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social skills and physical health

Culinary Therapy

Find out how cooking can boost your mood

Nature in mind he benefits o eco thera


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s role in hel in to o ercome eatin disorders




Jamie’s Farm to in ids rom bein e cluded


28/02/2017 13:57

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21/11/2016 12:20 10:08 28/02/2017


Hello About this issue... Food plays such an important part in any environment your client may find themselves.

One of my favourite things to do in my spare time is to cook. I love to try out new recipes and put different spins on traditional ones. I’m never happier than when I’m experimenting in the kitchen, utilising my rather large herbs and spices collection or snapping pictures with pride o the final result n this issue, e e plore ho occupational therapy has a role in the whole kitchen process from preparing, to cooking, to eating on page 62. Food plays such an important part in any environment your client may find themsel es o e er, or some, ood can ha e more negati e connotations than positi e n page , in our fi th instalment o our popular mental health series, we learn from OT Alison Seymour how occupational therapy has a critical position in the recovery of those living with an eating disorder. This issue also sees us tackling a very current and topical subject. The refugee crisis is something that is in the forefront of discussion for most of the world and on page 45 we speak to OTs about their involvement and intervention within the controversial matter. Another area that finds its practices eing used, perhaps subconsciously, is in law enforcement. Sarah Cavendish is a trained occupational therapist and or s as the ental ealth trategic ead or est idlands olice Although there is no o ficial role within the force, Sarah sees herself using her OT skills in her everyday working life. Find out more on page 40. So get the kettle on, put your feet up and we hope you enjoy this issue of The OT Magazine with a well-deserved Easter egg… or four!

The OT Magazine, Acting Editor Member of PPA Scotland

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

The Team

Contact Details

Editor: Lisa Mitchell Staff Writer: Colette Carr Staff Writer: Niki Tennant Designer: Stephen Flanagan Marketing: Sophie Scott Sales: Robin Wilson Contributors: Kate Sheehan, Dawn Blenkin, Lois Addy, Adam Ferry, Alison Seymour, Naomi Martin, Rachel Robinson, Trish Sweeney

2A Publishing Ltd, Caledonia House, Evanton Drive, Thornliebank Industrial Estate, Glasgow, G46 8JT

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T: 0141 465 2960 F: 0141 258 7783 E:

@ot_magazine3 The OT Magazine www.

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15 30


07 What’s New?

25 A Day in The Life of…

13 The Art of

27 Janet’s Outstanding

We explore what’s happening in the healthcare sector

Communication Kate Sheehan urges OTs to know that they are talking to the right people about their client’s housing

15 Mental Health

he fi th instalment o our mental health series focuses on eating disorders

18 Product Focus

A selection of innovative products


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Each issue, we speak to a different OT about their job


We learn more about Janet Taylor, who won The OT Show Award for ‘Outstanding OT Innovation’

30 Nature in Mind

OT Naomi Martin speaks about her work at ‘Nature in Mind’ an organisation that gets people out into the open

36 Product Focus

More innovative products to aid independent living

40 OT Fits the Bill

e find out ho is finding a place within the West Midlands Police

45 Helping Displaced People

How can OT help with the increasing refugee crisis?

51 Helping Develop with Play

Two OTs invested in ‘Developmental Play’

53 Children’s Products

The best children’s products on the market

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67 57

Looking for a

new job 29

57 Farm Life

Jamie’s Farm in Wiltshire aim to help children from innercity London

62 Culinary Therapy

OTs are cooking up a storm

65 Hot Topic

OT Lois Addy talks about the importance of handwriting

67 Expert Witness

What are the advantages of becoming an Expert Witness?

73 Student Advice

Dawn Blenkin speaks about the practice of clinical reasoning

75 Find Events for You Upcoming events in 2017

77 Do You Have What It Takes to Become a Case Manager?

Rachel Robinson from ILS guides you through it

70 Let’s Talk Gardens

Social enterprise, Creating Conversations, have created a kit to aid people with dementia


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28/02/2017 17:52

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28/02/2017 12:21

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

Campaign launches to develop deeper understanding of attitudes towards home adaptations


crowdfunding campaign has been launched to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes.

It is hoped insight drawn from the work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently. The campaign, launched on Crowdfunder has been set up by Foundations, the national body for England’s 200 not-forprofit home impro ement agencies Adaptations such as hand rails, level access showers and stair lifts enable people to stay in their own homes. Research published by Foundations has found adaptations can delay entry into residential care by four years. But very little research has examined people’s attitudes towards adaptations. For example, what would spur a person to seek help to adapt their home? What factors ould influence ho they uture proo a property to ensure they can stay put even if their health deteriorates? The aim of this research is to better

Simple Stuff Simple Stuff Works, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of sleep positioning systems and associated training packages is delighted to announce the launch of its Bed in a Bag daytime solution. To celebrate this launch, the Bed in a Bag will be available at the special introductory cost

understand the motivations and expectations of people when they are looking to adapt their home, and what information and support they need to make a decision.

cases will require a lower level of social care. But we need to develop a better understanding of what motivates people to seek an adaptation and gauge the level of awareness out there of the support already on offer.

We know that adaptations and other support can not only help older people to remain in their own homes but live longer, healthier independent lives. Paul Smith, director of Foundations, said: “We have an ageing population and growing pressure on health and social care services. “We know that adaptations and other support can not only help older people to remain in their own homes but live longer, healthier, independent lives. People are less likely to be hospitalised and in many

“Supporters of our crowdfunding campaign will enable us to do that and in doing so help home improvement agencies and other support organisations to develop their services and enable more people to enjoy the enefits o adapted homes The campaign, which runs until March 31, is seeking to raise £14,500 to fund the research and there are a number of sponsorship opportunities available to supporters. The Crowdfunder page can be found here: -views-on-home-adaptations-for-disability. The 13-week research project will be carried out by Years Ahead, a consultancy that specialises in independent living, and will involve between 350 and 500 people.

Works launches bed in a bag of just £500 plus VAT which is a huge saving against similar products. Weighing just 6.55kg, the Bed in a Bag has been designed by the Simple Stuff Works team to offer a cost effective, portable solution that can be used in a multitude of locations. Being so portable and lightweight, children in SEN schools, clinics and domestic settings can enefit rom this latest solution from Simple Stuff Works

and private therapists can now ensure more of their clients can also reap the rewards of correct therapeutic sleep positioning. There is also a smaller cot bed version which will be available at a special introductory cost of just £450 plus VAT. For more information on the full range of therapeutic positioning solutions and training available from Simple Stuff Works call 01827 307 870, email or visit


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28/02/2017 16:39



Sport for confidence programme recognised for success in the delivery of preventative health care


port or onfidence, a specialist company dedicated to the pro ision o physical acti ity programmes hich deli er occupational outcomes to people ith and ithout learning disa ilities, has een recognised in the Allied ealth ro essionals nto Action strategy document pu lished y ngland he ne strategy, launched y the hie Allied ealth ro essions ficer A or ngland, u anne astric , sets out ho the , indi iduals across the Allied ealth ro essional A groups in ngland, including occupational therapists, dieticians, orthoptists, paramedics and physiotherapists, can e at the ore ront o inno ati e changes to patient care and help to shape uture health policy u anne astric , says Allied ealth pro essionals into Action demonstrates a shared commitment to ma e greater use o the ull range o allied health pro essionals in all aspects o ser ice deli ery to promote the adoption o ne ays o or ing across the health and care system and to improve patient care.” he ne guidance pro ides a lueprint or linical ommissioning roups, pro ider organisations, health leaders and local authorities to ully in ol e A s in trans ormation programmes and the deli ery o ngland s i e ear or ard ie t o ers e amples o A s or ing to dri e and support change y or ing inno ati ely port or onfidence is included as a case study hich demonstrates the significant cost sa ing to the y in esting in its

unding grant rom u lic ealth sse pea ing a out the inclusion in the strategy document, yndsey arrett, says o ha e our programmes success ormally recognised in this ay is incredi ly re arding and is testament to the hard or and dedication o our team

programme o pre entati e care rather than treating long term sic ness and incapacity to work. ounded and led y yndsey arrett, a senior occupational therapist, and tephen itchell, a learning and de elopment pro essional, port or onfidence or s in partnership ith leisure pro iders and local authorities to place occupational therapists ne t to sports coaches, deli ering physical acti ity sessions at mainstream leisure centres or ing closely ith community teams, including day centres and care homes, and other A s including physiotherapists and community learning disa ilities teams, port or onfidence runs a range o sports and physical acti ity sessions ia leisure centres across sse , attracting more than participants per month All sessions are paid or y the indi iduals and the programme is supported y a ,

ur am ition is to place an occupational therapist in e ery leisure centre in the country inancial e aluations ha e pro ed that this method o pre entati e healthcare can sa e the up to per indi idual across a session period his is significant hen multiples are applied n ol ing ust , participants in our programme could sa e the more than million Allied ealth ro essionals into Action too a colla orati e approach and in ited A s and the ider health, social and care or orce to contri ute ia an online plat orm to air their ie s ore than , indi idual contri utions rom , people ere put or ard in this ay he strategy, hich places emphasis on the alue o pre entati e healthcare, aligns per ectly to aroness anni rey hompson s appeal at the u acti e ational ummit in o em er o last year At the e ent, he aroness called or o ernment to in est in ailing leisure centres across the country to ma e then fit or purpose and a le to or ith community health and care pro essionals to deli er pre entati e health care programmes hich ta e the strain o the struggling

Looking for a new job? Keeping up to date with all the latest jobs in the OT sector can be an arduous affair. Now at The OT Magazine we’ve made it much easier for you to bag that dream job with our new careers service. This can be found on our website ( where we


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have a constant stream of the most up-to-date jobs from across the UK. You can sign up for a mail out as well and we can email you directly every two weeks with the latest jobs. If you want to find obs easier then et across to the website and check out what’s on offer.

28/02/2017 16:48



Pivotell Advance GSM pill dispenser plus Jointly app


aking sure that someone has taken their medication can be stressful, especially when supporting someone at a distance. This new solution from Pivotell plus Carers UK combines the latest technology in pill dispensers with the Jointly care coordination app, to deliver reassurance and peace of mind to families and carers. Developed by Carers UK Jointly is an online and mobile care coordination application designed to make caring for someone easier, less stressful and more organised by making communication and

coordination between those who share the care as easy as a text message. Now users can link the Pivotell Advance GSM automatic pill dispenser with Carers UK’s Jointly care coordination app and recei e alert notifications hen a dose is dispensed or missed, along with other alerts that may require action. Families can receive and store these messages in one central place and share them with everyone involved in someone’s care. Alert messages can be sent in the following instances to the Jointly circle: • Dose not taken (halfway through the alarm time, to allow time to prompt) and dose not taken (at end of alarm time) • Dose dispensed – an alert which also confirms that the user is acti e • Also four doses only remaining in the tray / Dispenser has been left upside down / Low battery / Device error • Jointly works on iPhone, iPad, Android devices and on most modern web browsers (home computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) With Jointly, users can create a circle of care for the person being looked after, combining a number of key features in a single tool and keeping everyone in the loop.

Get online with the OT app...


t The OT Magazine we are always looking for new ways to develop your favourite occupational therapy magazine. Out every two months, the app features all the latest products, in-depth features, industry news, personal profiles and up-to-date information on events and exhibitions that you find in the magazine but you can download it to your mobile phone or tablet to read on the go. The app is available free of charge and can be downloaded now and read at your leisure.

Free conference for private OTs Yorkshire Care Equipment are hosting a free conference exclusively for private ots and case managers based in the North of England. The YORTRAIN Private OT and Case Manager Conference will be held on April 25 at the picturesque Wetherby Racecourse. YORTRAIN organiser and Yorkshire Care Equipment’s marketing director, Tristan Hulbert said: “We’re delighted that the conference has grown to the point where we’ll now fill the Conference Centre at Wetherby Racecourse. We’ve got more speakers than ever before and we want to maintain our 100% satisfaction rating!” With an impressive list of speakers that will cover a wide array of topics, there is sure to be something to suit everyone. From hoisting solutions and hydrotherapy pools, to writing medical legal reports and marketing tips to build your client base, YORTRAIN will encourage you in a variety of ways you may have never considered before. There will be an extensive range of equipment on show to be tried and tested by the attendees so that they can have hands-on experience and understand the full benefits of each piece to see how it would be useful in a variety of situations. YORTRAIN will also provide attendees with the ability to network and connect with one another, to exchange ideas and source solutions. Not to mention that the entire event is free – including free lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Book your place on the YORTRAIN Private OT and Case Managers Conference by visiting You can follow them on Twitter @ Yorkshire_Care, and like them on Facebook @YorkshireCareEquipment. Alternatively, the Yorkshire Care Equipment team can be contacted on 01423 799960 or via


07-10_WhatsNew.indd 9


28/02/2017 17:57



Which? Elderly Care New support for reablement practitioners A new system has been launched to provide support to practitioners working in reablement. The Daily Living System, from activity monitoring experts, Just Checking, has een de eloped specifically or reablement and has been tested by OTs and other professionals working in the sector. As an individual goes about their daily routine, the Daily Living System creates a clear summary of activity that can be viewed securely online. This information provides unbiased evidence of an individual’s progress during reablement, supporting goal-based assessments. It can create e ficiencies or practitioners and help to ensure that individuals get the support they need. The Daily Living System comprises a unique combination of small movement and activity sensors that are positioned around the home on doors, skirting boards and objects such as the kettle, fridge, microwave and taps. The system’s unique sequencing tool means that the sensors are able to detect when an individual successfully completes a task that has been set as part of their reablement, such as making a hot drink or having a shower. Every time the task is successfully undertaken it is shown on an easy to read, secure online chart. The Daily Living System also gives practitioners evidence of an individual’s movement around the home, and will show, for example, if they had a disturbed night or when they visited the bathroom. It provides OTs with an assessment tool that runs continually and helps identify where support is required. There are no cameras or microphones, just discreet wireless movement door and activity sensors with a plug-in hub. The sensors are simple to attach around the property and the hub only needs an electrical supply. No internet connection is required as the system operates with a roaming mobile sim. The Daily Living System supports the principle of safeguarding against


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Deprivation of Liberty (and freedom) Safeguards (DoLS) outlined in the Mental Capacity Act (2005). Occupational therapists taking part in testing found that the Daily Living System provided remote visibility of individuals’ progress against their specific o ecti es, with evidence that an objective had been achieved and over what time period, without having to obtain information from other care staff. This visibility provided them with evidence to support their care recommendations. Just Checking movement monitoring systems are already used successfully by 80% of local authorities to assess people with dementia who are living alone. The new Daily Living System builds on this expertise to deliver an assessment tool that is specifically designed to support the reablement process. Use of the Daily Living System also includes access to the Just Checking customer support team, who are available to assist practitioners with the placement of sensors and reading of the charts, if necessary. Occupational therapist, Rosie Goy says: “The Daily Living System supports OTs working in reablement, helping with assessments by giving unbiased evidence of the progress being made. It’s made particularly easy to use by the feature that shows when a hot drink has been made or other daily living tasks have been carried out. It saves time and helps ensure that individuals get the support they need.” For further information on the Daily Living System visit professionals/reablement or contact 01564 785 100 or Just Checking will be at Naidex on stand B40 and are offering a special introductory discount on the Daily Living System when 10 subscriptions are purchased by April 30th.

