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Forget can’t - think can!


An OT working in palliative care shares her experience




How partnership working is changing lives in East Lancashire


The gadgets and gizmos worth checking out

House Home Make a


THE CHANGING FACE OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY How the profession is growing and changing

Products and adaptations to make independence a reality

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Enable Professional is back for 2017! And we’ve got lots in store to inspire you. We’ve been getting the lowdown on various support services, training opportunities, products and beyond to help you better support your clients and patients day-to-day. From innovative services in falls prevention to an in-depth look at how the world of occupational therapy is changing, we’ve got a host of information for you to get stuck into. Whether you’re after insight into the latest products, tips on helping patients with specific conditions or details of upcoming events, we’ve covered it all here in Enable Professional. I hope you enjoy this issue – and don’t forget to let us know what you’d like to see more of next time using the contact details below!



Until next time,

Lindsay Cochrane, Editor



Forget can’t - think can!


PUBLISHER Denise Connelly

EDITOR Lindsay Cochrane STAFF WRITER Lorne Gillies DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Lucy Baillie

Danny McGonigle

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How animals are being used to support patients. FALLS PREVENTION THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WORKING One NHS trust’s




THE DIARY The events

and training opportunities worth checking out in the months ahead.


A dietician shares some advice on supporting patients with swallowing issues at mealtimes.

at home


Some of the products and alterations helping people stay in their own homes. THE SMALLEST ROOM IN THE HOUSE How to make the

bathroom more accessible.


professional development platforms making life easier for OTs.




A hospice-based OT shares what her job is really like.

Tel: 0844 249 9007 ©DC Publishing Ltd 2017. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without prior written permission from the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of DC Publishing Ltd. The publisher takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers within the publication. Every effort has been made to ensure that information is accurate; while dates and prices are correct at time of going to print, DC Publishing Ltd takes no responsibility for omissions and errors.



innovative project is having a massive, positive impact on older people.


DC Publishing Ltd, 198 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HG


We take a look at what the future holds for the profession.


on the job

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on the road GET MOTORING

Events and services worth checking out to help clients get back on the road.



An overview of some of the best aids on the market. PAEDIATRIC PRODUCTS

Some of the smartest products offering support for young people.

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The changing face of

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY So much has happened in the field of occupational therapy in recent years – and it looks like the future has even more change in store. We spoke with Karin Orman, professional practice manager at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, to find out about some of the innovative practice that’s going on across the UK, and where she thinks OTs will be working in years to come


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one are the days when occupational therapists were simply carrying out assessments in clients’ homes and making recommendations of products and adaptations – now, OTs can be found in a huge variety of locations, and working with different professionals to make life easier for a wide range of client groups. “I think occupational therapy has really expanded. You’re seeing the scope of practice changing quite dramatically, with more emerging-role placements for students, and this has also led to a wider scope of practice,” explains Karin Orman, professional practice manager at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. “We’re seeing more partnership working with frontline services. We have occupational therapists working with paramedics doing falls response. We’ve got occupational therapists working with the fire and rescue service, creating a direct referral process.” IMPACT The emergence of OTs in different settings all goes back to the primary function of occupational therapy – to improve people’s health and wellbeing through participation in occupation. So it makes perfect sense that OTs are starting to undertake work in more non-traditional settings, beyond working with older people, people with disabilities and those with mental health conditions, starting at the point of diagnosis. “If anybody is diagnosed with an ongoing condition or has a disability, or an on-going illness, the second question they have once they get that diagnosis is, ‘How am I going to manage day-to-day? What does that mean for my life? What does that mean in terms of the future?’” says Karin. “And so you could argue there’s a role for occupational therapists there. Some people can adapt and adjust, but other people need support.” RECOGNITION Universities are starting to take on OTs to support students, whether they have disabilities, are struggling with workload or are experiencing mental health issues. Therapists are working with students to


We’re keen to see occupational therapists working much more closely with homecare agencies and care assistants find out what challenges they are facing, where the barriers are, and helping them figure out how better to balance their studies with work and socialising. They’re then suggesting relaxation techniques, study skills and offering advice on how to manage energy levels, develop resilience and build their confidence. OTs are also starting to work with homeless people, Armed Forces veterans, in prisons, they’re becoming more accessible in care homes for older people, as well as working in mainstream schools. More and more services and sectors are starting to recognise the benefit of occupational therapy when it comes to supporting people to live their lives the way they choose. “We’re starting to work with groups who might not be classed as needing health and social care services – who are spending a lot of time going to their GP’s surgery, for instance,” Karin says. “There’s a service in York where an occupational therapist covers nine GPs’ surgeries, and has a physical presence in five of them, where they have high deprivation areas. They are targeting people that are using the surgery, having lots of appointments, and the occupational therapist is going in and doing some very early intervention work, linking the patients up with volunteers, offering emotional support, buddying people with people who have dementia, and tackling things such as loneliness and stress.” GOOD FIT Karin says that occupational therapy is, in fact, a good fit for where the UK’s health

