seat depth adjusters have been fitted to enable staff to fine tune the seating position. “We are delighted to be showcasing the Arden alongside other chairs from our extensive product portfolio at this year’s Care Show. The care sector is a significant market for us and we are continually investing in research and development to come up with new seating solutions tailored for the care industry,” commented managing director Lisa Wardley. The Repose team will be available on stand A70 to demonstrate all the chairs on show, answer any questions and book future assessments. reposefurniture.co.uk

PREMIUM RANGE WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE VEHICLES Supporting case workers, OTs and other healthcare professionals Lewis Reed is the leading UK vehicle supplier specialising in the conversion of luxurious wheelchair accessible vehicles to aid the mobility of wheelchair users. Call us on 0800

247 1001 or email priority@lewisreedgroup.co.uk


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tina. I am your highly supportive, adjustable, mobile aid.

Come and visit us at: Physiotherapy UK 1st-2nd November 2019, Birmingham Kidz to Adultz North 14th November 2019, Manchester Occupational Therapy Show 27th-28th November 2019, Birmingham NEC

Always positioned correctly. schuchmann.co.uk

See us at the OT show 2019

Stand D43

What style of learning suits you?


PD is just one of an occupational therapist’s professional life’s necessities. Just like a fish needs water, an occupational therapist needs CPD to get by. But that doesn’t mean it’s always enjoyable. Sometimes between workloads, family life and other parts of your routine, CPD can just feel like it is hanging over you like another chore you really don’t need right now. Nevertheless though, it just needs done. While there are loads of different ways to ensure you fulfil the requirements from different outlets, sometimes understanding your best method of learning can be half the battle. There are many different learning styles that can be employed. Even in the early learning stage, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Here are three different techniques that may take the dread out of catching up.

Self-directed learning While there are many courses, seminars or groups that offer CPD looking to help OTs work together to come to conclusions and learn, it just isn’t for everyone. Some prefer to freewheel it when they are studying, and it is called autodidacticism, which sees a learner take initiative by themselves to decide what, how and when they will undertake a form of study. Malcolm Knowles writes it is done by, “diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.” If you find you work best independently, this may be the way for you.

Reflective learning CPD is all about reflecting on your experiences anyway, so if you find reflective learning easy to follow, you are onto a winner. Many argue that there is no better way to learn than from your mistakes, but you can also learn from your successes, your quiet days, and your disastrous days. Most CPD experiences involve reflective learning, so try and hone your critical thinking skills and self-assess.

Active learning If you are quite hands on, active learning may be for you. It can happen in a classroom or another environment, but involves students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Bonwell explains that active learning is “a method of learning in which students are actively or experientially involved in the learning process and where there are different levels of active learning, depending on student involvement.” If you find more traditional learning methods harder to get on board with, try active learning on for size.





ADMISSION AVOIDANCE WINS A pilot ‘Front of House’ team have won the coveted Cosyfeet OT Award


nn Drea, a band 6 locum occupational therapist working for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) in a pilot Front of House (FOH) team, is the proud winner of the Cosyfeet OT Award 2019. Her £1000 award money will be used to purchase assessment equipment to facilitate a safe and speedy return home for clients referred by Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s A&E Department and Acute Assessment Unit (AAU). The goal of the FOH team, led up by Nicola Tatham, is admission avoidance, whereby clients are enabled to return home with all necessary support swiftly actioned. The FOH is a pilot service with a special interest in frailty, forming part of the Intermediate Care Tier of CPFT, which instigated the service at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The team works with a multidisciplinary approach across A&E and AAU to assess therapy and discharge needs and make necessary arrangements. The majority of persons assessed are elderly falls patients who require equipment such as mobility aids, toileting and/or bed equipment to facilitate a smooth and safe transition from hospital to home. The award money will pay for a stock of these aids to remain with FOH, to be used to help assess client needs and help inform caregivers. “In January to March this year, FOH received 401 referrals, resulting

in 143 safer discharges and 116 instances of admission avoidance,” says Ann. “Having a stock of assessment equipment for clients to try out with instruction will help us work more effectively. We can more readily involve clients and their support network in their safe return to self-management.” The Cosyfeet OT Award assists OTs and OT students to develop their professional knowledge and skills while benefitting others. The award is open to those who are planning voluntary work, a work placement, a client-focused project or research,

whether in the UK or abroad. “We’re delighted to support the dynamic Front of House team at Hinchingbrooke Hospital,” says Cosyfeet managing director, Andrew Peirce. “The supply of dedicated assessment equipment for the team means that assessments can be carried out faster, helping people to return home as quickly and safely as possible, and keeping hospital beds available for unavoidable admissions.” For more information about the Cosyfeet OT Award visit cosyfeet. com/professionals/otaward.