Which? Elderly Care is a free online site ( that provides information for older people and their families seeking advice about all aspects of care. It co ers e erything rom financing care to housing options; from ways to help older people stay at home safely to support for family carers. In addition, the site has a searchable directory of care homes and domiciliary agencies across the UK, which is powered by data from the four UK regulators and, for those providers in England, includes CQC inspection ratings. The regularly updated directory is seen as a great ay to help ith those di ficult conversations about recommending care providers. The site has gone from strength to strength and has received a huge amount of feedback about its value as a signposting tool. At the OT Show last November, for example, many OT professionals spoke of how the site helps their patients and their families to navigate this uncertain time. Among its wide-ranging advice, the site guides patients and their families through preparing for needs and financial assessments understanding the implications of the means test threshold; falls prevention and what to do in the event of a fall; choosing a care provider at home or a care home and the enefits and allo ances that are available for older people and carers. There’s also insightful information about products to help people remain independent at home and, for larger pieces of equipment, such as mobility scooters and stairlifts, there are online reviews available for Which? members. Which? Elderly Care will be attending the College of Occupational Therapists’ annual con erence in une o find out more about how the free service can help you, your patients and their families, visit their stand at the event, or get in touch through email

28/02/2017 16:40

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28/02/2017 12:22

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This Month...

The art of communication

Are we talking to the right people?

Kate Sheehan

Kate is director of The OT Service. The company 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 their handpicked network of occupational therapists. For more information email


ast week I attended an excellent study day run by The College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section in Housing and two sessions very much resonated with me, along with the recent article written by Marney Walker in The OT Magazine in October on ‘who are we communicating with’ (

minimum a smoke detector in the hallway and a heat detector in the kitchen, however if you have a client with limited mobility and they spend most of their time in one room, e.g. the lounge, then there must be one placed in that room as well. The second presentation was by Lauren Walker, a housing OT from Greenwich on Secured by Design (SBD). This is a national police project, started in 1998 with the brief of trying to design out crime in our local communities. They work with architects to check that new and refurbished buildings are designed to minimise crime and create safe and secure neighborhoods. They also work with manufacturers to develop and accredit products that meet the SBD standards.

he first session as rom hys o el and Steve Norman from the London Fire Brigade. They gave us the startling fact that o atal deaths rom fire in the ondon area are vulnerable people already known to statutory services. As occupational therapists, we need to think about this and ask the question ‘can we help to prevent these tragedies happening in the future?’ auren as finding that her specification It made me challenge my own practice. Do was being ignored as it did not meet the , ith consent, in orm the fire rigade o stringent SBD criteria, which was also the vulnerable people in conflict ith I work with? The Approved Document answer to date is no. I would urge you to M (category 3)

If you are in the refer all your vulnerable of the building For same position as clients, with their consent regulations. example complicated me, I would urge to their local fire service fi e point motor you to refer all your for a Home Fire Safety locks, which required vulnerable clients, two handed use to with their consent to Check... operate where being their local fire ser ice installed in new for a Home Fire build against ADM Safety Check requirements and was having the effect fireser ice co u sa et of imprisoning tenants with limited hand This check is free of charge and focuses on function who don’t have the ability to get three key areas: out of their own homes. • Identify and making clients aware of the potential fire ris s in their home • Giving advice on what to do in order to reduce or pre ent any ris s identified • Work with the client to put together an escape plan in case a fire does rea out and make sure they have working smoke alarms. Further on into their presentation, te e discussed the need or fire prevention to be part of our design and adaptation specification o o ten do we communicate this essential need with the architects, surveyors or builders we work with? Did you know that there are recommendations on what to specify which is clearly identified in ritish tandards 35839. We should be specifying as

Lauren sought out the people involved and was asked to present to the SBD police o ficers on the di ficulties that as having on her clients and following this session there has been ongoing dialogue, communication and compromise to meet as many people’s needs, but still provide a safe environment to live in - effective communication at its best. Which brings me back to Marney’s article, where her critical point was ‘knowledge exchange is essential to effective communication’; it raises awareness not only of our clients’ needs but also that of our profession. So, let’s keep talking and communicating in a language we all understand.


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Mental Health


By Alison Seymour


lison Seymour, an occupational therapy lecturer at Cardiff University has been involved in the world of occupational therapy for 34 years. She found her calling in the area of mental health and found a niche specialism in eating disorders within the community mental health team. Now working in higher education, she continues her interest in eating disorders through teaching occupational therapy students as well

as carrying out PhD research into the nature of the therapeutic relationship with adults with anorexia nervosa. In addition, Alison is a member of a locally-based special interest group for occupational therapists working in specialist eating disorder services which focuses on sharing best practice, research and training. She speaks to us about the effect eating disorders have on people and what occupational therapy can do to combat this. ›


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28/02/2017 16:41


HEALTH What are eating disorders (EDs)? It is important to say that EDs are serious mental health conditions. Although most people, particularly women, will experience some dissatisfaction with their weight or body image, when we talk about EDs in a clinical sense, conditions such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa are often enduring, debilitating and life threating. In fact, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all the mental health disorders. Eating disorders primarily affect young women aged 12- 25, although it is not unusual for eating disorders to appear in middle age. It is estimated that 11-20% of those with eating disorders are male.

How do they affect people? Eating disorders affect all aspects of a person’s life. Physically, people can suffer from symptoms caused by low weight and starvation or laxative use and self-induced vomiting. These may include dental problems, heart arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalances, digestive and bowel problems as well as cessation of the menstrual cycle, infertility and osteoporosis in later life. Psychologically, people commonly suffer from low self-esteem, feelings o shame, interpersonal di ficulties, deficits in cogniti e unctioning, anxiety and depression. Socially, individuals can become very isolated, often avoiding friends, family and social occasions. From an occupational

therapy perspective, eating disorders affect all domains of occupations including personal self-care, eating, meal shopping and preparation; leisure interests and hobbies and productivity, particularly the ability to work or attend school or university.

What is the correlation between EDs and mental health issues? The term ‘eating disorders’ is a generic name for a range of clinically significant eating eha iours commonly classified under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) system (Palmer 2014). The classification defines the most commonly known eating disorder categories as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder (DSM-5 2013). These eating disorders are serious and enduring mental conditions which often have co morbidity with other complex mental health conditions such as depression, substance misuse and personality disorder.

therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT); interventions are often practical, focused on function and delivered in the person’s environment.

What are the first ste s to helping a client with an ED? As well as getting to know the person, it is important to gain an understanding of the eating disorder and what its function is in the person’s life. Clients value being listened to in a non-judgmental way and this is the foundation on which the therapeutic relationship is built; this is vital in the early stages of engagement in occupational therapy.

How do OTs assist people with EDs? Working as part of a multidisciplinary team, OTs’ primary focus will be on the occupational impact of an eating disorder. They will often use an occupational therapy theoretical model of practice to underpin their assessments, planning and interventions such as the Model of Human Occupation (Kielhofner 2008). Utilising approaches such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioural

As well as getting to know the person, it is important to gain an understanding of the eating disorder and what its function is in the person’s life.



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HEALTH How important is OT to people with EDs? How does it benefit the client

that clients o ten find tolera le and achievable, which can give them hope for potential change.

Very. Eating disorders affect all aspects of an individual’s life. Although other professionals within a team may focus on the medical aspects of the eating disorder, the occupational therapist offers a unique role in working with the occupational impacts the eating disorder has on the individual. Working in a client-centered and holistic ay has many enefits or people with eating disorders as illustrated by case studies, however it is not without its challenges. The OT needs to continually weigh up the enefits o occupation against the risks posed, these risks will differ in different settings and at different stages in the individual’s illness. Occupational therapists are skilled at occupational and activity analysis and it is taking this graded approach

Working as part of a team is vital, as is making sure that as an occupational therapist you have appropriate supervision and support systems. Although the numbers of OTs working in eating disorders are relatively small, they are developing and I have always found networking and attending events and training with other OTs to be valuable, not only in improving my practice and knowledge but also the support this offers. Working in eating disorders is not for everyone, it can be extremely challenging, personally as well as professionally. However, in my experience I found that working with people over an extended period of time, really getting to know them and their families and seeing them achie e goals that made a significant difference to their lives was extremely satisfying. 

› Case Study

Provided by Christine Nixon , specialist occupational therapist

Helena* was a young woman referred to the occupational therapist in a specialist Tier 3 eating disorder team. She was a PhD student who was struggling to complete her research and felt like a failure. Her eating disorder had become more pronounced and she was also expressing depressive symptoms. As part of the occupational therapy assessment she completed an Occupational Circumstances Assessment Interview Rating Scale (Forsyth et al 2005). Through this she revealed a love of literature and that she had also previously worked for a supermarket which she had really enjoyed. However, she felt she was being pushed to complete her academic studies but this was making her feel trapped and inadequate. Using a problem solving approach the OT discussed a variety of options with Helena, exploring all the pros and cons of the choices and wishes that she had. Leaving her to consider these, in their next meeting

Helena had made her own decision to continue and complete her PhD, but said that she had only been able to make this decision because she had realised that she had choices and she could make these herself. In addition, the OT looked at Helena’s patterns of restrictive eating with her and although she had a lot of insight, her diet was very bland and limited. A process of introducing new foods based on increasing the range of colour into her diet was achieved through breaking this down into small, achievable goals that Helena set herself. Alongside this she developed a wellness recovery plan with the OT that identified her triggers and goals to keeping herself well. In evaluating her OT intervention Helena felt that the non-judgmental approach of the OT as well as developing an achievable plan that including her choices was helpful to her. A previous attempt at engaging with a CBT therapist had not worked as Helena felt the expectations were too high.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the client

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Is there a typical day for an OT working with EDs? My colleagues working in specialist eating disorder teams laughed when I asked them this question. No day is typical. Saying that, the sorts of things they might be involved in on a day-to-day basis include the following: • Seeing people in their own home or community environment to carry out individual interventions: these may involve supporting individuals to carry out practical tasks such as planning meals, food shopping and preparation, visiting a local café or exposing someone to a social or leisure activity. • Exploring the motivation to change with individuals as part of their assessment or ongoing treatment. This may involve exploring the function of the eating disorder in the person’s life, exploring life goals or imagining what life may be like without an eating disorder. • Running therapeutic groups, for example a body image group, a contemplation for change group, developing quality of life domains, life skills and learning how to manage distress such as in a DBT skills group. • Attending clinical management team meetings and supporting other professionals working with people with eating disorders in other settings such as the local community mental health team, inpatient setting or school in the case of young people with eating disorders. • Supporting carers: this may involve education and normalising about the eating disorder, for example, considering normal eating patterns and how best to support the individual with this. • Carrying out education and training for other professionals. • Liaising between the service tiers for example, primary and secondary care services through to specialist inpatient treatment settings, to plan and manage care for an individual. • a ing time to reflect, liaise ith the team, writing up notes and plan interventions.



28/02/2017 16:41

Product focus


Products Reviews

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

Raiser Lifting Cushion

Price available on request The Raiser Lifting Cushion is a discreet lifting device specifically designed to help get someone in and out of a chair. Lightweight and easy to use, the Raiser gives clients the support they need in their own homes without the need to change lounge furniture or for expensive installations. Powered using an Airflo compressor, the cushion is inflated at the touch of a button and can be used with most chairs. The Raiser is portable so can be used when staying away or even to give a little extra lift when getting out of a car. It can also help someone off a bed or out of a wheelchair.

Mangar | 0800 2800 485

CareCo Aspen Rise Recliner

Price: £358.80 with next day delivery CareCo’s own occupational therapist has endorsed this riser recliner chair as a real aid to help people reclaim their independence. It has been designed with accurate comfort and pressure relief for back, shoulders and neck as well as great styling.The smooth and quiet single motor is operated with a big- buttoned handset that responds to the lightest touch and offers gentle motion to easily raise the user to a standing position or lower to a comfortable seating position without strain on arms or wrists. It also has a fully adjustable footrest and back rest. Available in soft and durable terracotta, biscuit or mushroom.

Careco 0800 111 4774



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28/02/2017 09:37

The Harlem Porter Chair

The latest OT products reviewed for you every month

Price available on request The Harlem Porter chair is a highly-engineered chair designed to be robust enough to absorb uncontrolled movements. It has been designed to offer a versatile solution for patients with Huntington’s and Kate Sheehan, one of the UK’s leading independent OTs oversaw trials at Rapkyns Care Home with Mike Wooldridge. Available in small, medium and large, the Harlem Porter has a maximum user weight of 20 stone. Standard features include an independent back rest recline with a range of angles and seat angle adjustment to reduce the risk of a patient falling out due to severe involuntary movements. There is also a deep padded seat area for additional safety and comfort, a choice of six interchangeable back styles facilitating different pressure management and posture solutions and four different seat cushion options to accommodate different comfort and pressure management solutions. Further safety features include high arms and a sliding padded footplate for ease of patient movement.

0844 7766001

CareCo Glider Price: ÂŁ59.99

A rollator is the perfect solution for those who need assistance to leave the house and get around. The professionally-designed Glider incorporates excellent features to offer high levels of support and comfort. The Glider has easy-grip ergonomic handles and arthritic-friendly loop cable brakes for extra security when stopping. Other features include a neat storage bag plus a folding mechanism that is quick and easy to use and folds the Glider down to a fraction of its size for storage or transport.

Careco | 0800 111 4774


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28/02/2017 16:49

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28/02/2017 12:22

Adam Ferry

UK Therapy Services

Adam Ferry is an occupational therapist in both the statutory and independent sectors. He is also co-founder of UK Therapy Services. With combined experience of over 30 years, UK Therapy Services specialises in pro iding high quality occupational therapy assessment, rehabilitation and consultancy pac ages or the private, statutory and business sectors. n this regular eature, Adam explores and reviews products he e periences in practice, gi ing insight and reflection to those ho may enefit You can contact Adam on or visit for more information.

Felgains Raizer lifting chair


he ai er i ting hair, supplied y elgains, is designed to acilitate the safe and easy transfer of someone who has fallen and would otherwise be una le to get up I saw the Raizer demonstrated at The OT ho and as intrigued y its design What initially impressed me was the way in which at no point did the user feel unsecure or that they ere eing done to heir eet ere in contact ith the floor at all times hich added to the eeling o security t is light eight and easy to assem le around the person on the floor, ad ertised as eing a le to acilitate the trans er in three minutes including assem ly and there is absolutely no physical effort required from either the aller or user hich significantly reduces risks musculoskeletal injury.