and social care sector is heading. The profession is very much about supporting people to be more independent and to self-manage – and with health and social care looking at how best to help people live in their own homes and rely on services less, input from occupational therapists is more important than ever. But with an ageing population, and tight budgets, OTs are becoming more and more stretched. There aren’t enough occupational therapists to meet demand, and not enough support workers on-hand to help carry out their recommendations. This is part of the reason why the Royal College are recommending that the way in which OTs work needs to change. “We’ve just done a report, which is focused on putting prevention at the heart of care for older people. Our recommendation within that is that occupational therapists need to rethink their services, and have a think about how are they best meeting the needs of their local population,” says Karin. “It might be that their work has to change from working with members of the public to working more with support workers, care home workers – considering how they might be trained and mentored, supported, to act as if they were an expert where they can tap into the occupational therapy reasoning and knowledge so that they can better support people out in the community. It gives us more reach.” This approach – supporting care staff rather than the individual who needs the occupational therapy support – would be, first of all, a much better use of therapists’ time, and also ensure a more skilled workforce in the wider health and social care sector. “We’re particularly keen at the Royal College to start to see occupational therapists working much more closely with homecare agencies, different forms of support workers and care assistants,” Karin says. “They are increasingly supporting people with complex needs. It’s about really teaching and developing an enablement ethos. Moving away from that traditional position of just giving care, but actually supporting people to manage more for themselves – promoting independence.”


Keep up to date with the latest from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists online at

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03/11/2017 09:38

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Four-legged friends Animals have a magical ability to fill people with a sense of relief, even momentarily, from daily challenges. Occupational therapist Emma Middleton helps adults with learning and mental health difficulties connect with nature from her therapeutic holding at Coope Care Farm in Devon


How do you use the space at Coope Farm and your expertise to care for adults with additional needs? It’s an outside setting, so it’s calm, beautiful and quiet. We have a variety of animals and it means you can put together a day of varied activities outdoors in all weathers, and people have a role where they are productive. That’s what I’m quite passionate about – a lot of disabled adults lose that productivity aspect of their life and end up feeling dependent, and get to the end of the day not having felt useful. The idea is to mimic a work role – work clothes on, work boots on, go and complete some meaningful activities, down tools for lunchtime and back out again.


What activities do you do with clients and animals? It falls into three categories: basic animal care, including mucking out, feeding and grooming. Basic horticulture, including sowing, planting, weeding and harvesting. Then an on-going round of seasonal jobs, like filling pot holes in the lane, mending fences to keep the goats from escaping, sweeping up leaves – all the bits and pieces that help a farm tick over. We also hold volunteer sessions on a

Wednesday for people to attend and see what it’s like to be part of a small working community.


out familiar activities on the farm. The great thing as an OT working on the farm is enabling the person, place and task to come together to enable wellbeing.


How have you seen animals What are the help participants? main positives In a variety of ways, of working with depending on the individual animals as an OT? person. Take someone I like the whole package with autism who is The great thing is working on the farm non-verbal and feels enabling the person, of – being outdoors, being intimidated by big place and task to productive, working groups of people – they with your hands, can quite happily go up come together to working with people you to a horse and stroke enable wellbeing don’t know. his face or ruffle a dog’s Animals can be a fabulous fur. They will be close to diversion – to focus attention an animal in a way they on the ducks that need feeding never would be with another or mucking out the pigs. It boosts a person, in quite a lovely, spontaneous person’s confidence and it makes people way, and showing affection. That little feel like they’re making a difference. spontaneous engagement is what I’m looking for. Through to someone who is more articulate, and possibly at the other end of the autistic spectrum, it is a really good way of taking a bit of responsibility.


What is the best part of your role? When people don’t previously know each other come to the farm regularly and build friendships by carrying



Coope Care Farm will soon be providing small holding holidays in their converted stables. For more information, visit or call 01409 221 552.

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03/11/2017 12:15


FALLS PREVENTION through partnership working

We find out about an innovative service in East Lancashire that’s helping more older people stay in their own homes safely


ne of the biggest risks faced by older people is falling. The number of people in the UK over the age of 65 is projected to rise by over 40% in the next 17 years, taking the total to more than 16 million. And with 30% of people over the age of 65 falling at least once a year – and the figure climbing to 50% for the over-80s – this is a real problem amongst the older generation. A fall can lead to pain, distress, loss of confidence, loss of independence – and each year, there are around 255,000 fallsrelated emergency hospital admissions in England alone among patients over 65.

And this is costing the health service, and social services, a lot of money – millions of pounds, in fact. Unaddressed falls hazards at home are estimated to cost the NHS in England £435m each year. The problem is, however, that the older people falling are often unknown to social services and occupational therapy departments, so risks in the home and people at risk of falling are going unidentified until it’s too late. ACTION The East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust could see that this was a major problem, taking up a lot of time and resources in

emergency departments. So they decided to take action. “At the start of 2015, our acute emergency services were at crisis point in our hospital, red alert most days because of the acute bed occupancy we were having, and it was struggling to cope with the increasing demand of patients coming into A&E – we couldn’t really keep them there,” explains OT Cath Flannigan. “Our hospital trust and the North West Ambulance Service got together and had this shared vision of trying to keep these people who were falling out of the emergency department if possible. Our manager said that an

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ON THE JOB occupational therapist was in the prime position to help these people. Within two weeks of them talking about the service, it actually started up.” The service sees an OT – Cath – working alongside a paramedic to respond to emergency calls from older people, and people with medical conditions that affect their balance such as MS, who have fallen. Before, people calling the emergency services about a fall were waiting an average of four hours to be seen by paramedics – the Falls Response Service see 80% of cases within half an hour. PREVENTION Cath and a paramedic from the North West Ambulance Service will go to calls regarding falls in an unmarked car, kitted out with specialist equipment to help with falls, and the paramedic will carry out an initial medical assessment to make sure the patient is OK. Cath will then carry out a fall assessment to identify what happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. East Lancashire are one of a handful of organisations nationally offering a falls response service like this. “I can assess what caused their fall,

