22 Dec 2015
Inspiration and Education at The Occupational Therapy Show
November 2015 saw the 3rd Occupational Therapy Show take place at the NEC, Birmingham. It is the UK’s largest dedicated CPD education and trade event, solely for occupational therapists and last year it attracted over 4000 OTs from all over the country and from a wide range of specialist areas, to educate, inspire and raise the profile for such an amazing allied healthcare profession.
Kate Sheehan, director of the OT Service, has shared her experience of the show here and has highlighted some of the seminars she attended.
There were over 55 hours of accredited CPD education on offer which stretched across four separate streams including:
- Mental health and learning difficulties
- Children and families
- Innovation in practice and shaping the future.
On top of this were some high quality exhibitor led sessions in two separate theatres, as well as on stand CPD education from the likes of Handicare, Safespaces,Made2aid and many more, covering a broad range of subjects from core principals of posture management, sourcing suitable products for your client to challenging behavior and keeping clients safe.
With packed theatres over the two days some of the highlights included, on the first day, Helena Culshaw, independent OT and a past chair of the College of Occupational Therapists, who spoke about her 40 years of practice Lifelong Learning - the long and winding road’. Here Helena expressed that learning never stops as it enables OTs to provide the most effective service to users. She challenged the audience to grasp all of the opportunities that arise both in and outside of the profession as this impacts on OTs personally and professionally and would therefore make the individual a better therapist. Helena reflected on her lifetime in occupational therapy and spoke about her positive feelings for the future of the profession, as long as OTs engage with CPD, decision makers and fellow colleagues.
Also on day one, Gaynor Sadlo from Brighton University, presented on Neuroscience explains the therapeutic power of occupation’. She demonstrated how during the last decade brain imaging techniques have discovered many processes, revealing that the principles of occupational therapy are supported by neuroscience. How skill development builds brain tissue to change structure and function. MRI studies reveal how skill (especially manual activity) promotes reorganisation of dentrites (synaptogenesis), increased density of supportive glial cells, and increased vascularisation.
Gaynor discussed how human beings seem to be rewarded, through ancient biopeptides and hormones that all animals experience, for example when engaging in survival-related eating or mating. But, for us engaging in complex occupations also seems to be rewarded.
The hypothesis here is that engaging our true occupational nature brings a form of self-medication via substances like dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, and adrenaline, which form our complex reward/pleasure system. For example the hippocampus (the learning centre) has opiod receptors. It might be that lack of participation in todays world leads people to seek out other substances like alcohol and drugs in an attempt to gain these pleasure-states.
As the above is now scientifically proved, Gaynor questioned why have OTs turned away from using interventions that promote activity when occupation can reduce stress through re-focus of attention onto the clients activity of choice.
Deborah Harrison and Jo-Anne Webb, spoke about the evolving development of manual handling training techniques and a pioneering approach developed by Deborah in collaboration with Salford University and their web based learning training. They presented the findings of the research and how the new approach was proving to be extremely successful in a number of ways. Feedback from students rated highly. Organisation who may use the course material stated in would allow effective monitoring of a carers understanding and the client would benefit as the training is more holistic and client centered.
On day two, Michael Mandelstam, packed the theatre to over flowing and enthralled us with his legal mind. He provided the delegates with a succinct and practical overview of statutory responsibilities for the provision of equipment and home adaptations. The session picked out the key rules and principles, as well as common pitfalls OTs fall into and how to avoid them in the future. He went onto explain how OTs can argue (or clinical reason) cases, to ensure they are legally sound but also have a positive outcome for the client.
Throughout the show, practicing OTs spoke about their service developments, how to address the winter pressures (Trudie France, Royal Free), how integration of health and social care can work (Heather Hurst and Margo Mason, Gloucestershire NHS Trust), how falls prevention can be improved with those clients with sight loss (Suzy England, The Pocklington Trust), which inspired, stimulated debate and enthused delegates to go back to their services and innovate.
There were also those sessions that enabled OTs to develop careers. Sian Burgess (Derby University) spoke about professional social media presence and the impact it can have and Rachel Wilson (Independent OT) discussed the difference between an expert witness and a practicing OT.
The Occupational Therapy Show had an amazing buzz, it enabled professional networking, a chance to reflect on diversity and the remarkable work OTs do.
An impressive 290 exhibitors filled the hall and offered occupational therapists the opportunity to test out, touch, feel and discuss products and services from every area of the profession.
Demonstrations of products took place throughout the day, detailing how specific products can be used, and recruitment companies were on hand to discuss career moves and potential employment opportunities. The Paediatric Trail highlighted the companies who offered products and services for children with disabilities and those who offered support to families.
The stands were exuberant and innovative, running competitions and giveaways for visitors, and offering popcorn or pick & mix sweets to entice OTs to their stands! The effort of the exhibitors and the organisers helped to ensure this was a vibrant and worthwhile show that OTs found enjoyable and educational.