Product Key Benefits • Quick, safe and stable operation minimises distress and discomfort for the person who has fallen. Their feet maintain contact ith the floor throughout the li ting process • Ease of assembly and speed of operation allows a fast emergency response typical operation including assem ly is about three minutes.

n first impression, as unsure a out seat depth, particularly or anyone e en slightly larger and ho secure they ould eel during the trans er process ould also e ery interested in seeing it tried y someone ith lo er lim paralysis as although in theory it ould not change the positi e outcomes I saw, it certainly adds different dimensions.

• A supportive back and seated position enables one-person operation, sa ing oth time and money.

There are a number of products on the mar et pro iding a solution to this pro lem but few are as potentially effective. Even the greater cost could e ustified y one person operation which reduces care costs.

• It is assembled around the person and li ts in an upright chair position for a very natural and dignified trans er

loo or ard to seeing the ai er ith a ider audience ho ha e arying degrees o physical need.

• No physical effort is required to operate so there is significantly less risk of musculoskeletal injury to carers.

he ai er is light eight and very easy to transport.


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28/02/2017 16:45

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28/02/2017 12:23 02/02/2017 14:10


Brave Matilda’s Safe Home A

couple from Wigan has spent more than £50,000 of their life savings on transforming their home to make life easier for their daughter who has a rare skin condition which requires laser treatment that leaves her with ‘polka dots’ all over the face. Paul Callaghan and his wife Rebecca have made huge changes to the threebedroom semi-detached property they share in Leigh to help Matilda, who has a rare neurological and skin disorder called Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS) and almost died when she was born. Matilda, who was six last month, has a rare birthmark which covers all her face and the right side of her body and has regular laser treatment to stop it from growing. The distinct ‘polka dot’ marks are bruising caused by the lasers which burn the blood capillaries under her skin to prevent the mark from growing and becoming deformed. The birthmark is also internal so it affects Matilda’s brain, eyes and gums. She may have to have treatment every two months until she is 16 to prevent the birth mark from growing. SWS, which affects around 14 children in the UK every year, has caused the little girl visual impairment, epilepsy, glaucoma and paralysis in her left side. Matilda was also born with two holes in her heart and a pouch in her throat and required life-saving surgery when she was a baby. She also has digestion problems caused by Tracheoesophageal Fistula which means she was born without a tube from her throat to her stomach so doctors had to build one for her. Matilda has had more than 30 operations and is due to have more laser treatment on

her face this month. Rebecca is Matilda’s full-time carer. The Callaghans have spent thousands on extending the upstairs of their home and putting in a large bedroom and sensory room – a special room designed to develop Matilda’s sense through special lighting, objects and music – and a wet room. They have also built a completely new kitchen which has been designed around the focal point of the room – Matilda’s unique home lift, manufactured by UK-based company Stiltz Lifts, which Paul found online.

Anyone who has children will tell you that when you see them smile it means the world to you. The Callaghans wanted to make their home as ‘accessible as possible’ for Matilda but did not want to turn it into a house with ‘stereotypical disabled products’. The innovative home lift is a good example of this. At a cost of around £14,000, the Stiltz Trio Home Lift is compact but spacious enough to accommodate Matilda’s four-wheel Veldink Kiddo Classic children’s wheelchair which the family bought after raising £5,000 earlier this year via GoFundMe. The house project has taken the Callaghans almost 18 months to complete but Paul says it has been worth every penny to make life as comfortable as possible for Matilda.


Paul, 50, is a builder by trade, so did a lot of the work on the house himself which helped to keep costs down. The £50,000 cost of the renovation works has come from the Callaghans life savings with some help from Wigan Council. He said: “We wanted to make the house as accessible and normal as possible for Matilda without turning it into a ‘disabled house’. “Matilda has multiple disabilities but we didn’t want to highlight that. The style of the home lift is not obviously for disabled people and shies away from the prejudice towards people with disabilities. It is something we can all use. “I’m in the building trade so I did a lot of the work on the house myself. Now it is finished, it seems a orld a ay rom where we were three years ago. We’ve got a long road to go and Matilda still has many complications but we know a lot more about her problems now than we did then. “Matilda has had more than 30 operations and is so brave. She is our little miracle. We wanted the best for her and to make her life easier. “We never thought she would make it hen she as first orn so e ha e come a long way. The changes we have made to the house – especially the lift which has made a massive difference as she is getting heavier now – have all hopefully made Matilda’s life more comfortable. “Anyone who has children will tell you that when you see them smile it means the world to you. Matilda cannot speak or walk so when she does smile it tells us that hopefully we are doing something right.” 


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28/02/2017 17:59

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28/02/2017 12:23

Day in the

A day in the life of...


Shannon Elder About Shannon

Shannon Elder is a specialist mental health occupational therapist working in Paisley’s Royal Alexandra Hospital in Renfrewshire. The 29-yearold studied occupational therapy at Glasgow Caledonian University and graduated in 2011.

What is your current job role? Specialist mental health occupational therapist.

Describe a typical day…

moti ation or lac o confidence As a senior member of a multidisciplinary team there are also generic mental health assessments to take place. These are to ensure that clients first re erred to the older adult community mental health team are seen in a timely manner and discussed at a multi-disciplinary team meeting in order to establish what is the best discipline to meet the needs of the client whether it be occupational therapy, community psychiatric nurses, physiotherapy or mental health support workers.

Working in a community team, a typical day involves home visits. After catching up with emails, messages and telephone calls in the morning my first home isit is out at a client who was referred to occupational therapy for anxiety management What is the support. Being able to use my The client hardest part had been skills and knowledge of your job? experiencing to have an impact on a Undoubtedly anxiety symptoms which prevented person’s day-to-day life the hardest part is identifying a her participating is immeasurable decline in a in activities client’s abilities she previously because of their enjoyed. I have degenerative illness. The nature of been supporting dementia means that the progression the client to re-attend her can e uic hich can e di ficult to local group - we have agreed a o ser e can t imagine ho di ficult treatment plan where I will support this must be for the client’s family and her to attend the first t o groups friends. Thereafter she will attend independently and feed back to OT What is the best how she feels after attending the group. part of your job? The next home visit is to carry out a functional assessment in the form of an AMPS (assessment of motor and processing skills) with a client who was referred to occupational therapy via the consultant psychiatrist. The client had a hypoxic brain injury. Following her discharge from hospital there has een significant cogniti e de ects identified he consultant psychiatrist has looked to occupational therapy to carry out an assessment to establish a baseline level of functioning to identify any issues with cognition or indeed

Being able to use my skills and knowledge to have an impact on a person’s day-to-day life is immeasurable. Whether it be providing an external banister so that a client can leave their home independently to attend a group they enjoy or giving advice to the family of a dementia client regarding memory prompts to enable the person to live safely at home. Something that we can see as small can have a big impact on a person’s day-to-day life. 


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28/02/2017 16:49



Heavy Duty

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28/02/2017 12:23




outstanding innovation


anet aylor as the orthy recipient o the utstanding nno ation a ard at the ho A ards anet is a paediatric occupational therapist at er yshire ealthcare oundation rust, and her hand s ills programme is addressing the issue o fine motor s ills in children he told us more a out her ourney o occupational therapy and her ingenious inno ation that on her this prestigious pri e

How did you get into OT? My mother worked as the administrati e o ficer or the ccupational herapy epartment at our local hospital hen as young, used to go and meet her a ter school and in the holidays and as al ays ascinated y the aids and e uipment in the department ur neigh our as the hospital s lead occupational therapist and she used to tell me stories a out ho her team had helped patients regain s ills and independence thin it as the creati e ays o pro lem sol ing and thin ing outside the o in order to help people hich really appealed to me

paediatric occupational therapist or a large geographical area and gained e perience ith early years, specialist schools and children s urns ometime a ter, mo ed to anchester here uilt on my e perience or ing ith early years and school age children in a large multi disciplinary child de elopment team

How did you get into your area of OT? A ter completing a rotation post at the ueen s edical entre in ottingham mo ed to arrogate, or shire, to underta e a senior post in orthopaedics a role ery much en oyed, ut it also ga e me the chance to or in the child de elopment unit there A e years later mo ed to um ria, north est ngland, ith my hus and here, despite applying or a medical reha position undertoo a post in paediatrics a ter the lead occupational therapist pleaded ith me to do so ere as the lone

he hand s ills programme helps children ith their motor s ills

uring these years as ery ortunate to enefit rom training opportunities such as o ath neurode elopmental therapy, sensory integration therapy and ra elton neonatal assessment urthermore, as luc y enough to attend the first international con erence or conducti e education in udapest

What is a typical day for you like? he est part o the or is that there is no typical day e ery day is di erent and rings ith it ne challenges o gi e a fla our o some o my or , the main areas ocus on are assessing children ho struggle ith hand s ills, hand riting, and sel care acti ities through clinics, and ointly or ing ith physiotherapy colleagues to assess and support children e periencing gross and fine motor di ficulties or ith a diagnosis o de elopmental coordination disorder , also no n as dyspra ia Additionally, can o ten e ound isiting local schools and homes identi ying e uipment needed to ena le children to e more independent throughout their school li e his includes seating, toilet aids, hoisting slings, po ered heelchairs and e en assessing s imming pools so disa led pupils are not e cluded rom attending s imming classes ith their peers also share my no ledge ith parents and carers y leading a parent sensory group hich teaches a out the sensory di ficulties children may e perience and hat can e done to help › www.

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28/02/2017 16:46


WINNER I wanted to create something easily accessible by school staff and parents - a toolkit that could be implemented easily in a timely manner.... What did you win your award for? I am absolutely delighted to receive the Outstanding Innovation Award. The hand skills programme, Hand Olympics (working title), aims to significantly enhance the prospects of children by empowering teachers and teaching assistants to identify and help pupils ith fine motor pro lems, and show them what activities and exercises will help. The idea is one I’ve been considering for some time now after recognising the decline in our children s fine and gross motor s ills due the significant change in lifestyle which has taken place over recent decades. Fine motor skills are developed from birth – getting them right at an early age remo es di ficulties seen later on in the child’s school career. They are the essential skills we all need, and involve the movement and coordination o small hand and finger muscles. Fine motor skills enable us to do tasks such as holding and using scissors, cutlery and pencils correctly, and fastening buttons and zips to mention just a few.

Please tell us more about this… I wanted to create something easily accessible by school staff and parents – a toolkit that could be implemented easily in a timely manner, rather than it being complicated and requiring time. The teacher, parent or guardian can quickly assess their pupil or child’s hand skills without the need of OT intervention and then implement a variety of activities to help improve their hand movements. Furthermore, Hand Olympics includes supplementary information on how to support a child with using scissors and getting a correct pencil grip. ignificantly, the programme can e 28

27_OTAwardWinner.indd 28


used immediately without the need to wait for an OT referral. Though, of course, if a child continues to struggle a referral can be made to the OT service. The Government’s Physical Literacy Programme for Schools has seen a momentous reduction in referral rates or gross motor di ficulties mo ement and coordination of large body parts such as arms and legs). However, this new package will play its part by filling the gap or fine motor s ills and assisting those whose skills are less ad anced in a timely and e ficient manner.

OT Show judging panel chair Jen Gash particularly commented that the programme “de-medicalises the process” and how early intervention will help to prevent the low selfesteem and are associated with poor school performance and dyspraxia.

s there a s ecific case study you can tell us about? Derby has the largest deaf population outside of London, a community that relies on the use of their hands to communicate through sign language (BSL). As I can sign I am the nominated therapist for any child and family with a hearing impairment and therefore I often attend the Derby Royal School for the Deaf providing OT assessments for children and their families. The school SENCO is very supportive

and together we have implemented a hand skill programme for the early years children and older children ho ha e een identified as re uiring help. It is so rewarding to see children who have previously struggled with classroom acti ities enefit rom practicing hand activities and so be able to fasten buttons and zips, build with Lego, use cutlery and fasten shoelaces etc. They really are superstars!

Who nominated you? My colleague and clinical lead, Susan Krause.

What did it feel like to win? I was astounded! Hand Olympics is something that I had been hoping to produce for some time and with the support of innovation funding from my employer, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, I had the opportunity to develop and write it. I’m delighted that the programme has been so well received and I am thrilled it will be used in schools across the UK soon.

What are your plans for the future? he first step is to pu lish the resource pack to help schools in Derbyshire and eyond significantly enhance the prospects of children. Likewise, I hope paediatric OT teams right across the country can enefit rom the resource too. Future plans: Previously I have been fortunate enough to visit Mwanza in Tanzania and have links with a school in the region which has built a classroom specifically or children ith special needs. I worked there again in summer 2016 and hope to return soon to see what progress has been made and offer support for a residential unit they are eager to open. May need to brush up on my Swahili!

28/02/2017 09:39



The Brotherwood Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Weekend Returns We spoke to James Pitt-Kerby from Brotherwood Vehicle Accessible Wheelchairs to find out more about the upcoming event that they have in April.


e are pleased to announce that the Brotherwood ‘WAV Weekend’ Event will be returning this April Bank Holiday Weekend, giving you the opportunity to explore and drive the UK’s leading range of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles in one place. The Brotherwood ‘WAV Weekend’ Event will also include the launch of our brand new, exclusive ‘Klastar’ Mercedes-Benz V-Class conversion, which promises to be our most lu urious and refined A to date ith a lo , le el floor con ersion offering 57” of internal headroom, a unique Brotherwood Powered Ramp system, high specification and a choice of powerful diesel engines in conjunction with the Mercedes-Benz 7G-Tronic automatic transmission for a smooth, effortless drive. Hosted at the exceptional Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford, Somerset, with its huge exhibits of exotic and historical cars and motorbikes, the Brotherwood WAV Weekend will give you the chance to discuss your needs with our accessibility experts in person and

browse our entire range of accessible cars. Brotherwood will also have a limited number of passes to the Motor Museum to give away to clients who take a test drive across the weekend. With excellent disabled access and facilities - and conveniently located alongside the A303 just 30 minutes from junction 25 of the M5 - The Haynes International Motor Museum is the UK’s largest collection of the greatest cars from around the world. The Museum currently offers 19 individual exhibitions and it is very much a “Museum in Motion” with tours, talks and activities for families, children and enthusiasts alike. Packed with precious metal, the Haynes International Motor Museum is truly a world-class motor museum. Readers of the OT Magazine can register for tickets to the VIP Launch Day on Friday, 28th April by visiting www.brotherwood. com/rsvp or by calling Brotherwood on 01935 872603. You can also follow Brotherwood on Facebook for further updates.