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try and establish future preventative being able to stay in their own home and measures, review their home avoid hospitalisation is key – and that’s environment, identify tripping hazards what the Falls Response Service work to – if there’s poor lighting, whether they’re do. Cath explains: “The aim of the service wearing inappropriate footwear,” explains is really to reduce unnecessary hospital Cath. “I’ll assess their functional ability, admissions, reduce the number of older check that they can complete all their people who present at the emergency everyday activities, such as getting in department following a fall, reduce the and out of bed, getting to and from the demand for emergency ambulances toilet, on and off the toilet, on and off responding to these incidents, and to their chairs. I’ll check their mobility, deliver immediate action to support sensory impairments, any cognitive these people to remain at home following impairments, reduced confidence – their fall.” reduced confidence is massive after somebody has just fallen. They’re really IMPACT worried they’re going to fall again. Since the service launched in January “I can then put more support in place. 2015, the OT and paramedic team have I’ll see what care they’ve got at the attended over 2,000 incidents – and moment, and see if they need any more kept 80% of patients at home. Before to help them keep safe at home. With this the service launched, over 70% of calls one assessment, we can provide loads relating to a fall saw the patient being of equipment, rehab, and taken to hospital. And it’s seen big wrap services around this savings too – it’s estimated that person to keep them the service has saved the safe at home and trust more than £1.4m. Reducing the reduce their risk of And the East demand on hospitals falling again.” Lancashire service is and emergency services For many expanding. At present, older people, there’s one full-time is such a priority. It’s OT and a few staff good for taxpayers, and working bank shifts for the patient themselves to keep the service running from 8am – they don’t want to until 6pm, seven days go into hospital, a week. Funding has do they? been approved though for two full-time OTs and one part-time OT working on a rota alongside six paramedics. The paramedics, Cath says, are benefiting from working alongside an OT too: “I know the paramedics here are getting much more knowledge of the OT role and things to look for. A lot of them have come up to me and said that before the OT was involved, they wouldn’t have thought to look at a patient’s bed or the height of their chair. It’s these things that can be a risk of falls and crisis. It’s things like advising on pendant alarms or appropriate footwear, because they can really stop these falls occurring.” The service has been such a success that Cath has seen a lot of interest from other NHS trusts, keen to try a similar model in their area. “Reducing the demand on hospitals and emergency services is such a priority,” Cath says. “It’s good for taxpayers, and for the patient themselves – they don’t want to go into hospital, do they? If it can be avoided – our priority is keeping people out of that hospital.”

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The key to independence is having a home which you can navigate freely – but a staggering 1.8 million people in England are struggling to find accommodation that meets their needs. So how can people work with what they’ve already got? We take a tour of the home to find out


It’s the heart of the home, where people get together to relax, watch TV and catch up. So you’ve got to make sure that clients and patients are comfortable – and able to access entertainment options. Seating is an important place to start – and unfortunately a standard IKEA sofa isn’t going to cut it for some people. From riser recliners to high-backed chairs, comfort, support and being able to get in and out of the seat is key – and there’s a lot more variety on the market today, meaning clients don’t have to settle for boring old-fashioned armchairs. The likes of Argos ( offer riser recliners which fit in with their main range, while Care Flex ( have lots of really modern designs, available in different colours and fabrics. The HydroTilt® is designed for posture,

pressure and comfort management – and it looks great. If a whole new chair isn’t required, investigate cushions and supports to help adjust the height of current furniture or to improve comfort. Steps too can come in handy, or swivel cushions to help individuals with moving and positioning independently. Foot rests, back rests – there’s lots of variety available. For entertainment, boost accessibility of television sets with a TV hearing aid. Amplicomms do a great version, available from Hearing Direct (, which is wireless and guarantees high-quality sound transmission for a range of entertainment items, not just TVs. Sound can reach up to 120dB, meaning the neighbours won’t need to listen in to EastEnders every night.


STAIRS Stairs can be a huge barrier – and if moving to a bungalow isn’t an option, there are adaptations that could be made. Stair lifts are the most obvious option. Modern designs are safer, more secure and faster than those of old – get up-to-date with what’s on the market, and investigate solutions to suit different circumstances. Seated, perched, curved, straight and even outdoor stair lifts are available from the likes of Stannah (www.stannahstairlifts. and Acorn (www. Get along to an upcoming independent living exhibition or OT show to meet


with suppliers and find out more. For clients with more floor space, a lift could be an option. Lifts come in various forms. Step lifts are discretely concealed in the floor when not in use. For clients with a step or two to navigate, this safely lifts them up past the obstacle. Inclined platform lifts take clients up sets of stairs, or you can go for a traditional vertical lift, which transport users straight up, from one floor to the next. Lift specialists such as Panova ( and Terry Lifts ( are worth checking out.

Adjustable beds from the likes of Theraposture (, Laybrook ( and Willowbrook ( can make getting into, out of and staying in bed a lot easier for people with mobility issues. You can adjust the height and angle of the bed, move the mattress for comfort or to help the user get out – there’s lots of variety. And adjustable beds are starting to lose their ‘clinical’, look too – there are some really nice designs available to fit in with different interiors. In terms of access generally, over-bed tables can be good for clients who spend a lot of time in bed, while bed rails are also available to offer extra support when getting in or out. Investigate postural support options too like wedges and rolls to help people get comfortable and to alleviate pressure – C&S Seating ( have lots of good options.