“I have always found Smirthwaite to be caring. They care about the needs of my clients, they listen to what I need and they care about providing the child with the very best solution� Claire, Occupational Therapist South West

At Smirthwaite, we help enhance the lives of children with additional needs with a range of lovingly created specialist equipment. To find out more visit smirthwaite.co.uk or call us on 01626 835552


eginning university or college is one of the most hectic times of your life. The sensory overload of your new environment and demanding schedule, the daunting nature of new beginnings, and the stressful aspect of it all.

University burnout is real, so why not take a leaf out of your new course’s book and invest time and energy into ensuring good occupational balance is achieved? There’s a lot going on. You are taking in your new classes, meeting deadlines, making new friendships and relationships, partaking in extra-curricular activities, and trying to establish and maintain a healthy social life to fully enjoy the university experience. By trying to juggle everything it can be easy to get lost in it all and before you know it, you’re left exhausted, a bit disenchanted and overwhelmed. Backman describes occupational balance as, “a relative state, recognizable by a happy or pleasant integration of life activities and demands.” Balance is hugely important in university life, so it’s good to establish healthy boundaries and patterns early doors. Thinking about your time wisely can reduce burnout and help you understand what really matters. University throws a lot of work at you, but you must ensure you don’t let it get on top of you.

Even if you find yourself struggling for time occasionally, trying to keep your working hours to a reasonable period will help your mind and body recover so you can get the best outcome. Understanding your priorities is also a huge factor in restoring balance. If you try to spread yourself too thin by trying to be involved in everything on offer, you’ll be on the fast track to burnout. There are lots of opportunities on offer, but be smart with your time so you can utilise it best and find time for other student life elements. Remember to routinely stop for a minute and take stock of where you are at mentally and physically. It’s vital you are honest with yourself if you are struggling to adapt or keep up with your new lifestyle. Lying to yourself will only result in issues being harder to rectify further down the line, and if you ever find it’s getting a bit too much, speak to someone and get help to work your way through it. University isn’t just a time to learn about your course, but yourself and what you want from life, so enjoy your time as best you can. Universities don’t go out of their way to make your life difficult, try and remember that.

“If you try to spread yourself too thin by trying to be involved in everything on offer, you’ll be on the fast track to burnout”




AS I MEAN TO GO ON Remind yourself why you started

OT student Esther Dark offers her advice as she approaches the end of her occupational therapy degree


y final placement is currently based within Nottingham County Council Short-Term Independence Service, otherwise known as the START Reablement Team. As I approached this placement, the last leg of the most relentless two years of my life, weary from spending months labouring away hidden in the library finishing my independent scholarship, I needed to muster enough strength to face a 12-week practice placement. I felt exhausted at the thought. Nevertheless, within days of being trusted to go out on my own into the community, completing independent assessments and problem solving complex cases, my passion for occupational therapy 74


was reignited. Energised and totally absorbed in this new area of occupational therapy, I find my days are flying past, and I am soaking up every moment, as I develop more confidence and build my knowledge and skillset. However, after some reflection, I have realised that although I am within weeks of finishing my course, in touching distance of finally being able to say those longed-for words ‘I am an occupational therapist’, I have recognised this is not the end, but the very beginning of an exciting journey. Indeed, I am starting to believe it’s not how you start that matters, but how you end. So, how can you end well on final placement?

When the buzzing of my 6:00am alarm goes off in the morning, or when I fumble my way through what I feel is a terrible assessment, I have to remind myself of why I initially wanted to become an occupational therapist. As a recipient of occupational therapy, I can testify first-hand to its life transforming effect, and although there may be days when placement is gruelling and I day-dream about throwing in the towel, I remind myself why I started. Recalling how fortunate I am to be studying at a brilliant university, to be surrounded by a supportive cohort of fellow future occupational therapists and studying for a career which brings me to life, reminds me why I do what I do.