Event Details • VIP Day Friday: 28th April 2017 10am-4pm by RSVP • Open Days: Saturday 29th and Sunday, 30th April 2017 • Venue: Haynes International Motor Museum, Somerset • Explore the UK’s leading range of WAVs • See the launch of the new Brotherwood MercedesBenz V-Class • Discuss your clients’ transport needs with expert advisors • Explore the world-class Motor Museum


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28/02/2017 18:40

Nature in


Nature in mind

Nature in Mind is funded by The Big Lottery and works closely with local voluntary organisations and health and social care providers to help more eo le in ottin ham cit benefit rom en a ement with nature-related activities. Their occupational therapist, Naomi Martin, tells us more.


he project delivers what is known as ‘eco-therapy’ or ‘green care’. What distinguishes green care from other social or communitybased approaches to wellbeing is the belief that the green component is fundamental to it. It’s a collective term used to describe a variety of nature-based interventions for indi iduals ith a defined social or medical need, as opposed to nature-based health promotion activities for the general population. There are lots of theories as to why contact with nature is effective. The ‘Biolphilia Hypothesis’ suggests that connection with nature is an integral need which we are genetically pre-disposed to. Gardner refers to this as ‘natural intelligence’ and suggests than an a finity to nature and its processes were characteristics required by our ancestors for survival. Attention restoration theory asserts that people can concentrate better after spending time in, or even just looking at, scenes of nature. There are also enefits to e gained rom


30-32_NatureinMind.indd 30


the absorption of vitamin D and production of endorphins during outdoor activity. Modern western lifestyles often result in a lack of connection with nature which can be detrimental to health. There is a growing body of evidence which shows that spending time

There is a growing body of evidence which shows that spending time in green spaces reduces stress, anxiety and levels of depression. in green spaces reduces stress, anxiety and levels of depression. It can also improve mood, self-esteem and physical health, help reduce people’s need for medication and overcome feelings of isolation and social exclusion. Adults with enduring mental health problems are one of the most

socially excluded groups in society, experiencing stigma and wide ranging social disadvantage as well as poor physical health. Our participants regularly feed back that attending the project has supported them in meeting new people, developing social s ills and confidence and expanding their social networks. Individuals with mental health problems also experience higher rates of physical illness and lower life expectancy. Being diagnosed with a long term physical condition can have a detrimental impact on a patient’s mental health; over four million people in England with a long-term physical illness will also experience a mental health problem. Getting out in nature is a great way of improving physical health alongside mental wellbeing. Many people who wouldn’t access a gym will happily go out for a walk, bike ride, or get stuck in digging up the potatoes on the allotment! We also cook with produce we have grown and run healthy eating sessions. Although our project is focused on wellbeing, sessions could

28/02/2017 18:03

Nature in


Images: Lisa Stead, Nature in Mind participant

also be tailored to help meet specific physical rehab goals. o green care is truly a holistic approach which can help address social e clusion, poor physical health and poor mental wellbeing. Our activities are run as small, supportive groups and include walking in nature, gardening, conservation, ildli e identification, arts and cra ts, and visits to gardens, farms and nature reserves. We work with a large num er o local community groups and partner organisations to enable us to deliver a varied programme of activities; this also allows us to pool limited resources e are ery fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers from a wide range of backgrounds who help deliver the project and participants are supported to move into a volunteer role should they ish Partnership working also allows us to introduce participants to further opportunities ithin the community We use public transport so people

de elop confidence ith tra elling and learn the routes to places or pro ects they may ish to isit independently in the uture eaching people the enefits o spending time in nature provides them with a sustainable ‘treatment’ and it is hoped that time spent with the group will

enable people to develop the skills and confidence to continue enefitting from nature across their lifetime. he use o nature or impro ing wellbeing and alleviating distress is not a novel one. In the late 1800s the Quakers’ Friends Hospital used nature in the treatment of mental illness and prisons and hospitals ha e historically been associated with having different outdoor therapeutic spaces any s may ha e come across gardening groups in in-patient units, but how many are ma ing use o the ast free resource that is the natural environment? With our holistic approach and skills in grading, adaptation and group work, s are ell placed to e pand and develop the practice of ‘green care’ to support indi iduals in their ourneys o reco ery ›


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28/02/2017 18:05

Nature in


Nature in mind

A Participant’s Perspective By Elaine Parr


ature in Mind has had the most positive effect on my mental health wellbeing, including increased confidence and sel esteem This outcome is even more remarkable when you consider that in February 2008 I was in a coma caused by brain oedema and was not e pected to sur i e ollo ing this I had lost all my memory and apparently was not even able to feed mysel t as at this stage as first sectioned and trans erred to an Acute MHU, twice more in the same year my li e as at ris For the next six years I spent more time as an in patient o an Acute than did at home My last Acute MHU hospital stay lasted almost six months; my daughter, Jo, whose home is in New Zealand, came to my rescue and came over to the UK to ‘rattle some cages’ and got me home Five months later I was able to join ature in ind Donning my walking boots and rambling in the Dark Peak District with NIM awakened a memory of me, free from the encumbrance of psychiatric treatment etc t as as i had reathed resh air or the first time since my coma in remem er clearly that first al The NIM walking group stopped for a lunch break; being a little unsure of myself I sat a distance away from the main group on, the leader,


30-32_NatureinMind.indd 32


approached me and offered me a iscuit rom the pac et in his hand t was such a kind gesture and it had a profound effect on me – kindness had been thin on the ground during my six months in the Acute The leaders, Jon and Mark, volunteers Alan, Barry and Andrew are all kind, empathetic, encouraging, respectful, in ormati e and supporti e In addition there is a sense of camaraderie amongst the participants;

For the next six years I spent more time as an in-patient of an Acute MHU than I did at home. we know when another individual is ‘not having a good day’ and instinctively we know hether to engage or let them e Since joining NIM I have walked up and down dales, ridden on a steam train, conquered climbing walls, rowed in a canoe around a lake, studied insects and birds, assisted OPAL in their research and recording, al ed through fields o ild flo ers, identified ild plants, learnt a out trees, how to identify different species/ buds/leaves, watched water fowl from a hide, created art, made mosaics, made models, made paintings, listened to guides at various art exhibitions and taken part in art workshops and

created my own art based on what we had ust learned I was lucky enough to go on a NIM sponsored six session art course (City Arts ith hris e is ones the artist he first hal o each session as taken up by Chris’s academic approach to art, my first t o sessions ent home with ‘brain strain’ and felt quite drained e hausted o e er, as time went on I became more accustomed to the regime and instead of feeling drained I felt energised both during and a ter each art session he u got as remar a le he end product of the course was an art exhibit displayed in a tall glass cabinet at Nottingham Train Station for all to see These art sessions opened up a new orld to me art as something that had not really engaged ith e ore o see art all around me Not only now can I see the light at the end of the tunnel but I’m actually going down that tunnel to grab the light or mysel his must e hat hope eels li e han you ature n ind ou ha e played an enormous role in my reco ery process I am no longer a ‘revolving door patient’, in the last three years my only admission to an Acute MHU was a three ee stay due to a grie response and lac o support compare this to the previous six years and I will let you do the maths 

28/02/2017 18:03


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28/02/2017 12:24

bo co l l a

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Adapting HOMES

Adapting to challenging times A route to developing a good knowledge of housing adaptations is through targeted training. We talk to the director of Viva Access about the range of housing courses they provide.

Trish Sweeney

Trish is director of Viva Access Ltd. The company specialises in inclusive housing design and provides training and consultancy services on a wide range of housing adaptation and design issues. Viva works with occupational therapy and other services throughout the UK and Ireland and has a well-established reputation in this field Get in touch with Trish for more information: 07909-582491 Twitter: @Viva_Access

Tell us a little about Viva Access? We’re a training company that specialises in accessible housing. All our consultant trainers ha e ac grounds in this field and are either OTs, architects, access consultants, grant o ficers or sur eyors e e een delivering housing adaptation and design courses to OT and other services throughout the UK for the past 15 years.

What kind of courses do you offer? Essential topics such as reading plans, ramps, bathroom and kitchen adaptations, designing for wheelchair users, disabled facilities grants and accessible lifts – as well as more specialist subjects such as ‘adapting for children with challenging behaviour’ and ‘housing issues for plus-size (bariatric) users’. Most of our work involves travelling to OT services throughout the UK and delivering training to staff on-site. Additionally, we run a programme of external courses in London, which are open to anyone to attend.

What do you think OTs get from these courses? One of the most frequent comments from delegates is that the training is very relevant and will make a real difference to their practice. This may in part be due to the fact that we always use real case studies in our training (and encourage delegates to bring their own if possible) and we apply a range of methodologies to help them consolidate and apply knowledge gained during the sessions. Delegates also comment on eeling more confident in approaching particular types of adaptation work. We’re conscious most people and services have limited budgets and we try to fit in as much in ormation and s ill uilding into our courses as possible. We often meet delegates, years later, who say they are still using our handouts on a day-to-day basis and finding them in alua le

Do you have any advice to give an OT who is new to adaptation work? here to start you ha e the option, or for an OT service that can provide you with as many learning opportunities as possible and has a team of experienced OTs in place and good systems. Involve yourself in as many aspects of the adaptations process as possible – not only assessment and recommendations, but also the design of the adaptations and the final ollo up so you can gauge what worked well and what might have been done differently. Develop a comprehensive knowledge of adaptations equipment so you can advise clients and families on the best solutions available to them, whether privately or DFG funded. And no matter the pressures on resources, hold onto your all-important clientcentred approach.

What’s in store for Viva Access in 2017? We’re very excited about our new online Housing Discussion Forum, which will be launched in the next couple of months. This will provide a way for OTs all over the UK to connect with each other and post questions and share information about casework and other issues. We’re also continuing to develop our programme of online courses. It kick-started last year with a series of Part M webinars that were very well received and we’re working now to expand the range of housing topics covered. And in the more immediate term, we’re working on a module that addresses the ‘design and adaptation of housing for users with dementia’ and continuing to develop further our courses on challenging behaviour and plus-size (bariatric) users.


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Enhancing OT practice in housing


28/02/2017 16:43

Product focus


Products Reviews

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

Lotion and Cream Applicator Price: £9.30

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STABILO vacuum cushions Prices on request

STABILO allows the therapist or carer to easily adjust the shape to gain the maximum support required.The innovative structure of the cushions allows for preserving shape with various degrees of hardness. These cushions can be modelled like plasticine and, if necessary, the shape can be preserved in the form of a hard shell. By simply using the pressure valve and air pump to re-adjust when needed, the cushions can be moulded and re-issued effortlessly.

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28/02/2017 16:51

The latest OT products reviewed for you every month

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Hooked at the end of the bed, users can use this simple tool to pull themselves up into a sitting position. Using the strap and ladder style grip attached to the bed, it can help users to leave the bed.

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JAY Balance and stability Prices on request

JAY’s market leading and comprehensive range o cushions are highly com orta le, light eight and can accommodate a ide range o mo ility seating re uirements ou can choose et een the A lo luid or ry lotation air insert.

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Prices from £115.26 - £394.08 (ex VAT) If clients are at risk of falls, recommending this fall detector may provide a sense of security and remove the eeling o selflessness he personal alarm orn on the rist or around the nec ma es someone from the Centra Pulse call centre just a touch of a utton a ay t ill trigger a call rom the main unit hich is connected to a landline, hich ill put a client in touch ith someone ho can send help pro iding the pendant is ithin t o the unit

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28/02/2017 18:08

Product focus The latest OT products reviewed for you every month

Tenura Cutlery Grips Prices on request

Set of two grips designed to increase grip and comfort during the use of many dining utensils and various other household implements. The soft, silicone grips increase the handles surface area, improving grip and comfort. Tenura cutlery grips will assist anyone with impairments in strength or grip and allow tasks to be completed with minimal discomfort and frustration. Tenura cutlery grips are produced from 100% silicone, making them non to ic and ree rom fillers such as phthalate plasticisers which could potentially be harmful. Durable and washable, Tenura cutlery grips can be used in domestic and clinical environments to help maintain an independent lifestyle.


Sunken Trampoline Hoist Prices on request

Installed alongside a trampoline, this mobile hoist comes with a discrete in ground socket allowing it to be easily wheeled into position, connected, utilised and then removed. The hoist is battery powered, enabling ease of transfer from wheelchair to trampoline and allowing for a range of motion and reach until now impossible. In addition, the hoist is constructed from stainless steel meaning its size and weight are minimal, allowing for manoeuvrability and ease of storage.

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Prices on request RAZ ATP offers comfortable showering for smaller users. Built from stainless steel for a robust chassis, the chair offers multi-adjustment and growth within its frame. A range of seat heights, seat depths, arm heights and ac rest configurations suit the user and then adjust it over time so it continues to meet their needs. The accessories and modules support those with more demanding posture whilst the viscofoam seat modules are the most comfortable on the market. The ATP will allow access over WCs and comes ith a commode pan, hilst a tilt in space range provides outstanding comfort and safety in the shower.

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Daily Living Aids to Help Maintain Independent Living

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Innovative care equipment with professional installation

28/02/2017 12:25












OT fits the bill Sarah Cavendish is an OT who previously worked in secure care for the NHS and charitable organisations. Alongside a lecturing post at Coventry University she is a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Lead for West Midlands Police. She sees on a daily basis just how important OT skills can be in the environment of law enforcement and is invested in putting it out there.

What is your current role? 1) To collaborate with the Force Head of Wellbeing to formulate and implement a proactive wellbeing strategy to support the mental health o o ficers and sta

range of roles and responsibilities within a modern police force, which in ol es o er , o ficers, police sta , oluntary o ficers in the orm o the Special Constabulary and working in partnership with other agencies. I have accessed and analysed sickness absence data to better understand the issues facing the organisation.

What this has meant in practice is undertaking focus groups and consultation meetings with staff across the force to determine the mental health and wellbeing needs of the workforce. I have also had the opportunity to spend time with a number of staff in a variety of teams to assist me in understanding the

My primary aim has been to gain an understanding of modern day policing and the impact that it has on the mental health and wellbeing of staff and to function as a subject matter expert on the collaborative development of a wider wellbeing strategy in which the mental health and ell eing o o ficers and sta

In my current role the main focus is threefold;


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is addressed. 2) To support line managers in retaining o ficers and sta in the workplace and where absent through ill health, provide support to enable line managers to assist individuals in returning to the workplace at the earliest opportunity. An important factor in the success of retaining staff in the workplace or returning them to work is the line manager. As a consequence of the outstanding stigma around mental health and lack of awareness of its impact in the workplace, line managers often feel inadequately equipped to support their staff, and indeed, themselves. This can include

28/02/2017 16:47



how to effectively communicate with staff, knowledge of where to signpost to or when to refer to occupational health. In an effort to promote workplace wellbeing and a positive experience of the line management process an important component of my job is to educate supervisors on mental health and its impact on their staff’s ability to work. In a consultancy capacity, I offer support and advice on supporting staff in the workplace and make recommendations for reasonable adjustments based on the individual’s capabilities.



3) Accountability for the delivery of the employee support provision through the occupational health service.


Within the occupational health department there is a team of employee support case managers who provide a range of interventions for staff to support mental health and wellbeing needs. My role includes the management of this team and accountability for the delivery of counselling, coaching, management consultancy, PALS and mediation services.


In order to deliver a quality service, I have been facilitating a review of the service and as a consequence identified a de elopment plan to address policies, processes and templates needed to achieve this. This is a complex process as we need to continue to provide a service whilst these changes are being implemented and are occurring in conjunction with developments within the wider occupational health service.