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SECURITY According to the London School of Economics, 1.8 million disabled people in England are struggling to find accommodation which meets their needs

For many older and disabled people, security is a big issue. With stories of doorstep scammers and conmen, vulnerable people are at risk of being taken advantage of in their own homes. Fortunately, there are products on the market to prevent this. There are simple measures such as ‘no cold callers’ stickers on doors, setting up passwords with utilities companies to prevent bogus officials and simple door chains to let the client see who’s there before opening up. Motion sensors on lights and burglar alarms can give peace of mind, or you can look into small security cameras or smart doorbells. There’s a variety of small, affordable cameras on the market now, such as Ring (, a doorbell with a camera which you can access from an app – and

even communicate with the person on your doorstep, whether you’re at home or not. Nest ( also have indoor and outdoor cameras – so as well as being able to see who’s outside your home, family or friends can log in and check too. Installing a key box is also a good idea if the client has carers coming and going– only people with the security code can gain access, and in turn, only they can get into the property. Anyone ringing the doorbell or trying to enter otherwise shouldn’t be there. Home monitoring systems too can come in handy. The likes of Canary Care (www. have door sensors, which send out an alert to nominated relatives or carers if the individual opens their front door or leaves home unexpectedly.

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0800 7316495

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Smallest Room in the house

Small in stature, huge in importance. Having access to a bathroom is a basic right – but, sadly, people across the country are living without adequate washing and toileting facilities. Here are a few aids and adaptations, from small changes to larger structural alterations, that can make the loo that bit more accessible

The marketplace has lots of top-class accessible bathroom suppliers – search online to see what’s available, and make sure to speak with companies directly about what they can offer.


Using the loo can be a real struggle for many – but, fortunately, there are accessible options available. The location is the first consideration – if the client needs help getting on and off the loo, you’ll need space for transfers, and find out if wheelchair users move onto the loo from the front or side. Moving the loo itself might be a problem due to pipes and plumbing, so think about this before recommending structural changes. When it comes to the toilet itself, there are lots of different models available to make life easier. Wash and dry toilets are good for people who have trouble wiping – Clos-oMat (, AKW ( and Geberit ( do great designs, and there are even models which are controlled remotely, so a carer can operate the wash and dry function from outside the bathroom door.

GRAB RAILS AND HOISTS Grab rails are almost essential in bathrooms for people with mobility problems, whether it’s helping to get off the toilet or for stability in the shower. If the walls aren’t strong enough to take railings, you can look into stick-on supports which have suction cups. Hoists too are a good option in larger spaces, for individuals with more severe mobility impairments and require support moving.


Wet rooms are a good option for people with mobility problems. If a conversion like this isn’t possible, investigate shower trays with minimal lip to prevent falls. Non-slip flooring options are available too. The Tern Tray (www.theterntray. is a rotating shower tray which is great for those who are short on space, and helps people shower independently too. Shower seats, whether free-standing or attached to the wall, are essential for those who won’t manage to stand.

BATHS Getting in and out of the bath can be a real challenge for those with mobility problems. If installing a wet room or shower isn’t an option, look into bath lifts or hoists, or even investigate walk-in baths, which have a door to make getting in and out a lot easier. It’s important to remember that the client has to stay in the bath until the water drains away.


With bathrooms, always make sure there’s enough room for manoeuvring, that doorways are wide enough, and that there’s space for transfers if the client needs support with moving. With small bathrooms, this can be difficult, which is when it can be beneficial to talk about changing it into a wet room – losing a bath tub frees up a lot of space.


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Safe and nutritious diet Working with a dietician and a speech and language therapist, the OT should have a good awareness of the severity of the patient’s dysphagia so that it can be managed appropriately. A safe diet of the correct texture can then be recommended, which also suits the patient’s dietary needs and aims to meet their nutritional requirements, including fluids, to help prevent and manage malnutrition and dehydration.

PLEASANT DINING EXPERIENCE Further elements to be considered are the visual presentation and taste of the food offered. The nutritional value of a meal left uneaten is zero, so it is vital that meals are presented in an appealing manner. Blending all the components of a meal together is often the process followed to make a meal ‘safe’, but serving a meal in this manner can be unappealing to the patient. Each component of the meal should be made to be recognisable to the person with dysphagia; they should be blended separately and moulds used when possible. OTs should ensure the meals offered are great-tasting and that they are presented in an appealing manner; a simple step towards improving their patient’s dining experience.


Dealing with



Leading on from the previous point, an important aspect of the dining experience is who a person shares their meals with. When a patient with dysphagia lacks the confidence to eat in front of others, they may become increasingly isolated. Sharing a meal is one of the most important forms of social interaction. If the patient begins to avoid these situations, they may spend an increasing amount of time alone. This is arguably one of the most damaging psychological effects of dysphagia. OTs play an integral role in being part of the team which encourages their patients to improve their dining experience by eating with family and friends, or by attending lunch clubs.

Posture The OT should determine which position is the safest and most comfortable for the patient to eat in. The correct eating position can aid the swallowing process and help to reduce choking risk. The guidance for many dysphagia patients is that they should be positioned completely upright when given something orally, however this doesn’t apply to everyone. This can be difficult to achieve if the patient is lying in a hospital bed, for example. OTs are often the best-placed healthcare professionals to help each individual patient to understand what best works for them.

