#OTalk Research Chats, OTalk

#OTalk Research – Tuesday 1st August 2017. Looking back.

August’s #OTalk Research is looking back over the first year of dedicated monthly chats and is being hosted by Nikki Daniels – @NikkiDanielsOT (#OTalk Research Team) and supported by Helen – @Helen_OTUK  (#OTalk Team).

Intro Blog Post:

As we fast approach the first anniversary of #OTalk Research, we look back on a successful year of chats covering a range of research related topics. Discussions to date have demonstrated the strong interest in research within the profession, both across clinical areas and spanning various levels of experience of research activity.  Motivation and passion to engage in research and advance evidence base practice within the profession has never been so apparent.

#OTalk Research appears to be inspiring us to take part in studies, engage with academic peers or take the plunge in to a higher degree (or at least begin to think it could be a realistic possibility!)

Augusts #OTalk Research will see us open up the floor to you to share your reflections or actions, ask a question which may not yet have been answered or reach out to others with similar research interests. Whether you are a regular contributor, lurker or new to #Otalk Research this is an opportunity to reflect, take stock and forward plan both for our profession and move individual research aspirations forward!

So the #OTalk Research team would like to know about :

Q.1 What you have valued most about #OTalk Research?

Q.2 Any unanswered questions you still have around research in general?

Q.3 What hah you like to celebrate about OT research?

Q.4 What are your ideas for strengthening/building the OT research community?

Q.5 About anything you’ve been inspired to do from engaging with #OTalk research – no matter how big or small!

Q.6 Your top research tip you’d like to share

Q.7 Any topics you would like to see covered over the next 12 months?

Post Chat

online transcript

The Numbers

870.783K Impressions
269 Tweets
27 Participants
215 Avg Tweets/Hour
10 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 25th July – Co-Production and Occupational Therapy

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of Co Production and Occupational Therapy and will be hosted by Hayley Bannister (@hsbannister). 

Here is what Haley had to say…

I’m a Lead Occupational Therapist working in the NHS in the North West. I’m employed by Mersey Care NHS Trust within a forensic specialist learning disabilities setting. Within the specialist learning disability division we involve service users in everything we do – from completing assessments, to completing treatment plans and facilitating groups!

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) produced an easy read document explaining coproduction:


Co-production fundamentally alters the relationship between service providers and users; it emphasises people as active agents, not passive beneficiaries. This makes it an ideal approach for empowerment and ownership of treatment and care. This level of independence and autonomy is what Occupational Therapists within our service strive for.

We use our unique core skills to support service users to engage in collaboration. A group of our service users and staff meet monthly in their role as “recovery champions” and contribute to the development of groups, sessions and to review resources. The meeting is made up of service users, support workers,  Occupational Therapists, psychologists, speech and language therapists and our participation manager.

The service users meet with professionals to develop and coproduce the resources needed to facilitate the group, including all session plans. Prior to using any resources for groups and 1:1 sessions they are agreed by service users. Service users are involved in the development of groups from the beginning. Developing the course material, delivery of the course alongside professionals and sharing lived experiences. Everything we do is coproduced!

Service users have the opportunity to attend a training session to equip them with the skills required to facilitate groups alongside staff.  We are extremely lucky to have a great Speech and language department that supports the service users to ensure resources are accessible and easy read.  As a Lead Occupational Therapist, It is important for me to promote the use of coproduction in everything we do.

So my questions to you are;

  1. What service do you work in? How often is coproduction used within your service?
  2. What do you think are the benefits of coproduction for individuals we work with?
  3. Do you think coproduction enhances Occupational Therapy practice?
  4. What are the challenges of coproducing everything we do?
  5. How can we overcome challenges of coproduction?

Post Chat

online transcript

The Numbers

1.203M Impressions
472 Tweets
56 Participants
378 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants



#OTalk 18th July – Fire safety: Occupational perspectives and partnerships.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of Fire safety and will be hosted by David Marsden (@D_MARSDEN_OT).