Tell me about a typical working day for you A typical day for me starts with reviewing my calendar for the day and emails received. I then process any referrals that have come into the occupational health department for support with mental health issues. This involves an understanding of the issues being presented and whether they relate to the mental health and wellbeing of the staff member. I then forward the referral onto a member of the employee support team for them to make contact and assess the appropriate intervention pathway, i.e.

counselling or coaching. Following this, I usually have a range of tasks to undertake which include: writing policies/procedures, facilitating departmental meetings, liaising with external partners to develop collaborative working on projects such as PTSD awareness training, liaising ith o ficers on healthy work practices and preventative measures, liaising with HR to advise on staff support, identify and develop an organisational strategy to address mental health and wellbeing in the workplace and supporting staff in the occupational health department to deliver an effective service.

I have a strong belief in working with communities of people to address health and wellbeing, as opposed to single diagnoses or issues... When did you realise that your OT skills could help in your role? In conducting qualitative research in 2012 for my MSc on the work/life alance o police o ficers identified the eneficial impact occupational therapy could have, working in the occupational health arena, in particular that of reinforcing the inextricable link between occupation, health and wellbeing and our unique professional perspective in applying this to workplace wellbeing and reducing sickness absence. I had also identified the police as a community of people at risk from occupational ris actors, as defined ithin occupational science literature. This convinced me of the need for the role of occupational therapy within this area. In addition to this, I have a strong belief in working with communities

of people to address health and wellbeing, as opposed to single diagnoses or issues, as a more e ficient ay in dealing ith some o the health and social care issues of the present day. In applying for this job role, I was able to articulate and impress upon the organisation the unique perspective that I would be bringing as a result of my professional background and that this specialist knowledge was needed to fully understand and interpret issues around mental health and wellbeing in West Midlands Police. Skills that I want to develop in the role are the assessment of occupational needs and creative thinking around reasonable adjustments. Problem solving is a skill that I use daily and is critical to the success of my role.

What is it like to work within the law enforcement environment? The culture of law enforcement presents a very different working experience to that of the higher education and healthcare areas that I am used to! The police force culture has a historical basis in hierarchy and rank – however, as a public sector organisation there are many parallels to working within the NHS. As policing within the UK has changed so to have policing organisations, which has led them to consider developing corporate identities and business approaches and increasing their use of civilian staff to meet this need. I am passionate about the workplace wellbeing of staff and have been stunned by the commitment of the organisation to address this head on and the appetite of the workforce to support one another, raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing and lead other forces on this topic. Joining the organisation has enabled me to gain a perspective of policing previously unavailable to me as a member of the public, which has shone a light on the complexities, dangers, challenges and pre-conceived notions o policing hich ace o ficers and staff daily. › www.

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However, echoing similarities within the again, o ficers and sta carry out their o s ith passion, integrity and an un a ering commitment to pre ent crime, protect the pu lic and help those in need ission tatement ltimately, people oin the police orce to help people and that is something hich as a health and care pro essional can identi y ith and am moti ated to retain people in a o that holds such meaning or them and ider society

What are some of the usual challenges employees face? As mentioned pre iously, modern policing rings ith it many challenges, some of which link to historical issues, such as organisational culture and change, societal expectations of policing, resources and udgets, as ell as those that have arisen over recent years, such as an increase in isolatory roles, a shift in sickness absence highlighting an increase in absences relating to mental health and ell eing issues, ac no ledgement of the potential to experience trauma ithin a policing role and there ore, a rise in post traumatic stress or o ficers and sta and recent years o austerity impacting the a ility to police n a daily asis, this o ten translates to eing mo ed geographically to per orm your role, or eing trans erred into a new role which creates a sense o uncertainty and an iety for people, performing roles in isolation hich can lead to people eeling unsupported and ulnera le, dealing ith issues that are emoti e, challenging, and traumatic, ut not ha ing the systems in place to monitor the impact of those things on their mental health and ell eing n addition to this there is an o erarching culture to protect others compounded y society s e pectations o hat a police o er sta should e, hich o ten pre ents o ficers and sta rom protecting themsel es and their o n mental health and ell eing or ear o ho that is interpreted in relation to their capa ility to per orm their role.


40_Poilce.indd 42




What are some of the unusual challenges your OT skills can help with? don t no a out unusual ut or li e alance is an issue presented y many sta , hich is an area that feel as an occupational therapist I am ell placed to o er e pert ad ice on and e ect some change in thin ing across the organisation. Occupational alance im alance is undamental to health and ell eing and is o ten a ey issue or police o ficers and sta ome eel that policing is a ay o life, rather than a job, which impacts on their perception of meaning in other occupations and leads to an imbalance in occupations, which is o ten highlighted through their ina ility to structure ree time, poor sleep patterns, reduced interest in other interests and negati e impact on home and amily li e ould also add, that ith the structured culture of the police organisation, similar to that o the armed orces, o ficers and sta can ecome disempo ered and de s illed in tas s that ould ena le them to de elop a more consistent work life balance ratio, such as time management and pro lem sol ing, and through dealing ith negati e li e e ents on the o , a desensitisation to li ing occurs and meaning and purpose outside o the police is con used or indeed, lost

What is the best part of your job? erything at the moment! I have een elcomed into the organisation y all sta and o ficers whom I have met with so ar am inspired daily y the commitment of people in the organisation to protecting the public and the many ays in




hich they do this and challenges that they ace his has included spending time ith a range o o ficers and sta ho carry out a range o roles mental health triage team, Counter errorism, esponse, orce ontact, u lic rotection and neigh ourhood policing to name a e his has definitely roadened my thin ing around organisational health and in turn the potential for occupational therapy in ne areas o practice t is e citing to e part o a de eloping occupational health ser ice and that am a le to utilise my occupational therapy s ills to influence some o that de elopment At the moment, no t o days are the same hich is e citing and challenging, ut is underpinning the high le el o o satis action ha e and hope to retain

What are some of the challenges you feel are unique to the police force?

he le el o trauma e perienced y employees and recognising hat they go through e ery day and o ten the mistrust negati ity le ied at them y the general pu lic is clearly something which is unique to policing. As a force, we have a large staff population which can make training and educating people a out health and ell eing a challenge and causes you to thin outside the o and see a multi layered approach to ans ering those needs nfluencing a change in culture to one that encourages people to ta e care o themsel es and not e a raid to discuss their mental health issues is ey and hilst this remains a ider societal issue, it is one which is prevalent with the police orce and ully em edded As an organisation the desire to change this culture is a solute and o ficers and staff now seem to want that change, however, it will not be an easy or uic road to tra el

28/02/2017 16:47

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t’s possibly one of the most divisive issues facing the world today. Proving controversial and tragic, the global crisis with refugees and asylum seekers is growing at an alarming rate. With domestic governments and worldwide bodies clashing on how to deal with it and politicians using the lives of millions as a bargaining tool in their own agendas, the heartbreaking reality can be lost in the headlines. With lives hanging in the balance

as people ris li e and lim to flee to camps like ‘The Jungle’ in Calais to escape war torn countries and persecution, it is important to remember people of all ages are being removed from more than just the bricks and mortar of their homes. Refugees and asylum seekers are separated from more than their loved ones and lose their livelihoods - cultural practices, identities and occupations are lost in every stage of displacement, from leaving home to

resettlement. Enter occupational therapy. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists recognise the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights when discussing OT and human displacement. They write: “People have the right to participate in a range of occupations that ena le them to flourish, ulfil their potential and experience satisfaction in a way consistent with their cultural beliefs.” › www.

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28/02/2017 09:57

Culture is embedded in occupation and people need to stay connected to old cultures or find their place in new ones

They also comment: “Occupational therapists have the knowledge and skills to support persons who experience limitations or barriers to participate in occupation. “OTs should be accepting responsibility to identify and address occupational injustices and limit the impact of such injustices experienced by individuals.” Claire Smith is one OT who has explored this sector. Claire, who lectures in OT at Teesside University, previously worked with people who had experienced emotional trauma before moving into working with refugees and those seeking asylum. “I had never worked across cultures as my practice had been in areas of very limited diversity. Since then the passion has grown and I feel somewhat evangelical about meeting needs for this population,” she began. While OTs base their profession around the importance of occupations in daily life, the need seems to be amplified or those e periencing displacement. “Occupation has huge power to help people during and in their postmigratory experience. Culture is embedded in occupation and people need to stay connected to old cultures or find their place in ne ones

Millions of people have been displaced around the world due to intense fighting in areas such as the Middle East.

is your biggest and best source of information. She said: “What surprised me was how similar practice was to what I had done before, it’s not as mysterious as people think and we all have approaches we could use. “If in doubt the client in front of you is the best resource. What did they do before? What do they aspire to become? What skills can they utilise? What connections and capital do they have?” OT can be implemented at any stage of the refuge process from camps to resettlement.

“Occupation is valuable in terms of daily structure, social integration, belonging, self-expression - and the ongoing denial of occupational opportunities impacts significantly on physical and mental wellbeing.”

Despite not having experience in the camps, Claire knows OTs who have had a role in them, and points to a concentration camp survivor or inspiration in finding hope and meaning in the darkest and most testing of environments.

In terms of practice, it’s not as complex as you may think, as any intervention is possible if you are willing to be fle i le according to laire, and ust like in any OT situation, your client

“In the book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ Viktor Frankl, holocaust


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“OT has relevance for everyone wherever their displacement takes them.

survivor, describes the importance o finding meaning in the e treme circumstances of the concentration camps. It’s all about maintaining meaning - and meaning mostly lies in the individual rather than the context.” When asked if she thought not enough OTs know the potential they have to help refugees she did admit that she thought so, but then went onto say that it’s not just OTs who are guilty of this. “People are unavoidably affected by the negative publicity. They feel overwhelmed by such profound and global need, which sometimes stops them doing anything to help. “Much of what I have tried to do is dismiss fears and encourage people to do even a little bit to help. “When I started this work, I asked a lot of people what they thought professionals needed to know to help them. The consensus was that they wanted warmth and respect, nothing else. They didn’t expect us to know everything, but just to try understand their lives, and just to be willing to try.” 

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CASE STUDY “I often use the example of two ladies I worked with some years ago - one was a quiet young woman from Pakistan, Aliya*. She had been a victim of severe domestic violence and was ostracised by her family. “She felt lost, isolated and worthless. Over time we explored how she had aspired to be a teacher. She began to engage with a local family centre, developed her English and started teaching children there. From there she started to feel she had value. She challenged her beliefs about herself,

many of which were generated by domestic abuse, and realised she was intelligent, capable and well loved. “Sadly, she was deported, but she is now a teaching assistant in her home country, and despite hardships, maintained much of her progress.” “Elizabeth* was profoundly depressed when we met, struggling to look after herself and her baby daughter. It transpired that she had been a journalist, was a household name with her own TV show and was vocally politically active. “I found it hard to equate the two.

Talking about who she had been and the range of skills she has encouraged her to think about reintroducing some of her roles, in a manageable way. She began to volunteer for a local women’s organisation and started her own charitable group and taking a national role as an advisor on FGM. “She blossomed and felt invigorated. She stopped being anxious about her asylum claim and finally got status a ter around six years, and is now training as a counsellor. (*names have been changed to protect privacy)



or OT student Leo Keller, the possibilities for OT intervention with refugees are endless.

The umbria University student and Northumbria Occupational Therapy Society member decided to see what she could do to help those in need after hearing stories from her sister ho e perienced first hand the damage human displacement can do. “It was my personal interest. My sister works with refugees in Greece, and hearing her stories from the ground, I felt like I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing,” Leo began. “It’s such an important topic that is being largely neglected - human rights are being abused left, right and centre and OTs have such a good part to play in terms of what we can do, occupations are utterly destroyed, changed, adapted. “There are large periods of occupational deprivation in the nation and I think we can play quite a big role in it, and seeing it from a theoretical point of view at uni, you can see where we can come in.” Leo and the society have put their money where their mouth is and work closely with a refugee charity in the north-east,

Crossings, to see just how OT can help re ugees and find out more a out hat they can do. She explained: “I’ve been working with a charity in Newcastle called Crossings, a musical charity for refugees and asylum seekers and I thought the society and the charity could link quite nicely so when we did events initially for OT Day in 2015 for the conference we asked the choir to sing for us. “They provided us with information about their experiences and how music and Crossings supported them and linking music as a meaningful occupation and that went down well.” And the charity and society’s relationship has proved to be a rewarding and enduring one on both ends. A ter a success ul first enture et een the pair, the society decided to fundraise a substantial amount of money for the group over a year, and donated it at an evening that brought together the society, Crossings and academics who presented their research on the potential OT has in helping asylum seekers and refugees. And with this, Leo says interest in what

the group are trying to achieve is only growing and proves the need to just help people in trying situations and find meaning in hard times. “From my perspective, I think it’s about finding something that holds meaning to people, especially when they are seeking asylum because so much is closed and not possible and there are so many barriers. “They can’t work and volunteering is di ficult ou e also got the additional trauma and language barrier in a lot of cases, so sometimes things like music can be useful because it crosses the barriers and people say that they are connected to their home when they are creating music, but then things like cooking are also really important because it is something that people have control over.”


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28/02/2017 16:52

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Paediatrics n o i t c Se P51


he sun is trying its best to creep out from behind the dark winter clouds and animated bunnies are appearing on most confectionery wrappers. This can only mean one thing; spring is here.

Easter eggs of all shapes and sizes will be on the menu for most of your clients and hopefully some will even join in the tradition of rolling their own hand-painted eggs down the nearest grassy hill. Children getting out in the fresh air to play is so important as parents and professionals would agree.


Children getting out in the fresh air to play is so important

Occupational therapists Caroline Essame and Caroline Clay are so invested in the idea of helping children access play opportunities they ventured to India to spread the word and it has ended in a unique course on ‘developmental play’. Read more on page 51.


Farmers can also rejoice in the coming of spring as their livestock numbers multiply. The births of lambs, calves and chicks keep farm hands very busy this season, but Jamie’s Farm in Wiltshire can not only expect help but can be proud of opening up opportunities of experience in farm work for London’s inner city children. Melissa Purkis, an OT who worked ith the arm, highlights the occupational enefits Alongside this, we have all the newest and innovative children’s products showcased from across the industry on page 53. If you have any interesting paediatric stories or products you feel are worth a mention, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Please email

Read on to find out more... www.

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Helping develop with play When occupational therapists Caroline Essame and Caroline Clay stepped out in faith six years ago to support a special needs school and rehabilitation centre in rural India, they had no idea where it would lead them.


heir work in equipping teachers and parents to encourage learning through play has resulted in a unique new training course on ‘developmental play’ that is impacting both India and South East Asia.

developmental play has been designed by occupational, play and creative arts therapists with both educational, health and social service backgrounds and brings ideas and e pertise to the field o play therapy and play based learning.