Correct eating aids OTs will be well aware that there are many products on the market designed to assist patients with dysphagia during the eating process. For example, specially designed cutlery, cups and mugs. Some cutlery models have a wider gripping surface and a smooth coating, to minimise the damage done to patients with a compulsive bite reflex. Cups and mugs designed for those with dysphagia decrease the amount of movement required when swallowing, helping to reduce the risk of choking. OTs should work closely with their patients to determine whether special products are suitable for them and to help them get accustomed to using them. i


Check out Wiltshire Farm Foods’ Softer Foods range at


Thousands of people across the UK are living with dysphagia, also known as swallowing problems. It can be caused by Parkinson’s, MS, stroke, dementia, and other conditions, and causes lots of difficulties daily. So how do OTs support patients with dysphagia? Dietician Emily Stuart of Wiltshire Farm Foods shares her top tips

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31/10/2017 11:47 11:45 03/11/2017


MOTORING For many people with a disability, getting from A to be B can be a struggle, which is why having access to a car is so important – and motoring has never been so accessible, from adaptations to support schemes. We take a look at the different services that are out there


here’s no feeling quite like getting behind the wheel of a car, putting the keys in the ignition and seeing where the day takes you. And having access to a car is more important for some people than it is for others. With access on public transport being described as OK on a good day, having a car which meets your needs and lets you journey on your own terms is vital for many people with disabilities. Some, however, fear that driving is out of their reach. Too expensive, too complicated, too much hassle – car ownership can seem like an impossible dream of many disabled people. The good news is that motoring is more accessible now than it’s ever been. There’s


an estimated 1.9 million licensed disabled drivers in the UK, and around 400,000 adapted vehicles on our roads. Thanks to support schemes and adaptations, and great support from the occupational therapy community, driving is becoming a reality for lots of people.

Independence If you have a patient or client who’s keen to find out more about their motoring options, whether they’re learning to drive for the first time or returning to motoring after an accident or illness, there are a few different organisations to which you can refer them to boost their independence. Perhaps the best known is the Motability

Scheme. Motability lets disabled people in receipt of certain benefits use those benefits to lease a brand-new car for a term of three years. The Scheme, which launched in 1978, aims to make car ownership more affordable, and has a huge 650,000 customers across the UK. In exchange for qualifying benefits, customers can lease either a brand-new car, wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV), scooter or electric wheelchair. Included in the lease, they’ll also get insurance cover, servicing and maintenance, a range of adaptations where needed, full breakdown assistance and up to two named drivers for cars and WAVs. A huge range of manufacturers are signed up to the Scheme, from Alpha Romeo to

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Blue Badge


Make sure clients apply for a Blue Badge if they’re eligible. This will give them priority parking, often free of charge, in a range of locations. Contact your local authority for more details.

Seat, with a good selection of models and trim levels to choose from, ranging from super minis suited to city driving through to van-style cars for conversion. Some motors are available at no additional cost, taking all or part of the qualifying benefit (the ‘weekly rental’), while for higher-spec cars, an additional up-front payment is required (know as an ‘Advance Payment’).


Find your ideal car Rica, the consumer research charity for older and disabled people, has some fantastic guides available online which look at the measurements of different cars, so you can see at a glance what excels in terms of boot space, headroom, legroom and how wide doors open. You can check it out online at

There’s an estimated 1.9 million licensed disabled drivers in the UK, and around 400,000 adapted vehicles on our roads

If you think your client could benefit from adaptations or specialist equipment to make motoring easier, whether they’re driving or a passenger, and you don’t have specialist knowledge of all the equipment available yourself, check out Driving Mobility Centres. With centres located across the country, Driving Mobility offer assessments to drivers of all ages from 16 and up, to make sure individuals are fit to drive. For people with disabilities or medical conditions, the team can assess their physical and cognitive ability, which can show if they are able to drive safely, and recommend any appropriate adaptations or products. These assessments are handy for older people too who perhaps are worried about their ability to drive as they age. Adaptations can vary from simple steering solutions to more complex structural changes, even enabling individuals to drive from their wheelchairs. Modifications can take a variety of different forms, from hand controls to changing the position of indicator levers to adjustments to seatbelts or access – and many adaptations are available free of charge through the Motability Scheme, or at a reduced price. Driving Mobility can also offer support for people with learning disabilities or special educational needs who want to learn how to drive, or people with hearing impairments who might struggle to find an instructor.


Your local Motability dealership and conversion specialists are a good point

of contact too. You’ll be able to speak with experts, face to face, about what’s available on the market, and get a good look at different models of car too. It’s important that you and your client identify their needs before picking a car – if they need certain adaptations, some models will automatically be out of the question. So get an assessment of need first, figure out what adaptations are required, and look into the car last. Events for disabled drivers take place across the UK throughout the year, from Motability’s One Big Day and The Big Event to more general independent living events like Naidex and Kidz to Adultz, showcasing different manufacturers and conversions. Head along to events like these yourself to check out the latest innovations making motoring easier for people with disabilities and to meet with the experts to find out more. Recommend that clients head along as well – they’re just as useful for professionals as they are the public. You can even test-drive and try out different cars, adaptations and products at these exhibitions. There are lots of ways for OTs to support clients and patients in their driving ambitions – whether they’re keen to get behind the wheel themselves or they’re happy as a passenger. Get into gear and start investigating support organisations, or look out for more localised support. With this knowledge on board? You’ll be handing over the keys to independence before you know it.



Motability 0300 456 4566

Driving Mobility 01872 672 520

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03/11/2017 11:18



Reablement practitioners A

new system has been launched to provide support to practitioners working in reablement. The Daily Living System, from movement monitoring experts Just Checking, has been developed specifically for 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 efficiencies for practitioners and help to ensure that individuals get the support they need. The Daily Living System comprises of 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 a 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


Just Checking will be at The OT Show on stand F80

the principle of safeguarding against 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 objectives, 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.