The Occupational Therapy Show Awards
The inaugural Occupational Therapy Show Awards took place this year with entries flooding in from all over the country.
The awards have been designed to recognise the amazing and innovative work that so many OTs undertake everyday work that may otherwise go unrecognised. The opportunity to nominate colleagues was welcomed, the shortlist was created and the winners picked.
The awards ceremony took place at the end of the first day of the Occupational Therapy Show in the Keynote Theatre and was well attended by nominated OTs, friends, colleagues and sponsors.
Jen Gash, founder of OTCoach, was the driving force behind the Awards, coordinating the judging panel, entries and hosting the ceremony itself. She announced the runners up and winners of each award and shared the work each had done to deserve the accolade. The runners up were presented with a framed certificate and the winners were presented with a comically large cheque for £250, to put towards a form of CPD.
The winners were as follows:
Melanie Price - Lead Occupational Therapist for Schools, Royal Free London
(Nominated by: Betty Hutchon, Head Paediatric OT)
Lizeli Olivier, Band 7 OT, DMRC Headley Court
(Nominated by: Julie McRann and Jenni Duncan-Anderson, OT colleagues)
Outstanding Senior OT Award
Sponsored by AKW Ltd (use logo)
Jacquel Runnalls, Senior Practice OT, London Borough of Waltham Forest
(Nominated by: Joan Murphy, Housing Strategy and Implementation Manager)
Jade Cope, Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist, Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
(Nominated by: Leona McQuaid, Senior OT [on behalf of the Guys and St Thomas Orthopaedic Team])
Outstanding service / innovation Award
Sponsored by The OT Magazine (use logo)
The team from East Lancashire Hospital Trust, Burnley ambulance station:
Sue Tracey - OT clinical specialist
Rachel Bedwell - Advanced OT
Cheryl Kenyon - Team Leader Lancashire Care Foundation Trust
Gail Smith - Paramedic
(Nominated by: Freya Sledding [OT Service Manager])
Medway Community Healthcare, Rochester Healthy Living Centre:
Samuel Lewis, Clare Fagg and Ruth Cadwallader
(Nominated by: Carol Campbell, Head of Children’s Strategy)
Outstanding OT Assistant / OT Technical Instructor
Philip Smith, OTA Nottinghamshire County Council
(Nominated by: Jean Bates)
Jason Horeesorun, OT Assistant, Early Intervention in psychosis social inclusion, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
(Nominated by: Kerry Palmer-Green)
We [The OT Magazine] were very proud to sponsor the Innovation Award and the team from East Lancashire Hospital Trust who won the award have shared their story in this issue, to find out more about the work they have been doing turn to page 45.
We will be speaking to all the winners over the next few issues, to share the innovative work and dedication that secured them their awards. They may even inspire you to enter the awards this year.
Visitors and exhibitors alike had great experiences at The Occupational Therapy Show, here are just a few comments
"I kept hearing about this show so I decided to come and visit myself. Unlike Naidex, this is focused on OTs which means we can concentrate on our own needs. The combination of the seminars and exhibition really works. I’ve been an OT for more than 20 years and it’s easy to think you’ve seen it all until you come to a show like this. You really need to handle products to get an idea of how they can be used and you just don’t get an opportunity to do that in your day to day work. This show has been hugely beneficial."
Marney Walker, Occupational Therapist, ESCC
"Occupational therapists are a core group for Dolphin Mobility and this year’s OT Show was the perfect event for us to launch the new Handi-Move 2800 ceiling motor and SureHands Body Support System. This latest addition to the Dolphin portfolio of hoisting solutions has been designed to fit discreetly in most domestic and care settings and is capable of offering the fastest lifting speed on the market. The feedback we received from OTs over the two days was very positive and we have been busy booking appointments and demonstrations as a result of meetings that took place at the show."
Craig Dunnage, Managing Director, Dolphin Mobility
"I’ve only been able to come to this show because it’s free. I work in social services and they can’t pay for us to go conferences. It’s been helpful in so many ways. The talks consolidate a lot of the learning that we do on the job and it’s been great for networking. My whole team is attending over the two days; it’s the only show we do. Very valuable."
Joanna Neish, Occupational Therapist, Surrey County Council
"The Occupational Therapy Show enabled us to showcase our range of lightweight manual wheelchairs and powerchairs to a significant number of occupational therapists and all the products on the stand were extremely well received."
Mark Duffield, General Manager, Karma Mobility
"I’ve never been to an event which specifically targets OTs and I think it’s great. It’s easy to go with the flow when you’re at work, but here you can learn about all the latest innovations while earning CPD. You can only get so much information from product catalogues; I’ve really enjoyed handling the products and learning how we can use them. It’s a great show I’ve loved every minute of it."
Lisa Snowdon, Occupational Therapist, Doncaster and Worksop NHS Foundation Trust
EditorThe OT Magazine