Play matters. It’s the language of childhood. It’s the way that children make sense of their world. Play is also the process through which children learn about how their bodies work and how they can use them to have an impact on the world, whether that is through splashing in the bath or waving at someone who waves back. It’s about cause and effect, exploration and identity. Last October saw the launch of the new training course in developmental play he first course o its ind as pioneered in rural India and will run here in the or the first time in une 2017. The three day course in Kerala, India took 50 special needs teachers and occupational therapists through the developmental play stages and everyone had such creative fun with experiential learning. It is through rediscovering and understanding playfulness ourselves and seeing how one stage moves on from another that we can truly help the children and young adults we work with develop these skills to help them learn. The training was endorsed by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) which provided accredited CPD for the attendees.

Developmental play is relationshipcentred and based on contemporary research and practice, including: • Attachment theory and playful creative relationships • Neuro-dramatic play and neuro-linguistics • Creative arts education and play based learning • Eco-play, nature play and play outdoors • Sensory processing and bodywork t specifically ocused on the stages that children go through to develop through play, so it has particular relevance for people who work with very young children or those with special needs. his une ill see the launch o the UK training in Newcastle for level 1

New ways to understand how children learn

o this three le el certificate course introducing developmental play theory and practice. By the end of the course participants will be able to understand and identify developmental play stages and apply developmental play practice to their work situation. Each level has a three-day training workshop as well as online content, training and resources. Students undergo practical assignments and at the end of level 3, in order to qualify as the advanced practitioner, there is a written assignment to be submitted online. There is also an opportunity to study level 2 and 3 in India in October 2017 and work alongside the course coordinators in their special education practice at the Deepti Special School, so not only will you get to learn about play but also how to adapt it for special needs children cross culturally. On completion of all levels participants are accredited play practitioners and can register with CREATECATT’s Play Practitioners database. For more information about the upcoming course from 15 to 17 une in e castle or or details of training in India please contact either of the Carolines at : Facebook: Create Play Move and Learn


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Paediatrics SECTION


All the latest kids products on the market

Kids Product Focus

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

Sunfly om ats special unfly tri e can operate on a ariety o unctions ma ing not only day to day li e easier, ut also tra el, particularly y air he all in one unfly o ers our di erent settings and comes ith handy accessories to aid transit and tra el at oth home and a road he rame can adapt to our di erent settings y using a car seat, or espo e seat fitted to the child, it can e assem led in seconds to either a rear acing uggy, heelchair mode, rear acing trailer or a eeding chair mode t is also sold ith ags to shield the di erent parts and a handy heeled flight case, similar to a hard case used y a musician, to ensure the parts are easily transported and ta e up a minimal amount o space, allo ing se eral parts to e easily ta en a road

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More products on the next page... www.

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Paediatrics SECTION

Ribcap Branching out from their traditional prescription headwear, 24-7 Healthcare are now selling protective headwear for both adults and children without the need for prescriptions. Coming in styles such as beanies and baseball caps, and in a range of colours and sizes, the Ribcap offers comfort, safety and style. With visco-elastic shock absorber sewn in, an improved level of protection against bumps, scratches and abrasions is provided while the wearer can keep style in mind.

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Do you have an innovative product you think we should feature? 54


53-55_ChildrensProduct.indd 54

If so, get in touch! Contact us at

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Paediatrics SECTION

The Dark Den The Dark Den has been designed to offer a stimulation-free place in the home or classroom, creating a space in which children can relax and unwind, free from excessive stimulation. As such, it is an ideal place to spend quiet time and many children enefit rom the peace ul time they spend inside. The Dark Den can also be used as a sensory stimulation enclosure, with various accessories eing used to pro ect lights and patterns t can also e used ith stimulators t is ery easy to erect and to take down if required and is supplied with its own carrying bag. The Dark Den is the perfect place to offer children a quiet and distraction free environment, and is especially suited for use in a classroom.

Complete Care Shop Search using the quick order code, CCS6694, at


We’re Riding on a Caravan sensory tale Join the caravan for an exciting year-long trek along China’s ancient Silk Road in a tale that will make you feel like part of the story as you hear, smell and feel the delights of trading precious stones and spices. A great multi-sensory resource enabling children with disa ilities or learning di ficulties to oin in with the story.


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28/02/2017 18:31

New for Reablement

The Daily Living System Unbiased evidence of an individual’s progress A combination of movement and activity sensors, with a unique sequencing tool, to detect when an individual successfully completes reablement tasks. • Supports goal-based assessments • Developed and tested by occupational therapists • Clear summary of activity viewed securely online • No cameras or microphones • Discreet wireless movement and activity sensors • No internet connection required • Professional support team Special introductory discount on 10 systems by April 30th.

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Paediatrics SECTION




amie’s Farm is a charity that works with vulnerable pupils who are at risk of social or academic exclusion, who may have been referred for lack of engagement leading to low attainment or attendance, sel esteem issues or di ficulty displaying positive behaviour, outwith a classroom environment and on farmland. After one week at one of the farms in Wiltshire, OT Melissa Purkis recounts her experience of farm life at Jamie’s:

“Twelve excited and apprehensive children arrived at the farm from central London in a minibus along with two teachers and a teaching assistant. The

childrens’ reaction to the change of environment was immediately apparent. Comments were made about the smell of the pigs, the large space and the cold! But after initial complaints, the farm sensations became the norm and accepted into day-to-day life. “What really struck me from the offset was the effectiveness of modelling positive behaviour and reinforcing this with the staff and the students’ peers. “This positive reinforcement was reflected in the group or that we did. ›

Read the case study on next page .. www.

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Paediatrics SECTION It was a great way for the group to communicate how they were feeling in a safe environment.” “It is said that basic leadership functions needed to obtain an effective group dynamic can be observed from positive behaviour from the group leader. “I was introduced to a new concept called ‘check ins/check outs’, that allowed the group to share their mood with the whole group. Each person around the table gives themselves a rating out of 10, with 10 the highest, before giving a brief explanation of why, and this was at the start and end of every day. “It was a great way for the group to communicate how they were feeling in a safe environment. “I was amazed how open and honest the children were. I realised this idea would work well within a group setting, for example in mental health or mainstream school groups. Check ins/check outs could also be a useful qualitative tool to evaluate effectiveness of a group, or in this case

the day on the farm. “From an OT perspective Jamie’s Farm is an intervention in itself. The issue is how to continue the positive behaviour once the children have left. There is a follow up visit from a coordinator and the option for a once a week six weekly programme in conjunction with Oasis/Jamie’s Farm at Southbank London. Teachers are given a full report with useful suggestions for maintaining the farm’s impact. “One thing that really struck me was the value of physical work and doing something that has a tangible visual outcome. Meaningful activities such as making a meal for others can be used as an opportunity to discuss the importance of working as a team towards an end goal. This was a great ay to integrate fine and gross motor skills needed for activities of daily living. “The children got the most out of

Case Study: Colin is a young man who has a speech and language disorder. Colin had moved to his current school in London from another country following a death in his close family. Prior to attending Jamie’s Farm, Colin had been in detention every day after school, mainly due to being disruptive in class. Colin had withdrawn from his friends and was displaying low self-esteem. On the farm, Colin displayed di ficulties e pressing his eelings and in a large group environment he initially distanced himself from his peers. At the start of the week Colin


56-57_JamiesFarm.indd 58



was withdrawn and needed encouragement to participate in farm life. I observed that he was very disorganised and would lose his possessions frequently, causing angry outbursts. I suggested that he wrote his name on the peg where he kept his farm overalls, and this meant he was ready when the other students were and felt included and didn’t always feel like he was the last to get ready and join the group. Throughout the week, I observed olin gro ing in confidence as he took on a ‘joker role’ within the group. He started offering (sometimes on his own initiative) to help his fellow

these physical experiences of learning something new and often said that they were keen to share their knowledge of these things when they got home. These holistic principles of collaborative work and letting the children play, run and be themselves really struck a chord with me. The children were allowed to be children, as not all children fit into the institutional classroom environment and succeed. In Ken C Ogilvie’s book ‘Roots and Wings - A History of Outdoor Education and Outdoor Learning in the UK’, he explores the notions that the traditional academic approach to education is too narrow and ignores important aspects of the whole person.”

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peers and staff and he appeared to enjoy helping others. At the end of the week Colin gave his ‘check out’ as 5/10. He said he was sad to be leaving the farm and that he had learnt a lot about himself from the experience. Since returning to school Colin has shown increased self-esteem and is able to talk to school staff about how he is feeling. He also has had fewer detentions.

28/02/2017 18:31

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Naidex 2017

Learn & progress at Naidex 2017 Naidex returns to the Birmingham NEC this March from the 28th - 30th, and under new leadership it is better than ever.


aidex is Europe’s largest conference and exhibition solely dedicated to the disability and independent living sector. Best of all, attendance is completely free.

and easy-to-use mobility and patient transfer products, and Mobilitise who produce the TRIRIDE, a means of turning a manual wheelchair into a mobility scooter. These companies only scratch the surface of the incredi le suppliers you ll find at Naidex 2017.

This year’s event will comprise over 185 CPD accredited seminars and case studies along with 250 suppliers Innovation in assistive technology will bringing the most innovative and be taking a leading role in the show exciting new technology in the this year and with so many market. The calibre of speakers unbelievable product launches and is unparalleled, from Jo Webb developments happening a proper (Directorate of platform was needed Occupational to showcase them Innovation in Therapy, University all - enter the Next of Salford) discussing assistive technology Generation Assistive the training that Technology (NGAT) will be taking a goes into moving Summit. NGAT is the leading role in the and handling, to most comprehensive show this year... Professor Pam place to learn Enderby (University about the adaptive o he field spea ing technology, products, about Measuring the gadgets and tools that will become Value of Rehabilitation the gold standard of the future. and Sarah Clayton (CEO, Simple For its 43rd year, Naidex is committed Stuff Works) who will be presenting to delivering a more hands on a case study focused on night time experience. This will include the positioning, Naidex will explore the mobility test track with everyday pressing issues that are affecting the obstacles to see how the latest in disability and care sector today. mobility designs can handle them, The exhibitors who will be a children’s sensory and interactive attending Naidex are at the top of demo area and the sports arena their fields, and ill e presenting where delegates can get involved the revolutionary products and in wheelchair football, goal ball and services that are changing the lives tennis to name a few. of the disabled population and If you are a healthcare professional professionals working in the disability, working in the disability or rehab and care sector. Some of the independent living sector Naidex is groundbreaking exhibitors featured the must attend event of the year. at this year’s event are: Pivotell, A ter all, here else can you find who teamed up with Carers UK to the wealth of expertise, products, create an app that allows its users to networking opportunities and CPD communicate remotely with carers, accreditation under one roof for free? Ergolet who provide safe, quality


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CULINARY therapy

We f i n d o u t h o w c o o k i n g c a n b o o s t y o u r m o o d


he words ‘cooking’ and ‘baking’ may have enthusiastic foodies reaching excitedly for an apron and their favourite cookery bible. But for the nervous novice, those are ‘f-words’ with negative connotations that will have them scurrying from the heat of what they may perceive to be hell’s kitchen. Love it or loathe it, cooking can be either a daily chore, a way of entertaining friends and family, or a gratifying

hobby. But for some, cooking has the potential to be much more than daily drudgery. For a diverse group of people who have various debilitating conditions and disorders, it’s a form of therapy that can be life-enhancing.Under the supervision of a therapist, nutritionist or professional chef, patients and clients can learn about diet and nutrition and develop a healthy, lifelong relationship with food.

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social skills and physical health

For OTs and other clinicians, an important early aspect

Culinary therapy can alleviate stress or boredom and curb negative thinking.



of culinary therapy is using educational grocery tools to accurately evaluate a client’s ability to accomplish seemingly mundane everyday tasks such as choosing and purchasing groceries and locating items on supermarket shelves. The task of navigating supermarket aisles or arranging for a grocery delivery can be challenging for people who are affected by cognitive impairments, brain injury, stroke, dementia or developmental disabilities. In addition, culinary therapy can form part of treatment programmes for various conditions and disorders, including eating disorders, learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, depression, anxiety and addiction.

For people who may feel uneasy in a kitchen environment and around food, effective culinary therapy can alleviate stress or boredom and curb negative thinking. Culinary therapy can also help cohesion within groups, whose members can become more inclined to open up about issues because they are occupied and are learning a valuable skill. Time management, planning, communication and organisational skills can also improve through time spent in the kitchen and the smells, colours and textures encountered while working with food can lead to heightened sensory awareness. Over and above those enefits, culinary therapy can also boost self-esteem and give a cook a real sense of achievement and empowerment. And it’s widely acknowledged that the simple routine of getting around the table for a family meal can

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ls al


THERAPY make us happier, healthier, stronger and more content. For someone who has experienced a stroke or has a neurological illness/disease or physical disability, cooking from an occupational point of view has a therapeutic value physically, cognitively, socially and interpersonally. Physically, conjuring up a meal requires good overall balance and good movement in the shoulders, fingers, wrists, elbows and neck. Adequate muscle strength is needed in upper limbs for lifting, mixing, cutting and chopping. Furthermore, sensory awareness is important in considering safety while dealing with hot and sharp objects. As well as improving social skills, gaining behavioural

insight and physical health and wellbeing, assistance with planning and preparing meals and selecting recipes can enhance balance and coordination and can even lead to improved memory, attention span and focus. Food therapy needn’t simply involve routine chopping, whisking, stirring and serving. Think beyond the four walls of the kitchen by starting a culinary therapy journey at grass roots. Encourage therapy participants to cultivate a vegetable garden and grow the nutritious, colourful and tasty produce that will eventually end up on their plates. There are various kits on the market which make it easy to get your own home-grown

veg, herbs and even edi le flo ers from plot to plate and give growers new skills and a sense of ownership, empowerment and accomplishment.



passes planning Culinary therapy encom going out to eat and preparing meals, ng and caring nni pla at restaurants, shopping, and y cer gro , den gar a for h the support wit all , other activities nal, such as of a treatment professio f. It is an che or n tica a therapist, die ic approach, eut rap the al nti erie exp re therapy and skillsincorporating exposu based therapy.

Plant’n’Grow’s Vegetable Starter Growing Gift Kit, for example, includes quality seeds that will produce a bountiful harvest of carrots, dwarf French beans, peas, spinach and Swiss chard. It also contains an instruction booklet, a mini greenhouse, mini compost discs, plant markers and a recipe. Fresh herbs not only enhance the fla ours o dishes, ut also have medicinal qualities which therapy participants may en oy learning and find eneficial Plant’n’Grow’s Fresh Herb Starter Kit produces fla oursome her s all year round from a sunny window ledge. The kit includes quality


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seeds that will grow coriander, chives, dill, French parsley, Greek basil and mint. Culinary therapy is now a treatment that’s prevalent in mental health clinics and therapists’ centres and nutritional medicine is considered mainstream among some counsellors. It is not all good news, though. It’s important that patients understand the need to select healthy recipes and use portion control, or they could gain weight especially if they have disorders such as depression. The risk of piling on the pounds could be exacerbated because a lot of medications for the treatment of depression can be associated with weight gain. Weight gain and obesity can be associated with an increased risk of depression. 