For further information on the Daily Living System visit professionals/reablement, or contact 01564 785 100 or

020_OT_2017_JustChecking.indd 20

06/11/2017 14:39


Caring for people in their final days can be challenging – both professionally and emotionally. We spoke with occupational therapist for children’s hospice Shooting Star Chase Sue Wickings to find out what it really takes to work in palliative care

Attentive hands of


hat is the role of an OT within a hospice? Occupational therapy is such a person-centred profession. At Shooting Star Chase, we are focused on enhancing the children’s skills, abilities and control over their own lives – something that is especially important working with children with life-limiting conditions. We provide support, advice and advocacy on issues affecting quality of life, the use of different strategies or appropriate aids and adaptations, all selected for each and every child’s needs. What do you do day-to-day? It varies. We might be working on enhancing the sensory awareness of a child or young person. We could be working with a physiotherapist, giving advice, training and support to staff on best positioning, moving and handling. We liaise with community therapists and colleagues, which is key to ensure care is co-ordinated for the best outcome for the child and their family. An important and regular range of our work involves adapting activities of daily living to enable or promote a child’s participation. How do you support young people and their families with end-of-life care? In this phase, the input from occupational therapists is important and highly valued

by other professionals, and doesn’t finish at end-of-life. Our specific interventions are informed by the priorities of the children and their families. We help tailor interventions and adapt access to activities to achieve the best quality of life. We act as a key link to community services to ensure equipment needs and support is in place for the child and their family. What amendments are made for endof-life care at home? In most cases, there shouldn’t be the need for extensive amendments. We work with community services and multidisciplinary teams to ensure that services are flexible and responsive to the needs of individual children and their families. What is the most challenging part of your role? It’s a challenge to keep the support as positive and sensitive as possible. Of course, it can be distressing when children we know reach the end of their life. And the most rewarding? It is really inspiring and energising to work so closely with the children and families I meet. It is amazingly rewarding to see the ways in which we can help enhance the quality of their lives. It is also great to work with so many dedicated and skilled staff in many disciplines.



To find out more about Shooting Star Chase, visit

021_OT_2017_PalliativeCare.indd 21


03/11/2017 10:08


CPD Portfolios Organise your CPD evidence with a little help from the technological world


eeping on top of your CPD portfolio can be a headache – all those bits of paper, what counts, what doesn’t, things going missing… It can be a total nightmare. But being organised is important, just in case of that much-feared HCPC audit. From course certificates to reflective work, you’ve got to keep tabs on it all. Luckily, there’s a little bit of help available from the digital realm – namely, smartphone apps and webbased platforms. There’s an array of handy applications and websites on the market which will help you record, store and file away all your CPD evidence for such times that you need to be able to prove what you’ve been doing in terms of professional learning. Here are a few that are worth checking out.

HCP+ Available both as an online platform and an app, HCP+ helps you build and maintain your CPD log with ease. You can produce your HCPC log at the push of a button, and the automated CPD Profile


report means you’re ready for audit at any time. It even produces statistics to show your balance and patterns of CPD, so you can see where you’re up to speed and what you need to do more of. It costs just £1.99 a month, or if you sign up for an annual plan, it’s £1.49 a month.

CPDme Upload supporting documents such as certificates and other evidence along with examples of your reflective practice to CPDme’s app and web-based platform. It’s easy to print off your complete portfolio, selecting what you’d like to include and exclude, alongside your CV and employment information – great if you’re applying for jobs! As it’s cloud-based, you can access it from anywhere – and it’s super easy to update too.

CPD-online This easy-to-use website for HCPCregistered professionals makes tracking your CPD activity straightforward. Online

only, you can log all of your HCPC activities in the one place under the headings recommended by the body – and membership is only £9.99 per year.

CPDoL CPD Online is an interactive online portfolio tool designed especially for occupational therapists. The online platform lets you add CPD evidence such as a personal development plan, create an activities and evidence summary, self-assessment activities, and even upload and store supporting documents. You can use it on a PC, Mac, tablet – anything that’s got an internet connection! It’s designed specifically to be HCPC compliant too – so you know your profile will be ready for audit should the occasion arise. There’s lots on the market to choose from, and many offer free trials too or have demos on their website to let you get a feel for how it could work for you. So get online, start experimenting and get ready to ditch that weathered ringbinder – it’s time to get organised!

022_OT_2017_CPD.indd 22

03/11/2017 10:10

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06/11/2017 10:18

Product If you’re looking for new, innovative items to recommend to your clients, check out this lot for inspiration


Ardoo Hoists, £1,940.98 (, 0115 718 0676) This lightweight, foldable hoist from Ardoo has a unique frontlifting boom, facilitating safe, precise movement – for instance, it could help a person get in and out of a vehicle. Its small footprint also means that it fits into small spaces.


Complete Care Shop, £22.95 (, 03330 160 000) The Handy Bar clips easily into car door frames to give passengers or drivers a little extra support when it comes to getting out of their car. It’s easily removed and attached, and its small size means it’s perfect for stowing away when it’s not in use. The soft, slip-resistant grip means it’s safe too.