Learn After two-years of endlessly highlighting and appraising journals, studying text books, and signing up to every extra-curricular opportunity in a desperate bid to update my CPD, although I may feel I am an expert, in reality, I am a complete novice. There is always time to learn more, to be challenged and stretched. Placement, even if it’s your third, is still a safe place to grow, develop, make mistakes and learn from them. So be willing and open to continue learning, ask questions, request shadowing opportunities, and keep your head in journals.


With the finish line in sight, soon to be released into the “real world”, trusted with the title of an OT, I am beginning to feel fraudulent, impersonating an occupational therapist; anxious that I will soon be exposed as not good enough. Even now, when my educator or a patient passes me a compliment or tells me I have done a good job, I find it hard to swallow and truly believe. But your final placement is a time to start building your self-confidence, believing that if you have made it this far, you can surely go the distance. To overcome insecurities, I reflect back over what I have accomplished, and focus on what I have been able to achieve in the past to fill me with assurance I can overcome the challenges ahead of me. It’s also helpful to not compare yourself to other occupational therapists; the beauty of occupational therapy means everyone has their own unique way of working. Appreciate and learn from the differences of others, but do not compare.

Initiative Show some initiative on your final placement. Many practice placements welcome fresh ideas, if you have an innovative idea you would like to implement, why not suggest it to your educator? Whether it’s starting a journal club, organising and planning a new OT group, or instigating a new assessment? This shows willingness and interest, and can potentially leave a lasting mark on the team or service you are in.

Rest when you can Most importantly at the weekends and during the evenings, it is so important to take time to selfcare, switch off and recharge your batteries. Although placement does of course require your full attention and energy, it should not dominate your life. It’s been a difficult process for me to learn to let go and establish boundaries between work and life, as not doing so, risks compassion fatigue

and burn out. It’s so important to identify what restores you. As occupational therapists, we need to be advocates and champions for what it looks like to make time for our own meaningful occupations. Maybe it’s dancing, Parkrun or finding solace in your favourite coffee shop. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to make time for you.

Most importantly at the weekends and during the evenings, it is so important to take time to self-care, switch off and recharge your batteries

As I approach the end of my masters, I know I am not at the end, I am only just beginning. So, to all the new graduates out there, keep dreaming, pursue learning, and know there is so much more to come.



Rebound Therapy Training Course Rebound Therapy has a huge number of benefits for children and adults across virtually the whole spectrum of disabilities. The Rebound Therapy team of approved tutors provide accredited training courses throughout the UK for: Occupational Therapists, care staff, schoolteachers and TAs, sports club and centre staff, and more. The course includes training in planning, measuring and recorded progress using the internationally recognised Winstrada programme and the Huddersfield Functional Index

Visit our stand at The OT Show 2019 - Stand K56 Call 0800 051 1931 or visit www.adaptawear.com

For further information, or to arrange a training course, please contact us at: email: info@reboundtherapy.org or Tel: 01342 870543 or visit our website at www.reboundtherapy.org Rebound Therapy - Top Right RHP

The Largest & Fastest Growing Disability Event in the South Wed 25th Sep 2019 9:30am - 5:00pm 9:30am-16:30pm




DAY 2019

Are you ready to celebrate with the rest of your occupational therapy colleagues from around the world?


ctober 27 is World OT Day, an opportunity for occupational therapists and the like to celebrate the profession globally while promoting the profession to all of those around you. It’s mandated by the WFOT – the World Federation of Occupational Therapists – who also handily provide loads of material for you to spread the word on the wonders of OT around your workplace and community. This year’s theme is Improving World Health and Wellbeing, and there’s loads of ways to spread that message far and wide! KIT YOURSELF OUT The WFOT has loads of resources online to help you celebrate World OT Day, including posters, social media banners and headers, and timeline images for you to use until your heart is content and your profession is heard about by as many people who care to listen. They also provide templates to make pin badges so you can rock a World OT Day badge on your coat or bag to celebrate on the move! GET SOCIAL With the amount of social media assets available to you for World OT Day, you’ll probably realise how important social media is to joining in with and embracing the rest of the global OT community. Be sure to