 Here is what David had to say…

 There is a decreasing trend in fire incidents and injuries as result of successful fire safety and prevention activity. However, the rate at which this figure is reducing has slowed down it is thought because of a small group of people known by fire services as ‘people at increased risk of fire’ (PaIRoFs). The journey started in 2007 when I met with a community safety manager form Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service because they had a feeling that people with mental health conditions were more likely to die in fires than others ie PaIRoFs. We compared the fire deaths between 201-2007 with Trust records and found that 37% of those who died in fires were known to mental health services in Manchester.

As a result of this we felt we had to act and agreed a formal partnership and a jointly funded post between GMFRS and what was Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (Now Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH)). We recruited an occupational therapist for 2 years consider help the fire service to think beyond the environmental cause of fire and look at the interrelationships between the person, the things they do day-to-day (occupation) and their physical and social environment with regard to fire risk and safety.

In 2011, the University of Salford were commissioned to independently evaluate the pilot project. It was noted by the author that the project was a ‘successful collaboration’ and that the ‘investment to save potential for this specialist partnership are clearly measured’. GMMH and GMFRS decided that a sustainable approach was required to maintain these outcomes and that any future approach should acknowledge that in general physical and mental health issues contributed to fire risk, not mental health issues alone. Rather than one occupational therapist bridging the organisations we moved to training all occupational therapists in the Trust to carry out specialist occupational assessments in collaboration with the fire service staff. This was cemented in our partnership agreement.

At this point GMFRS took the positive step of recruiting a health and social care coordinator to foster similar partnerships across Greater Manchester. This happened to be Paula Breeze who was the occupational therapist employed in the pilot. In 2015 Paula and I published guidance for other health and social care providers. The aim was to spread good practice to help reduce injury and death from fire in PaIRoF groups. Key objectives included: setting up sustainable partnerships, collaboration in assessments and interventions and skill sharing.

One components of this guidance was an example of how, in Manchester, we strengthened the partnership through the use of occupational therapy and occupational therapy non-traditional/role emerging placements. A key focus of the fire and rescue service currently is delivering safe and well checks which are an expansion of the old safety checks or home fire risk assessments you may be familiar with. So when fire and rescue staff go to people homes they now ask about health and wellbeing and signpost where necessary. This is clearly more holistic and requires a person centred approach to engage individuals who may have a health condition or disability. Occupational therapists are best placed to assist the fire and rescue service in achieving this aim. In our experience fire and rescue service staff have responded well to our description of fire risk in terms of occupational therapy models. For example, looking at the person, their occupations and the environment and the interrelationship between these. Fire services don’t traditionally employ occupational therapists so role emerging placements has been an ideal way to support the fire and rescue service aims whilst exposing them to the added value of the profession.

With the aim of sustaining our efforts nationally and spreading partnership work across the UK I recently developed a plan in collaboration with and with the support of the Lead Allied Health Professional and National Engagement Lead for Police and Fire Services at Public Health England, the Chief Fire Officers Association, NHS England and the College of Occupational Therapists. The plan includes developing a national network, national repository for information and a webinar series to share best practice/collaborate. Going forward there’s an aspiration to collaborate further and carry out research.

For further information: http://www.mhsc.nhs.uk/services/specialist-services/health-and-social-care-fire-safety.aspx

Prompt questions:

  1. What do you do or can you do to promote partnerships between health /social care and fire services?
  2. How can occupational therapy assist the fire service to reduce injury and deaths from fire?
  3. What will you do to make 1&2 happen?

Post chat

online transcript

The Numbers

826.065K Impressions
245 Tweets
30 Participants
196 Avg Tweets/Hour
Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants


#OTalk 11th July – CPD is more than HCPC audit. How to strategically manage your Continuing Professional Development.

This weeks #Otalk is on the topic of managing CPD and will be hosted by Sarah Lawson (@SLawsonOT).

Here is what Sarah had to say…

On 19 June 2017, Deb Hearle (@HearleD) and I (@SLawsonOT) presented a World Café style (Brown et al 2005) workshop at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) Annual Conference #COT2017 [you can read our Abstract on p6 here: http://cotannualconference.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/BOOK-OF-ABSTRACTS-2017.pdf].  We were delighted to welcome Dr Stephanie Tempest (@SetG75) from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) to co-facilitate the workshop with us. We would like to thank Stephanie and everyone who attended and engaged with us.