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Get online with the OT app... At The OT Magazine we are always looking for new ways to develop your favourite occupational therapy magazine. Out every two months, the app features all the latest products, in depth features industr news personal profiles and up to date infor ation on e ents and exhibitions that ou find in the magazine but you can download it to your mobile phone or tablet to read on the go. The app is available free of charge and can be downloaded now and read at your leisure.

The app in numbers...

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Hot TOPIC Handwriting Lois Addy

Lois Addy has been a children’s occupational therapist for 35 years, has 22 years experience in handwriting research and has ualifications in occupational therapy, psychology and education. Employed as Specialist ead or pecific earning i ficulties or orth Yorkshire County Council, she has been coordinating a team of 28 specialists to deliver support to pupils in 400 schools, more than 400 early years’ settings and 80 post 16 establishments. After her presentation ‘Do children still need to learn to write?’ at last year’s OT Show, Lois discusses the subject here.

I knew my presentation may be controversial as handwriting is a primary occupation and di ficulties in this area underpin many referrals to children’s OTs. As OTs increasingly must justify their role to commissioners, the question of whether handwriting is an area for occupational therapists or teachers to address is currently being debated. I wanted to explain to s the enefits that hand riting has on literacy rather than simply a means of written communication; encouraging them not to give up supporting children who struggle with the perceptual and motor aspects of this important skill, and for OTs to challenge teachers who may increasingly doubt the value of handwriting, believing that it will ultimately become an obsolete skill. I sought to demonstrate the neurode elopmental enefits handwriting have to reading, spelling, language, communication and memory, equipping occupational therapists with evidence-based arguments to support this. There are ‘windows of opportunity’ for teaching handwriting, and the early years of four to eight are an ideal time to teach the precursors. There is also a time when digital devices are appropriate, when used in parallel to handwriting tuition, especially in children who are struggling with the motor aspects or who have dyslexia. Handwriting programmes on tablets/ iPads do not provide the kinaesthetic feedback that handwriting with a pencil on paper, or better still, chalk

on a chalkboard or pavement, provide. There is less friction, the surface is slippy and there is no feedback as to how much pressure is placed through the stylus; therefore the motor memories are less precise. However, introducing handwriting games via a device can provide a motivating reward following more conventional handwriting tuition. As I now work for the education authority, I know the importance of using ‘education-speak’ rather than ‘health jargon’. If we can demonstrate an understanding o the ational Curriculum for English and the expectations for literacy at each key stage, we can explain why handwriting is important for language, reading and spelling. If we only talk about handwriting as a motor skill, teachers may doubt its importance in a hectic and pressured curriculum. The early skills of learning to write are equally important for children who have dyslexia. For some children with potential dyslexia, joining letters early can help them to see the word rather than the fragments of letters which can get muddled when formation and spacing are erratic. Spell checks on computers can be a real advantage but once again I would encourage the use of these as an adjunct to writing in the early years, with technology being used more extensively after the age of eight. My latest book ‘How to Identify and ercome and riting i ficulties was published in October 2016 by LDA Learning. It is available from the publisher or through Amazon.”

Handwriting Tips... Bottom-Up/Process orientated approaches include:

o do n tas s ecific approaches include:

Perceptual Motor

Direct teaching

Sensory Motor Kinaesthetic

Cognitive-behavioural approach

Kinaesthetic combined with motor imagery

Ecological approach

Motor imagery


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28th, 29th & 30th MARCH 2017 NEC, BIRMINGHAM


INNOVATIONS FOR THE FUTURE OF INDEPENDENT LIVING Over 250 Innovative Suppliers 150 Expert-Led Seminars Packed Into a New Conference 12,000 Visitors Across the 3 Days Interactive Live Demos and Hands-On Areas A Dedicated OT & Professional Zone The Most Comprehensive Event of it’s Kind




for sponsorship & exhibiting equiries contact the team at 0117 930 4927

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The Experts Heidi Stanley

ualified as an OT in 2000 and worked in a variety of roles within Social Services and NHS Trusts for eight years before moving into independent practice. Since 2008 she has worked as an independent paediatric OT, case manager and expert witness and has also completed a Masters, attained advanced membership of BABICM, and completed a ‘manual handling trainer certificate during this time She has a special interest, sound knowledge base and expertise in working with children and young people with neurological conditions, in particular acquired and traumatic brain injury.

Expert witness Heidi Stanley and Deborah Smith, both care experts with Jacqueline Webb and Company, talk about the advantages and opportunities of being expert witnesses and why this role differs to a position in statutory services.

Deborah Smith

e orah ualified as an OT in 1990 and has worked across NHS, Social Services and private industry settings during that time, with widespread experience of working as a care manager with both adults and children. She became a care expert in 2007 and has since ualified as a trainer or manual handling, completed the USC/WPS Sensory Integration ertificate, trained in e elopment Co-ordination Disorder and OT for children with handwriting di ficulties he has a special interest in managing posture in children with complex needs. She has also undertaken training in transformational life coaching.


care expert needs to have extensive knowledge and experience in the organisation of care and equipment. Experts will assess individuals who have suffered a catastrophic life event and are called upon to provide the court with an independent, non-biased and objective evidence-based opinion on areas within their remit for the purposes of

litigation. The report produced covers care, equipment, housing, transport, leisure/ social activities, holidays etc. In fact, anything the individual used to be able to do before the accident is covered by an expert report. Experts provide evidence, based on experience and knowledge, so that they can justify their recommendations and costs when challenged. ›


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WITNESS Being a care expert is a wonderful job. It enables you to assist the claimant to be put back into the position they would have been in had they not sustained an injury...” Deborah Smith Why be a care expert? Heidi: Expert work offers an exciting and stimulating role. You will need to be able to ‘think outside the box’ and your opinions will be challenged. It will keep you on your toes in your professional practice and you will develop excellent report writing and verbal reasoning skills. You will also ha e the reedom to or fle i ly and with increased pay in comparison to statutory services. Deb: Being a care expert is a wonderful job. It enables you to assist the claimant to be put back into the position they would have been in had they not sustained an injury – without restriction. I couldn’t arrange for my clients in statutory care to have the equipment they really needed due to financial constraints

Why did you become an expert? Heidi: I have always been passionate about my professional development and in my clinical work I always enjoyed carrying out assessments and identifying and evidencing needs. Expert work was therefore the next step in my career development and I have not looked back. Deb: There were very limited opportunities for progression in my role within the statutory sector.

What clinical

It is essential for care experts to maintain their clinical skills. By holding a complementary clinical role the expert is keeping in touch with best practice and relevant training. This is the solid foundation of expertise and allows the court to confidently rely on an expert’s evidence.

role do you do alongside your role as a care expert? Deb: I do a variety of work as an independent OT, including adaptations to homes for children and young people, usually as a result of an interim payment or quantum settlement. I hold a caseload of children who have development co-ordination disorders, handwriting di ficulties and pho ias, usually working within a school environment. I also support a couple of clients who need assistance with personal care. I am a ualified trans ormational li e coach, which is useful in identifying goals with the clients I work with and their families. Heidi: As a case manager I am an advocate for children and young people who have traumatic and acquired brain injuries. I coordinate with the child/young person, their family, relevant professionals and outside agencies in order to ensure their care, therapy, education,

equipment, leisure and housing needs are being met.

How is your role as an expert different to being in statutory services? Deb: In the statutory sector, I worked with a very limited budget and with a narrow range of equipment, usually provided by a supplier chosen by non-practitioners on a county-wide basis. Our responsibility was to ‘meet the client’s need’, but this would not always provide the item or facilities hich ould pro e most eneficial As a care expert, we research items of equipment which are often outside the remit of the statutory sector therapist. Particular projects I have become acquainted with include a wheelchair-accessible tree house, a swimming pool with ceiling track hoisting and fully accessible changing facilities, and sourcing wheelchairs which are capable of coping with sand, mud and grassy terrains. Heidi: As an OT, I am passionate about ensuring that independence and quality of life are maximized. As an expert I am able to recommend what the child needs in order to empower them and optimize their independence and quality of life. For instance, I am not limited by only being able to recommend a bath or a level-access shower. If it is appropriate for them to have both then I provide costs for both. I could not do this in statutory services. 

The role of a care expert is often misunderstood; however there are many reasons why this role should be attractive to OTs. Hopefully, Deborah and Heidi have increased your understanding regarding this field o or you ould li e to find out more, ac ueline e ha e a num er o online resources, along with regular open evenings and webinars. You can also register your details with us via the website: 68

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Looking for a

new job? VISIT

If you’re in the market for a new OT job then get on to our website. We’ve got all the latest OT jobs in our Careers section. Remember to sign up to our mail out to get up to date job alerts.

Find the staff VISIT Post a job to...

Garden TALK

Planting the seed of conversations

Let’s talk gardens People who have dementia are reminiscing about their own gardens and magical moments spent outdoors through a themed activity kit launched by a participatory arts charity.


ollowing an 18-month design and testing programme, Artlink Central’s social enterprise arm Creating Conversations has introduced to the care sector the innovative product centred round an engaging, familiar theme.

accessible and supportive as possible for caregivers, coordinators, facilitators or volunteers at any level who may lack confidence or e perience or ing ith creative activities, or are simply seeking new ideas to engage with the people they care for.

Creating Conversations has taken Artlink Central’s 25 years’ experience of working with older people and those with a diagnosis of dementia and applied it to developing products that greatly increase social impact and deliver real enefits or users

The kit was tested in 22 care settings in Scotland. It is being used in NHS wards, care homes and day centres and is designed to increase self-expression through visual art, writing, reminiscence, conversation and practical activities.

The concept was inspired by Artlink Central’s ongoing dementia programme in the NHS Forth Valley area, where artists developed a tableclothbased drawing and conversation project.

Although it is an all-year-round project, it is particularly popular in springtime when other gardening projects are underway. Dementia affects approximately 800,000 people in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over a million by 2021. The kit has been carefully designed alongside patients by artists and designers whose aim was to make it as


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In nearly all cases, the jokes and humour were related to items or questions in the garden-themed toolkit, with one participant raising a laugh by recalling how he would retreat to his garden shed where he stored his secret cans of beer. The study found that breaking away from the table to move into other environments, such as the garden, seemed to be helpful in stimulating interest and increased engagement.

It’s a visual, stimulating way to promote conversation, promote reminiscence and giving somebody something tangible to allow them to communicate to the best of their abilities...

The garden-themed social kit aims to transform the care environment into a stimulating space for talk and activity and gives small groups the chance to refresh old skills, develop new ones and inspire them to ards confidence hile or ing towards long-term projects.


played a large part in a natural dynamic and flo into con ersations among users and caregivers, with most laughter gained when they were participant led.

There is also a members’ support section on the Creating Conversations website which includes top facilitators’ tips and a framework for observational evaluation developed with the University o tirling, ena ling sel reflecti e learning and evidence of impact. The impact of the art-based ‘Creating Conversations: Gardening’ toolkit on those living with dementia was analysed by the Gerontology Department at Stirling University. The study highlighted how humour was threaded through the sessions and

It also highlighted how activities were helpful for supporting a sense of self-worth and celebrating people’s work.

Analysis found that the sharing of personal stories between facilitators and participants through reminiscence encouraged “a sense of everyone being on the same level, rather than having a sense of clearly defined roles o ser ice user provider.” During the evaluation process, a facilitator commented: “Even if people are limited in terms of the amount of input, they can be quite happy just sitting back and listening and watching, because it’s a relaxing subject for a lot of people. And for somebody who is further on with dementia, it’s just the visual stimulation of seeing colours in front of them. “It’s a visual, stimulating way to promote

28/02/2017 10:20

Garden TALK

What’s in the kit? Designed by professionals with extensive experience in care settings, the materials – which can be easily adapted for a range of physical and social needs – comprise: Sharing personal stories through reminiscing

conversation, promote reminiscence and giving somebody something tangible to allow them to communicate to the best of their abilities.” Commenting on participants’ experience of using the kit, a caregiver explained: “They gave you an idea of what they liked doing and what they might like to do in the future. Some of it deviated from what was on the tablecloth, but it was useful to learn more about the people that we’ve maybe not got on our notes.” In conclusion, Dr Jane Robertson, lecturer in Dementia Studies at the University of Stirling commented: “The project has established that the creative opportunities provided by the toolkit ha e the potential to increase confidence, reduce an iety, a firm identities, support positive social connections and provide opportunities to engage in enjoyable and purposeful activities as evidenced through the observations.” The product has received positive reviews from activities managers at care homes and other care settings. Bernie Owen, activities manager at HC-One Homes’ Fairview Care Home in Bannockburn, Stirlingshire, explained:

“Just laying out the tablecloth seems to have an effect on some who walk around with intent and who don’t usually stop or if they do, they don’t usually stay any length of time during activities. “Some who are usually noncommunicative have come out with the name of the object either on the cloth or the cards and motion to tell you what it is they recall. Some have actually spoken in sentences ery riefly, ut to me they are living in the moment and back to who they were before their dementia progressed to where they are now, albeit for a moment.”

• A crafted tablecloth which captures the tradition and ritual of laying a table and whose images of garden objects and life prompt conversation • A creative handbook with instructions and guidance for activity sessions on a gardening theme, prompting conversation about the day’s topic and encouraging the sharing of personal stories • Six activity templates, which include washing line and garden shed activities • 30 discussion cards with handdrawn garden images for sorting, matching and sharing.

Supported by the Robertson Trust, Creating Conversations Limited is one o the most recent enterprises to enefit from a social investment loan from Asda Community Capital distributed through ocial n estment cotland All profits from Creating Conversations Limited will be ploughed back into Artlink Central’s charitable projects.  For further information, call Sharon Buckley on 01786 845701 or email:


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28/02/2017 10:21

The flexible alternative to manual handling The ProMove sling provides a safe and comfortable means of moving and handling disabled individuals. Ideal for holidays and days out, allowing access to many more new experiences in places where a hoist cannot be used. 20% off your first order, please email and quote OTMAG17 to claim. Sunken Trampolines provide the perfect Rebound Therapy platform for schools, care institutions and families across the UK. For a free consultation and site survey please contact us and we would be more than happy to help Contact Joel 07801 573278 / Angus 07765 256537

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Promove UK Ltd T: +44 (0) 1970 820893 @a2bwithdignity

28/02/2017 12:30

Student ADVICE

Clinical Reasoning Dawn Blenkin

MA, SFHEA, PGCE LTHE, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy Dawn is a senior lecturer at Teesside University. She also holds external roles as a specialist advisor to the CQC and is a visitor who inspects educational programmes on behalf of the HCPC.