jump on the #WorldOTDay hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get involved in the conversation about both the profession and the topic of world health and wellbeing. You never know, you could learn something really important – or even pass your OT wisdom on to someone on the other side of the world! IN THE MONEY If you’re feeling charitable, why not organise a fundraiser for a WFOT-associated or accredited organisation? By holding a raffle, getting your Paul Hollywood on and baking up a storm, or even taking part in a sponsored silence, you could raise both the profile of occupational therapy in your workplace and community and raise money for an organisation which is maybe struggling somewhere across the world! SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY On the same day as World OT Day is OT Global Day of Service. Any practitioner or student can get involved, and all you need to do is use a little bit of your time to give back to the community that’s around you. That could be helping to mentor someone, holding an activity day for underserved children, donating blood or cleaning up your community. Anything that’ll help is a great idea! To learn more, visit wfot.org.



Kidz to Adultz North Thursday 14th November 2019 9.30am - 4.30pm EventCity, Barton Dock Road, Manchester, M17 8AS

Building a better future for care 9-10 October 2019 NEC Birmingham

Regulations! Regulations! Regulations! oked inally bo r her fo arah on andling h moving urse co

with ore m Do w? Ho ? s s le

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.

ow feeli are you ng to ary day

Budget cuts?


250 exhibitors 100+ hours of CPD accredited educational seminars 1000’s of your colleagues in attendance

Register online for your FREE entry ticket www.kidzexhibitions.co.uk Tel: 0161 607 8200 Email: info@disabledliving.co.uk #kidztoadultz

Caring has its problems. Let us help with solutions. Register for your FREE ticket at WWW.CARESHOW.CO.UK

Kidz to Adultz is a trademark registered to Disabled Living, Manchester. Established in 1897, Disabled Living, Charity registered with the Commission for England and Wales. Registered Charity Number 224742.

This year, we have two fantastic seminars by Michael Mandelstam

Proudly Sponsored by

Michael Mandelstam

OTAC Events 2019 Michael is


Michael is


Michael is


OTAC Southampton Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl Wednesday 11th September


Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel Wednesday 6th November

OTAC Cardiff

Llechwen Hall Hotel Wednesday 4th December

Media Partners

has provided independent legal training on health and social care law for 23 years. He worked previously at the Department of Health and, before that, at the Disabled Living Foundation. He has written many legal books over the last 30 years, including on the Care Act (2017), Safeguarding adults law (2018), Manual Handling (2002), Home adaptations and the Care Act (for the College of Occupational Therapists, 2016).

10:00 – 10:30 Manual handling and singlehanded care The seminar outlines current issues in manual handling and places them within the relevant legal framework, including

Delegates receive FREE lunch and Refreshments at OTAC

the Care Act, NHS Act, Manual Handling Regulations, Human Rights Act, Mental Capacity Act. In particular it focuses on single-handed care (reduced carer handling) – benefits, pitfalls and legal implications.

15:00 – 15:45 Care Act and home adaptations This seminar considers the legal basis for the provision of home adaptations. It outlines the main rules relating to the Care Act, Housing Grants Act (disabled facilities grants), Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) Order, Children Act/Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act, NHS Act – and how LIMITED to determine which SEATS legislation to use, how AVAILABLE best to meet people’s ON THE needs and how to defend DAY both positive and negative decisions.

To book your FREE ticket for your local event or to find out more details head over to www.otac.org.uk Alternatively, call 02921 900402 or contact Sally at sally@promoting-independence.co.uk



IN THIS ISSUE we bring you this year’s round-up of events taking place in the OT calendar.

If you have, or know of, an event please email it into enquiries@2apublishing.co.uk



RISE 4 Disability

Kidz to Adultz North

Kent Event Centre RISE events combine more than 100 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of innovative disability products, services, activities and advice with the RISE Ability Theatre delivering key topics from leading speakers.