Within this #OTalk we’d like to consider some of the different aspects to, and your reasons for doing Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Your CPD activities may be the things you do for personal development, professional development, job satisfaction and/or to meet mandatory requirements. There is only space within this blog to give an overview, if anyone would like more information about any of the aspects mentioned please contact us.

Following on from our workshop (see details below), we’d like to explore the following:  

  • What are your reasons for undertaking CPD?
  • What do you think of the defining attributes of CPD engagement? Should CPD be self-managed and if so could this be integrated into the defining attributes of CPD presented?
  • Do you agree that we are often required to record the same types of information in a variety of different formats? If so, how can this be managed to save time whilst meeting all of the different requirements placed on us?
  • Do you think there is there a difference between professional and personal development and how do you know when you have developed?
  • If you were unable to attend #COT2017 have you followed the Tweets or read any of the #COT2017 blogs [https://otalk.co.uk/2017/06/21/cot2017-your-index-guide-to-the-blog-posts/]? Have you been able to share any of this learning with colleagues? Would you consider this CPD?
  • If you did attend #COT2017, how have you recorded your learning from attending RCOT #COT2017? What are you planning to do next to apply this learning?


The weekend before the workshop Sarah posted a tweet which invited people to use Mentimeter.com to post their answers to ‘What are Your Reasons for Doing CPD?’ the same invitation was made within the workshop with a follow up question posted at the end of the workshop ‘How are you going to apply your learning from this workshop?’ If anyone would like a copy of the results to this please contact @SLawsonOT.

As they entered the workshop, delegates were asked to consider the oath that all Cardiff University health school students repeat at their graduation which highlights the responsibility of all healthcare professionals to keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date. A brief definition of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and a whistle stop tour of the TRAMm Model (Talk, Record, Activities, Monitor and measure) and it’s tools the TRAMm Tracker and TRAMm Trail (www.TRAMmCPD.com) followed.

Delegates were each given an Information pack which included a TRAMm Tracker, TRAMm Trail, a mind map with suggestions for some different ways to Record CPD, a copy of our poster from #COT2016 ‘Are you and Your Team Really Engaging in Continuing Professional Development’ and a Participation Certificate with reflective questions to consider. After which, it was time to put the delegates to work. There were four interactive tables which the delegates moved around to explore different aspects of CPD.

Table 1 hosted by Dr Stephanie Tempest:  Planning Your CPD using the RCOT Career Development Framework: guiding principles for occupational therapy.

Stephanie introduced delegates to the new RCOT Career Development Framework which will be launched in the autumn. It comprises Four Pillars of Practice (Professional Practice; Facilitation of Learning; Leadership; Evidence, Research and Development) each with guiding principles written across nine career levels. Case studies were mapped into the Career Framework to help bring it to life. Delegates discussed how they felt the Career Framework could help them as individuals to think about their on-going learning needs, across all Four Pillars, when sometimes there is a tendency to narrow their CPD focus to, for example, practice skills alone. Student delegates saw its value in helping them to think about where to take their CPD next as they qualify. Other ideas included using the Career Framework to keep an occupational identify and focus to learning when working in a generic role; to support Return to Practice; and to identify the learning needs at a service level.

Table 2Engaging in CPD

Delegates were asked to consider the Core Defining Attributes of Continuing Professional Development (Hearle et al 2016) which are:

  1. That CPD is self -initiated and undertaken voluntarily rather than as a result of mandatory requirements
  2. The individual feels rewarded either intrinsically (e.g. enjoyment) or extrinsically (e.g. promotion) during or after undertaking CPD
  3. The knowledge/skills gained via CPD are embraced and applied in practice for the benefit of the service/service user
  4. Learning is recorded, evaluated and shared with others (interestingly the updated Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) CPD and Your Registration now includes the importance of interactive activities, of learning and reflecting on practice with others (HCPC 2017).
  5. Learning is evidenced to continue beyond the initial CPD activity.