Mountain Trike Company, from £3,295 with free UK delivery ( The award-winning Mountain Trike Company manufacture all-terrain wheelchairs to help with rehabilitation and enables the user to enjoy the great outdoors independently in comfort and style. A unique lever-drive system allows the rider to self-propel, and various accessories are available, such as a push handle. Available in a range of colours, the Trike also has a three-year warranty.


Argos, £179.99 ( independent-living, catalogue number: 8650782) This lightweight aluminium wheelchair weighs only 9kg in its carrying format. Easily foldable and transportable with a half-folding backrest, quick release footrests and rear wheels, the chair also features pneumatic rear wheels for a smoother ride. Maximum user weight limit of 115kg (18 stone).


C&S Seating, from £119.99 exc VAT (, 01424 853 331) The Alternative Positioning Support (APS) is exclusive to C&S Seating and is recommended for use where more control of the abducted lower limb is required than can be provided by C&S Seating’s T-Roll or Log Roll. Mounted on a tubular metal frame with adjustable widths and removable pads.


024-025_OT_2017_Products.indd 24

06/11/2017 10:41



Theraposture, from £8,650 (www.theraposture., 0800 834 654, This original, trusted and proven rotating bed range represents the widest choice available and delivers maximum care cost savings and client independence. Continually improved for over 20 years, the Rotoflex provides a powered rotational action that enables independent bed transfers and a vertical seat rise for safe standing.

Staels Design, £575 ( Following its muchanticipated launch in November, the wheelAIR, an innovative new product for wheelchair users, is now available to order. This clever cushion cools the back and core within seconds, reduces heat and moisture buildup, and offers extra lateral support at the same time.


AHM Installations, POA (, 0800 731 6495) The Avrail 1700 bath is the same footprint of most standard baths, and so is the ideal solution for replacing an existing bath. The Avrail 1500 bath is perfect for those too with limited space. Their simple design means that Avrail baths lend themselves well to both modern and traditional settings.


Cyclone Mobility, POA (, 0800 180 4850) Give clients back their independence with the help of Obi, a robotic feeding arm which makes mealtimes more enjoyable. Users can instruct the feeding arm to select food from four different bowls.


AlzProducts, £9.95 (, 024 7642 2224) This is a cheap, effective way of preventing floods. When an unattended bath or sink reaches a certain depth, the Magiplug pressure plate opens and releases, so excess water safely drains away, keeping it at a safe level until the taps are turned off.


SK Handling, POA ( For clients and patients who require extra support, The SuperPole is great for any room, from the bedroom to the bathroom, boosting individuals’ confidence. Secured between the floor and ceiling, it can support up to 300lbs with the standard pole, or 450lbs with the heavy duty pole. This versatile support can be used for bathroom safety or as a grab bar beside a bed or chair, in a range of different ways.

024-025_OT_2017_Products.indd 25


06/11/2017 10:42


Offerfair Business Park 12-14 Maunsell Road Castleham Ind Est St Leonards-on-Sea TN38 9NN




01424 853331

Products designed and developed to aid basic postural management. T Rolls T Rolls are used to control position of the body in supine lying. See our web site for our full range of postural control & support products.

Alternative Positioning Support The APS is designed for use where more control of the abducted lower limbs is required.




C&Sseating_2017_QUARTER PAGE.indd 2

11/07/2017 09:19

Manufacturers of Equipment for People with Disabilities

Mountain Trike

MT Push

Environmental Controls

MT evo

Window Openers

0% FINANCE AVAILABLE! * Enjoy family days out * Woodland trails * Urban terrain * Even sand and snow

Curtain Puller

* Prices from £3295

Access Controls Door Openers

* Choice of any colour * 3 year warranty

Telephone Door Latch Release Systems

Enjoy the Outdoors... Check out our range Communications

Radio Frequency Distress Alarms Roving Alarms, Epilepsy Alarms, DECT Monitors RIDLEY ELECTRONICS LIMITED

026_OT_2017_ADV.indd 26

Stable Environment, Chilmark Manor Farm, Chilmark, Nr. Salisbury, Wiltshire SP3 5AF Tel: 01722 717 878 Email:

06/11/2017 14:52


Paediatric Check out these handy aids and adaptations for young people PLAYPACK PORTABLE ACTIVITY KIT

Firefly, £269 exc VAT (, 028 9267 8879) This activity kit is a great recommendation for parents keen to work on their child’s therapy at home, or it could be handy for paediatric OTs in the community. The activity centre contains rolls, wedges and supports designed by clinical experts that stick together in dozens of different ways to let parents and children practise their early positions at home.



Smirthwaite, £499 (, 01626 835 552) Named after the UK’s first giant panda, this colourful children’s stander is as useful as it is cute! Designed for young children who require low to moderate levels of support whilst weight-bearing, it can be used as a hip stander, targeting areas such as trunk and shoulder girdle stability and head control.

NRS Healthcare, from £1,679 RRP (, 0345 121 8111) The Seahorse Sanichair from NRS Healthcare provides support for children of a range of ages when it comes to showering, hair-washing and using the toilet. The awardwinning design fits over most toilets, and its high centre of gravity allows for effortless tilting to wash the child’s hair.


Simple Stuff Works, POA (, 01827 307 870) These foot supports come in three colours and sizes, starting from baby to adult size one. These soft supports hold feet in a neutral position, and the special fabric helps keep feet fresh while protecting them from falling forwards or rotating.


Jiraffe, POA (, 0114 285 3376) The Tarta Kid is an innovative seating solution, designed to correct and maintain postural alignment for children aged from eight months to three years old. Several base options make the Kid a truly flexible supportive seating solution perfect for a range of situations; from highchair to pushchair or dinner table.