EventCity, Manchester Free exhibition dedicated to children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and all the professionals who support them, with over 100 exhibitors and free CPD seminars. kidzexhibitions.co.uk

rise4disability.com 27-28 NOVEMBER

The OT Show NEC, Birmingham 11 SEPTEMBER/22 OCTOBER

Dedicated solely to occupational therapists, The OT Show promises to bring you an incredible line up of speakers, seminars and workshops alongside a huge exhibition of products and services and over 80 hours of free CPD on offer.

OTAC Southampton/ Newcastle Hilton Hotel Ageas Bowl/Hilton Hotel Newcastle The UK’s only free Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference and Exhibition. At each event you will find expert seminars and exhibitors specialising in home adaptations and equipment and invaluable CPD opportunities.


otac.org.uk 24 SEPTEMBER


Tech Severn 2019

Care Show

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

NEC, Birmingham

Stay ahead of the emerging technology trends changing the landscape of today’s health, education, care and housing agendas. The event will focus on Shropshire Council’s four centres of excellence and will explore what opportunities technology can offer.

The UK’s largest care-focused event, it provides expert-led CPD accredited conference sessions, hands-on training, latest solutions and networking opportunities to support those connected to and responsible for providing excellent care for others.


careshow.co.uk -magazine.co.uk


Viva Access Ltd Pub

lic C




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


ce T rainJoin ing

our expanding team Any whe of rexperienced e in UK / Irela Occupational nd Therapists

Occupational therapists play a key role acting as expert witnesses in clinical negligence and personal injury litigation


We require experienced occupational therapists to undertake Housing Adaptation Design case work, who are confident,& have excellentCourses communication skills (verbal & written), enjoy a challenge, are intrigued by the forensic nature of this work, and above all areinclude keen to learn new Courses Public Courses in London, skills. • Ramps Edinburgh & Cardiff We offer • Reading Plans Adaptations • Bathroom In-Service Training -visiting OT Regular work on a case by case basis to fit in with other • Accessible Kitchens services over 15 years workforcommitments • DFGs Excellent remuneration • Designing for Wheelchair UK wide service -we will train Users Full &inon-going training anywhere the UK (and Ireland)on every case & support And much more…! You will work on a self employed,•flexible basis, alongside your “day job” You will be working at Us! a senior level with a minimum of 8 www.viva-access.com years post qualification experience as an OT or/and case 07501 089143 manager admin@viva-access.com Request an information pack at admin@somek.com

9th October & 13th November 2019 Neurological Upper Limb for Occupational Therapists Lecturer: Erica Malcolm CPD: 11.25 hrs / Fee: £210 Venue: London Road Community Hospital, Derby

23rd – 24th October 2019 Graded Motor Imagery Training delivered by the NOI Group lecturer: Tim Beames CPD: 12 hours / Fee: £295 Venue: London Road Community Hospital, Derby

Join the team

6th November 2019 Atypical Parkinson’s Study Day Sessions led by Derby Parkinson’s Team CPD: 5.25 hours / Fee: £130 Venue: Royal Derby Hospital, Derby

18th November 2019 Sensory Integration Seminar 1 Is It Sensory-Based or Is It Sensory Integration? Clarification of the Concepts in Clinical Practice & Seminar 2 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) and Sensory Processing Disorders 19th November 2019 Askham rehab and services a Band 6 Diagnosis and (SPD)for – Differential Outcome Framework Goal is recruiting Comorbidity Occupational Therapist with experience in neuro. Alignment Scaling (GAS) Lecturer: DrisSidney Chu Lecturer: Dr are Sidney Chu for a new role, If you looking Askham well worth CPD: 3.5 hourswith eachplenty / Fee: £75 CPD: 5.5 hours / Fee:We £130 considering. provide rewarding careers of each Venue: London Road Community Venue: London Road Community opportunity for training and progression for those who Hospital, Derby Hospital, Derby

Job Vacancy

 Band 6 Occupational Therapist

share our belief in improving quality of life for all.