During their discussions delegates agreed that the attributes were all considered relevant and help to illuminate CPD as a process and individual experience rather than purely an activity. In addition, they suggested that reference to the need for CPD not only to be ‘self-initiated’, but also ‘self-managed’ would be helpful. There is more information regarding CPD engagement available from http://www.trammcpd.com/cpd-engagement.html

Table 3 hosted by Sarah Lawson: Recording your CPD

Delegates were asked to consider what are the most important things to record and how to record them. Written reflections and structured recording of team meetings appeared to be the most common methods of recording. Discussion followed that often the need to reflect is prompted by reasoning that something as ‘gone wrong’ or an intervention has had unintended consequences. Reflections were rarely revisited to see if, or how practice has changed, new learning implemented or confidence increased.

Some delegates reported that they are paying a monthly subscription to use online CPD services however, many admitted that they are either not using the service, or are not utilising all the facilities that it offers. A bit like paying for gym membership – there are feelings of being virtuous for having the facility but how many are actually using it?

Some delegates reported that they use social media and had either engaged in or lurked on #OTalk but had not necessarily thought of using this as a means of CPD or about how they could record their lurking/participation. Discussion followed about using screen shots, Storify, the log available via #OTalk website or TRAMmCPD to record details and dates of participation. Further discussion considered how learning from social media, such as finding a useful article or piece of information could be recorded, shared and applied in practice. Discussion that the date and where the information obtained from could be recorded in TRAMm Tracker, which could then be updated once learning shared and/or applied in practice.

Delegates felt that there are several aspects to recording, each has a different purpose or reason depending upon career stage and employer. They include CPD, Preceptorship, Learning Contracts, Annual Reviews/Appraisals and CV. It can often feel that writing these takes up precious time, are repetitive and use the same information just recorded in different formats.

Table 4 hosted by Deb Hearle: Monitoring and Evidencing your CPD

At this Table, delegates were initially required to consider what was actually meant by professional development and discussed whether there was a difference between this and personal development. Debate revealed that although they were sometimes different, the two aspects were inextricably linked and therefore should be considered alongside each other when planning and evidencing CPD. We also explored the question ‘how do we know when we have professionally developed?’ Useful debate once again revealed a number of ways in which it was possible to evidence and validate our personal and professional growth, to include the ability to teach others, increased confidence, time taken to do a job and anecdotal evidence. Further details of how to evidence CPD can be found on the TRAMmCPD web-site and also in Chapter 8 of A Strategic Guide to CPD for Health and Care Professionals: The TRAMm Model (Hearle, Lawson and Morris 2016).

Finally, we were given permission to play an exclusive clip ‘Top Tips’ from the new RCOT video ‘Let’s talk about CPD’. The video is due to be released soon by RCOT to give hints and tips about CPD and the HCPC audit. We also briefly mentioned that for Occupational Therapists in the UK the HCPC has released a new and updated ‘CPD and Your Registration’ document? Available at: http://www.hcpc-uk.org/publications/index.asp?id=103#publicationSearchResults [accessed 28/06/17]

Within this #OTalk we’d like to explore the following:

  • What are your reasons for undertaking CPD?
  • What do you think of the defining attributes of CPD engagement? Should CPD be self-managed and if so could this be integrated into the defining attributes of CPD presented?
  • Do you agree that we are often required to record the same types of information in a variety of different formats? If so, how can this be managed to save time whilst meeting all of the different requirements placed on us?
  • Do you think there is there a difference between professional and personal development and how do you know when you have developed?
  • If you were unable to attend #COT2017 have you followed the Tweets or read any of the #COT2017 blogs [https://otalk.co.uk/2017/06/21/cot2017-your-index-guide-to-the-blog-posts/]? Have you been able to share any of this learning with colleagues? Would you consider this CPD?
  • If you did attend #COT2017, how have you recorded your learning from attending RCOT #COT2017? What are you planning to do next to apply this learning?



Brown, J, Isaacs, D & World Café Community (2005) The World Café: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter. California: BK Publish

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (2017) Continuing Professional Development and Your Registration. London: Health and Care Professions Council

Hearle, D; Lawson, S; and Morris, R. (2016) A Strategic Guide to CPD for Health and Care Professionals: The TRAMm Model. Keswick: M&K Publishing

Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2017) Career Development Framework: guiding principles for occupational therapy (in press). RCOT

Post chat

online transcript

The Numbers

1.869M Impressions
582 Tweets
54 Participants
466 Avg Tweets/Hour
11 Avg Tweets/Participant

#OTalk Participants