027_OT_2017_Products.indd 27


03/11/2017 16:40

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• Work with like-minded clinicians at the top of their field, most of whom are Occupational Therapists. • You will have access to continuous, collaborative and structured professional development. • You enjoy report writing and are looking for a flexible role to complement your hands-on therapy work. • Become the Occupational Therapist you trained to be and maximise your clinical potential. Private company limited by guarantee. Incorporated in England and Wales. Registration no. 3166627. Registered charity number 1053866. Scottish charity number SC040810.

Learn more by visiting our website; by seeing us at one of our seminars in 2018, or attending one of our webinars, email for more information. W: T: 01722 342 512

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A revolution in care cost savings – the NEW Rotoflex beds from Theraposture The original and proven Rotoflex® rotational bed range is the widest available – the choice has become even wider. • NEW: Pioneering additional functionality – in-built or retro-fitted • NEW: Cost-effective community Rotoflex bed • PREFERENTIAL OT PRICES and free home assessments • TYPICALLY SAVING UP TO £27,000* a year in care costs • New, refurbished and rental options available • Low access and bariatric versions available • Vertical seat lift for safe controlled sit to stand transfers • Full range of pressure mattresses up to grade 4 • 14-day Suitability Guarantee

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20/10/2017 13:56

06/11/2017 10:15





Royal Derby Hospital, Derby Led by lecturer Dr Sidney Chu, this threeday workshop is specially designed for occupational therapists and other health and educational professionals. Those working with children on the autistic spectrum can learn more about mainstream and special schools, early intervention programmes and child development care. It counts as 18 hours of CPD, and you’ll get a certificate.



EventCity, Manchester The Kidz to Adultz exhibitions from Disabled Living are coming to Manchester for everyone interested in young people with a disability. With over 130 exhibitors, there will be stands on funding, communication, access, education and much more. A full program of CPD seminars will also run across the day.



Royal College of Occupational Therapists, London A networking event where professionals can debate and discuss what occupational therapy is able to offer people living with dementia. Learning objectives during the networking day include reflecting on existing practices, exploring how OTs can best access opportunities, resources and information, and identify next steps for sharing best practice. Free and open to all working in the field of dementia care.


THE OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SHOW NEC, Birmingham A must-attend event for all occupational therapists is the hugely popular annual Occupational Therapy Show. This year will see world-class education delivered by Dr Michael Iwama, Dr Jenny Preston MBE and many more guest speakers. Guaranteed to be bigger than ever before, the show features many new programmes, including a neurology in practice stream. Register for your free pass by visiting the website.



Hotel and Spa , Edinburgh uk Discover the la test equipmen t and adaptations th at you could us e within your day-to-day prac tice during this free exhibition. There will be 75 exhibitors alon gside 10 seminars on the day, offerin g a great opportunity to gain valuable kn owledge of current adapta tions and equi pment availabl in your field of e work. Look out for more OTAC events taking pl ace in 2018 too!

25-26 APRIL 2018


NEC, Birmingham Naidex is Europe’s biggest trade, professional and consumer show, dedicated to people with a learning or physical disability. Focusing on the care, rehabilitation and lifestyle of disabled people, Naidex is a must-attend for all healthcare professionals. After an extremely successful 2017, 2018 is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Speakers already confirmed include Kay James from OT4Independence Ltd and many more.



Locations nationwide 01722 342 513 To find out what an expert witness is and how it can maximise your clinical potential, head along to one of these

interesting seminars. Hear about what the role entails from a current expert witness, find out what skills are required, network with other clinicians, and view sample reports. Events are being held next year in London (8 February), Birmingham (22 March), Bristol (9 May), London (17 July), Manchester (12 September) and Leeds (7 November).

029_OT_2017_Diary.indd 29


03/11/2017 16:40


Get involved with

enable If you’re looking for a great resource that’ll inform, inspire and entertain your clients, we’ve got just the thing


nable Professional is the annual spin-off to Enable, the UK’s leading disability lifestyle magazine. Since its launch in 2011, the bimonthly magazine has reached thousands of disabled people, carers and professionals across the country, delivering the latest disability news, inspiring interviews, fun lifestyle features, political debate and much more. It’s a great read – and we’re not just saying that because we’re biased. The magazine has been nominated for awards, as have the team of writers behind it, and we get consistently positive feedback from readers, charity heads, advertisers and beyond. And it’s useful too. The magazine has lots of really handy information, with expert tips and advice to help our readers make sure they’re getting the very most out of life – whether that’s in terms of applying

for benefits, getting If you can’t m ake use of multipl a home that meets e copies of th e m agazine, but their needs, you’d like to subscribe accessing leisure for yourself, yo u ca n do so onlin opportunities, e for £15 for a ye ar or £25 for two. Ju getting into st go to www.enable employment, or .uk/ subscribe, w whatever they here you can pa y securely via want to do. PayPal. Our motto is ‘forget can’t, think can’ – and that’s what our editorial is all about. Empowering disabled people, and showing them what’s possible. If you think that your clients, patients or service users could benefit from reading Enable, we can give you some copies to distribute – completely free of charge! Simply fill in the form below and post it back to us, or head online to distribution and let us know how many copies you’d like.

Fill in this form to let us know how many copies of Enable you would like to receive. Number of copies needed: 20:



Forget can’t - think can!

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Please return this form to: DC Publishing Ltd, 198 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4HG

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06/11/2017 16:04


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Profile for DC Publishing

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Enable Professional 2017