25th – 27th November 2019 20th November 2019 Seminar: An Introduction to a Family- Occupational Therapy for Children with Handwriting Difficulties Centred, Outcome-Focused 3Apply now by and emailing: Lecturer: Dr Sidney Chu Tiered School-Based OT Model of info@askhamvillagecommunity.com CPD: 19 hours / Fee: £330 Integrated Service Delivery or call 01354Chu 740 269 (ext. 205) Venue: Royal Derby Hospital, Derby Lecturer: Dr Sidney CPD: 3.5 hours / £75 01332 254679 | dhft.ncore@nhs.net Venue: London Road Community Hospital, Derby www.ncore.org.uk

Crelling Harnesses Ltd.

online TheThe online portfolio designed portfolio designed by OTs for for OTsOTs by OTs

Tel: 01253 852298 Email: info@crelling.com info@crelling.com www.crelling.com Portfolio & Development Profile Development Portfolio & Profile Tool Tool

Crelling Harnesses manufacture manufacture aa full range of special needs harnesses harnesses suitable for use on all kinds kinds of of equipment including wheelchairs, wheelchairs, buggies, scooters, shower chairs, chairs, bathing equipment, stair lifts lifts and and seats in cars, buses and aircraft aircraft etc. etc.

KeepYour YourCPD CPD The vehicle harnesses are designed designed Keep to be worn in conjunction with with RecordsUpdated Updated Records the existing safety belts to provide provide postural additional and/ templates, certificate upload, library, templates, logs,logs, certificate upload, CPDCPD library, etc etc support and/ ü Provides ü Provides prepare for HCPC in 2019, and prepare for HCPC auditaudit in 2019, appraisals and interviews üEasily a interviews certain degree or appraisals to offer degree of of üEasily

those Accessible restraint when used for Accessible those onMac, PC, Mac, on PC, with behavioural passengers behavioural phone, phone, I really likeActivities the Activities & Evidence I really like the & Evidence tablettablet difficulties. Summary which me to keep Summary which helpshelps me to keep an anproblems or learning difficulties.

I need a new job!!!!

Looking for a new OT job? Then look no further...

up-to-date checklist allCPD my CPD up-to-date checklist of allof my activities andevidence the evidence to support activities and the to support it. it. The action column onsummary this summary The action column on this reminds of gaps my evidence reminds me ofme gaps in myinevidence and and the whole mypiece first piece the whole thingthing is myisfirst of of evidence required for HCPC evidence required for HCPC audit”audit” - Senior Sue -Sue Senior OT OT

We make simple belts and full supportive harnesses for out all kinds ofto special FREE FREE /cpdolcom To find more or registerneeds, /cpdolcom To find out more or to register 14-DAY 14-DAY @CPDonline including challenging behaviour @CPDonline visit www.cpdol.com visit www.cpdol.com TRIAL TRIAL


IMPROVING PATIENT OUTCOMES TOGETHER Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare are excited to announce the launch of our Improving Patient Outcomes Together Study Days.


touching on all specialities and providing valuable training and education on current and future issues.

Fully CPD accredited and led by a mix of independent reputable experts in their field, the day will deliver a program of topical sessions

Sarah Westcott; RN, RSCN, clinical lead at Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare; “These study days show a huge commitment by Drive DeVilbiss Healthcare to both its clinical services and to it’s customers. Delivering CPD events that have a genuine clinical focus, and therefore value, to clinicians from a variety of backgrounds and experiences means that we are able to show that we are truly focussed on adding value as an organisation. Personally, as one of the DDH clinical team it is very exciting to be a part of the mission to support customers in such a dynamic way.”

he Study Days bring together the fields of tissue viability, occupational therapy and moving and handling, with speakers from all disciplines discussing practical solutions of interprofessional interest to improve patient outcomes. There are many courses available for each individual speciality, but few focused on the connections and overlaps between these disciplines. Speaking to key opinion leaders and clinicians; Drive DeVilbiss identified this and have worked to provide a program of events aimed at working together to improve patient outcomes.

DATES & LOCATIONS: 08.10.19 Cambridge 16.10.19 Bolton KEY HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY: How do I know if a product is fit for purpose? Now and from 2020… Understanding the new Medical Device Regulations and MHRA guidance • Interprofessional solutions for the heavier patient • Beds are not just for sleeping! Optimising clinical patient outcomes through bed technology • One carer or two? Changing approaches to home care • Seating biomechanics • Pressure mapping in practise Places are limited, don’t miss out! For further information or to reserve a place please email events@drivedevilbiss.co.uk.



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The OT Magazine – Sept / Oct 2019  

The OT Magazine – Sept / Oct 2019