You will no doubt have been told that clinical reasoning is fundamental in underpinning occupational therapy practice… But, is it really that important? That’s a good question and something that often crops up. Clinical reasoning is something I’m passionate about. I’m not going to tell you here how to do clinical reasoning, but I will consider why it is so important. The literature reports that clinical reasoning is often a hidden, subconscious process that we don’t often discuss with others and we don’t tend to routinely document in a service user’s notes. If li e many students, you ant the floor to open up and swallow you when your educator asks ‘why did you do that?’, it’s probably because you aren’t confident with clinical reasoning yet. It’s a skill that we develop, but it takes time, practice and a questioning mind. Have you ever watched your placement educator change their mind during an intervention and not understood why? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just see the thought processes that appears to happen so seamlessly and understand why and how they are making a particular decision? Have you ever watched your educator do something with a service user then tried to replicate this and it not work as you had expected? Or even worse, thought you had copied your educator exactly only for them to say ‘I would never have done that’. Being able to ask an OT ‘why did you choose to do it that way?’ or ‘why didn’t you do…?’ is such a positive way to learn in helping us understand the complexities of clinical decision making. In OT, there is usually no one singular right answer, rather a range of acceptable answers. Some will be more effective or relevant to the service user than others. The ‘what will I do’ is your technique - the intervention. The ‘why am I doing it’ is your clinical reasoning which is underpinned by a range of other aspects such as theory, evidence-based practice and research.

I have heard OTs say ‘isn’t it just common sense?’, but are then surprised at how little common sense other people have. So is it really common sense or are there other things going on that we learn that help us make decisions? For very experienced OTs whose clinical reasoning skills are so advanced and well-practised they will be working on autopilot. Their decision making will go through a complex process of evolution, as new information becomes available from observations, feedback or other means. If you think about it, without clinical reasoning, all we have is random activities that are chosen for no set purpose. Clinical reasoning is what makes our use of occupation therapeutic and differentiates us from the average person just doing activities. To an ‘outsider’ it might just look like we’re making a cup of tea with a service user. Let’s consider Mrs Bloggs who has had a stroke - resulting in mobility and cognitive issues. Whilst making that cup of tea we are assessing her balance, memory, sequencing, motivation and the list goes on. Now we wouldn’t only use this activity with Mrs Bloggs, we may use it with a number of different service users, but for very different reasons. It’s understanding ‘why?’ that involves complex clinical reasoning skills. To devalue clinical reason would be damaging to our profession and level of expertise. There are many types of clinical reasoning that you will be taught in university and have the opportunity to practise on clinical placement. Enjoy learning about them, it’s being able to clinically reason our decisions that make us great at what we do. If you are a student who would like some advice send your questions to www.

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28/02/2017 10:21

Wheelchair Lift   Manufacturer

Tel: 01482 480710

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Calvert Trust Exmoor enables people of and to experience exciting, challenging, and enjoyable accessible activity holidays with family and friends.

At our five star, fully accessible residential centre on the edge of Exmoor National Park all activities and facilities are specifically designed and equipped to cater for everyone.

Introducing the latest Wheelchair Lift concept:

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Hidden within a pit at the foot of the steps when not in use Suitable for any set of steps, up to 1m rise Discreet and unobtrusive, it is finished to suit your décor Available for use outdoors or indoors

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We also supply all other types of Platform Lift Contact us for more information


Finally, there is head protection available that adults and children want to wear!

As well as made to measure head protectors, 247 Healthcare can now provide head protection from Ribcap that looks and feels like a normal hat! Available in multiple styles and colours. Come see us on stand E86 at Naidex, visit or call 0208 577 2789 for info.

Feb-mar-2017.indd 1 OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 74

2/24/2017 4:01:46 PM 28/02/2017 12:30

Find events for you 17-19 March

16-18 May 2017

BAPO Conference

Housing Adaptation & Design: Parts 1-3

Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Throughout 2017

The British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists (BAPO) was established to e n co u r a g e h i g h s t a n d a r d s of prosthetic and or thotic practice. The BAPO conference, the event for prosthetic and orthotic professionals. For more information, please visit

Kidz Exhibitions 2017

All Kidz exhibitions run from 9.30am – 4.30pm. The Kidz to Adultz exhibitions from Disabled Living take place across the country, dedicated to children with disabilities and special needs, their parents, carers and professionals who work with them. Over 130 exhibitors offer information on mobility, funding, seating, beds, communication, access, education, toys and much more. A full programme of CPD seminars run alongside each exhibition. For more information about each of these events call 0161 607 8200 or visit

• Kidz to Adultz Middle: 16 March, Jaguar Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry • Kidz to Adultz South: 8 June, Rivermead Leisure omple , ichfield Avenue, Reading • Kidz to Adultz Scotland: 14 September, Highland Hall, Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh • Kidz to Adultz North: 16 November, EventCity, Manchester

The National Union of Teachers, London

E xc i t i n g p r o g r a m m e of H o u s i n g Adaptation & Design courses from Viva Access Ltd. Courses run from 10.0016.45 and take place in an accessible and centrally located venue in Kings Cross, London. An array of housing topics are covered, including reading and using plans, bathroom adaptation & design, ramps, accessible lifts, adapting for children with challenging behaviours, accessible kitchens, and technical issues associated with adaptation work. The courses are suitable for both private and social services OTs, adaptations surveyors, grants officers and other housing personnel. All courses are also available as in-service training.For more information, visit

7-8 June

28-30 March


NEC, Birmingham 2017 brings to you a whole new Naidex from Prysm Media Group. Packed full of CPD accredited conference sessions, Naidex allows you to explore the marketplace and the latest products. Over 200 exhibitors will showcase well-known brands and innovative products that will be seen first at Naidex. The event is a great opportunity to network and share knowledge with peers and fellow professionals and keeps you up to date with the latest developments and innovations within assistive technology. The event is free to attend.For more information, visit

European Neuro Convention ExCel, London

The event for professionals, researchers, clinicians, surgeons and their teams working in the neuro field. Europe’s largest event of its kind will bring together neuro professionals from around the globe for an exciting two-day show in London. Combining world leading speakers, over 80 seminars, workshops, top experts and the unique opportunity to try and test innovative solutions, services and advanced technology from around the world, all under one roof. Event runs alongside the Copa Series 2017 and the Elite Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Expo 2017. Free to attend. For more information, please visit


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What’s On in the OT Calendar


28/02/2017 17:32

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

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Win £250 worth of vouchers! Register online & attend an event in 2017 to be entered into the draw. The winner will be announced on our website December 2017

Register for your visitors’ FREE entry tickets from our NEW website Or simply contact Disabled Living: Email: or Tel: 0161 607 8200 Tickrts are not compulsory, you can register on arrival. Main Sponsor

OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 76

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28/02/2017 12:30



Do you have what it takes to become a case manager?


roles on a salaried or hourly basis, or on a self-employed basis. Roles are home based with travel and client visits within your geographical area. It’s a great way to take on more responsibility whilst maintaining a degree o fle i ility o er your working hours.

ase managers have one of the most rewarding jobs in the health and social care fields, ma ing a tangi le difference to a client’s life. For many occupational therapists, a career in case management is a natural progression. But what exactly is case management and what are the enefits o ecoming one

How do I do it?

What is a case manager? Case managers are committed to helping maximise their clients’ independence. Within the medicolegal field they or closely ith clients’ families, fund-holders, and care teams in order to support every aspect of their physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing. A case manager will work with their client and relatives to identify and prioritise their goals. Using their clinical experience, they will then work together to achieve them. The aim is always to enable the clients to regain and maintain the best quality of life. Work can include recruiting and managing carers and support workers, arranging accommodation adaptations, facilitating leisure activities, supporting clients through school, college or work placements, and liaising with funders to ensure adequate funding is available to meet the client’s needs.

Rachel Robinson, from Independent Living Solutions guides us through what it takes to be a case manager.

Why become a case manager? Case management in the private sector gives unique opportunities. A case manager can be involved right from the start of the client’s rehabilitation, building a good rapport and working relationship and seeing their clients achieve their goals. Working in the private sector also gives you access to cutting edge equipment and services for your clients. Case management is an opportunity to progress your career. You are able to use your skills and experiences from your extensive clinical background, but will also be playing a lead role in managing the overall package of care for your client. A variety of contracts are available for case managers, including employed

To become a case manager, you’ll need to have extensive experience as an occupational therapist. You’ll be using your skills and experiences from your clinical background, but you’ll also be using management skills to coordinate all aspects of your client’s care and rehabilitation package. You’ll need the ability to work autonomously, to provide in depth assessment of complex situations and be able to develop personalised solutions. Organisation is key to this role.

ILS are currently recruiting for case managers from across the UK and would love to have an informal chat with anyone considering a career in case management. For more information contact Sarah Ransome and Phil Perry (senior operations managers) on 01722 742 442.


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28/02/2017 18:22

Recruitment & Training Case Managers

Join our expanding team of

Experienced Occupational Therapists


ILS is one of the UK’s leading case management and rehabilitation companies, with 25 years’ experience in the industry. We are seeking case managers from across the UK to complete our team.

medico-legal consultancy

Occupational therapists play a key role acting as expert witnesses in clinical negligence / personal injury litigation. We require experienced OTs who are confident, have excellent communication skills (verbal & written), enjoy a challenge, are intrigued by the forensic nature of this work, and above all are keen to learn new skills. We offer: Regular work on a case by case basis to fit in with other work commitments Excellent remuneration Full & on-going training, supervision on every case & support You will work on a self employed, flexible basis, alongside your “day job” – want to know more about how this works? Email to request an information pack You will be working at a senior level with a minimum of 8 years post qualification experience as an OT and/or case manager Somek & Associates, run by OTs, is the largest provider of HP expert witnesses in the UK, renowned and respected in the field



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

Moving & Handling Who really cares?

Key requirements: Occupational Therapists with extensive experience of working with adults or children who have sustained catastrophic injuries. The ability to provide in depth holistic assessment of complex situations coupled with an innovative approach to produce positive outcomes. We offer full induction, training and mentoring support alongside an excellent remuneration package. Roles are home based with a client caseload within your geographical area. For an informal chat about the role please contact Phil Perry and Sarah Ransome, Operations Managers on 01722 742442, or send your CV to:


The only conference of its type Don’t miss out on the most important CPD moving and handling event of the year. The role of National Back Exchange NBE is to promote excellence in all aspects of moving and handling in order to reduce potential injury to patients, staff and carers. The Conference brings together an influential group o people and visitors to learn, debate, network and reflect and is the A ey e ent in the o ing and Handling calendar. It is an excellent opportunity to meet within a multidisciplinary environment, with those working to promote the health, safety and welfare of staff and patients.

Put the dates in your diary NOW

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

For further details and booking forms email or call 01327 358855

OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 78

28/02/2017 12:30

Recruitment & Training

PIP Absorb Analyse Assess , It s what you trained to do.

Disability Assessors – UK wide We’re looking for permanent Occupational Therapists As a Disability Assessor, you will undertake a face-to-face assessment of an individual who is making a claim for the Personal Independence Payment. You will need to take into account all of the information presented including any supporting evidence and then carry out a face-to-face consultation in a professional manner. Once you have gathered all the necessary information you will complete a structured report to be presented to the DWP. You must have at least two years post-registration experience as an Occupational Therapist (OT), Physiotherapist, Nurse, or Paramedic with a licence to practice and must be registered with the NMC/HCPC/GMC with a valid PIN. You should also have the ability to work autonomously across a geographical area and hold a full UK Driving Licence. When you work for the best, you can expect the best: • Salary of £34,000 per annum • 23 days paid holiday (plus 8 statutory holidays) • Travel expenses reimbursed • Life Assurance • Company pension • Career development opportunities • Working for a progressive and cutting-edge employer with exceptional standards If you are interested in becoming a Disability Assessor and you meet the specification we require, please email your CV to: It's what you trained to do.

OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 79

28/02/2017 12:31

Housing Adaptation Courses • Reading & Using Plans • Ramps • Accessible Kitchens • Bathroom Adaptations

• Adapting for Children With Challenging Behaviour

• Adapting & Designing for Wheelchair Users

• Disabled Facilities Grants



lossom ouse is an outstanding , specialist school for children aged 3 19 years of age with speech, language and communication difficulties.

Opportunities in our school...

 Occupational Therapist  Occupational Therapy Assistant

(Maternity Cover)

We have an exciting opportunity for an Occupational Therapist and an Occupational Therapy Assistant to join our Therapy Team, supporting children who have speech, language and communication difficulties. The ideal candidate will have excellent English skills (clear written and spoken English) and good reading, writing and numeracy skills, along with the ability to build good working relationships with children, teachers, parents and carers. Experience of working with children with Special Education Needs (SEN) is desirable.

For more information and an application form please visit:

And much more…….

Looking for a generous remuneration, flexible hours and a new challenge? We NEED you!  Wo ld o li e to oin a livel , d na ic, client foc sed and ational caring co pan that p ts client ell eing at the heart of ever thing it does  f o are a f ll alified OT ith at least ears’ post alification, loo ing to a e a difference and i prove lives, then a Case Manager’s role at Unite professionals co ld e for o . We are loo ing to recr it across ngland partic larl in and aro nd London, and across the North/South East areas. We need inspiring OT’s to assess client’s needs follo ing catastrophic life changing incidents, plan their reha ilitation o rne , implement and coordinate reha ilitation and services and monitor and evaluate the client’s progress. Unite rofessionals td provide reg lar clinical s pervision, C s pport and a f ll ind ction progra e.

opport nities, ad in

To find out more please email Judith Stewart at , including a full CV. Salaried positions or Self Employed Consultant positions available Find out what you are worth today.

OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 80

28/02/2017 12:31

Feedback FORM



hank you for taking the time to read The OT Magazine, we hope you have enjoyed it. We are striving to produce a magazine that provides OTs ith a use ul resource filled ith rele ant in ormation interesting articles, innovative products and thoughts and opinions from OTs themselves. We would love to hear your thoughts on The OT Magazine to ensure we are producing a publication that you want to read.

Your help is much appreciated.



First Name: March / April 20

Surname: Address:

Postcode: Tel: Email:

Age: under 25



over 60

Are you: a) an occupational therapist b) a professional in the healthcare industry c) a student of occupational therapy Are you an independent OT?


What would you like to see in The OT Magazine? • Products • Case studies of products and methods in practice • Columns from OTs • Interviews with OTs from different fields • Research articles • Services available for patients • Information on respite and accessible holidays • Information on events and exhibitions • Information for students • Recruitment section • Other (Please specify)


What area of occupational therapy do you work in?

What is your overall impression of The OT Magazine?

Please post back your completed form to:

The OT Magazine, Caledonia House, Evanton Drive, Thornliebank Ind Est, Glasgow, G46 8JT www.

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28/02/2017 17:48



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FREE subscription today! Don’t miss out...


e hope you have enjoyed The OT Magazine and have found it informative and enjoyable to read. If you would like to register to receive a free copy of the maga ine e ery issue, simply fill in your details and post back this form to the address provided or visit to register online. The ot magazine is out every two months and every issue will include a wide range of products, news stories, personal stories and informative articles. If you would like to have your say on what you would like to see in the magazine, email We would love to hear your thoughts.

Yes! I would like to subscribe Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms/Dr: First Name: Surname: Address:



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What area of OT do you work in? 82

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28/02/2017 17:28

OT-Adverts_Iss15.indd 83

28/02/2017 12:31

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Profile for 2A Publishing

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