Blog Squad #COT2017 S1- Opening Plenary

There was an atmosphere of excitement as we all entered Hall 1at Birmingham’s ICC for the first session of this year’s RCOT conference #COT2017 and we were not to be disappointed. The first Keynote speaker was Paul McGee who inspired us, challenged us and made us laugh along the way. Paul is the Managing Director of PMA International which aims ‘to help people achieve better results in life and have fun in the process’. He is also known as the SUMO Guy. SUMO stands for ‘Shut up and move on’ and you can follow Paul on twitter @TheSumoGuy and his website is

Paul had very engaging slides and used cartoons, some of which can be viewed in this pdf from his website. ‘Faced with a challenge? 7 questions to help you.’ He got the audience engaged from the get go by us making stand and repeat a phase to a partner – we very trustingly did this but then wandered what on earth we had just said as it was in a foreign language. This turned out to be Norwegian for ‘I love you sugar babe’! Paul then told us that the word inspire means ‘to breathe life into’ and that is what he understood occupational therapists aim to do. This set the scene for the conference as ‘inspire’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘inspirational’ all became words I heard and saw tweeted a lot of the course of the conference.

Not satisfied in making us speak Norwegian, Paul then got us to repeat another phrase after him – this time we were asked to repeat to each other that we were utterly and completely Mad! Fortunately, MAD turned out to stand for ‘Making a Difference’. Next, Paul asked us to focus on our attitudes and thoughts and to ‘Mind our mindset.’ He suggested that we need to evaluate the challenges we are dealing with and put them in perspective. We were asked to try evaluating a current challenge on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 = death.

SUMO evaluate out of 10

Paul recommended that we try to push a few more doors because you only need one to open. This reminded me of Professor Peter Millard, my supervisor when I held a Senior I research post in the Department of Geriatric medicine at St Georges hospital.  Prof Millard taught me this same lesson in 1990 about applying for research funds. The worse you may get back is a ‘no’ but this is worth the risk because of the greater potential benefits that can occur if a door does open. It is the ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ and ‘you have to be in it to win it mentality’

Paul also warned us against CNN = the barrage constant negative news we are now subjected to and encouraged us to remember the wonder and good in our world. So as we move forward we need to stop being on autopilot, take time to think, reflect and move on with more knowledge. Paul then put up my favourite moto on the screen ‘Carpe Diem’ (for anyone who hasn’t heard of this before it means ‘seize the day’). He reminded us that it doesn’t matter if we fall, but it’s how long you stay down that matters. So the SUMO Guy got us laughing, but also to stop, reflect and put our challenges into perspective. To hold on to our vision as occupational therapists and remember that we do make a difference and being MAD is good!

Our second Plenary Speaker was Dr Winnie Dunn from the University of Kansas, USA @winniedunn. Winnie is an internationally recognized research and expert in the field of sensory processing in everyday life and author of the Sensory profile measures.

As my own PhD related to test development and psychometrics and I am familiar with the sensory profile I was excited to hear her speak. Winnie emphasized that sensory processing is about everyone, not just those considered to be vulnerable or with a diagnosis associated with sensory processing difficulties. Children may process sensory information differently regardless of whether they are neurotypical. She summarised the evidence base from a comprehensive literature review and from data collected using the sensory Profile. I particularly liked how she made one of her points about not labelling clients based on their scores and distribution on the bell curve through using herself as an example.

Winnie Dunn bell curve

During the Opening plenary we also were asked to express our thanks for this year’s conference organising team: Sarah Bodell, Dee Christie, Ken Levins, Jennifer Read, Alicia Ridout and Clare Taylor.

We ended the session with a minutes silence to remember all those who have been affected by the recent Grenfell Tower fire disaster in North Kensington, London. I personally appreciated this quiet time to pray for all those involved and was glad COT included us in the Nation’s minute of silence.

Dr Alison Laver-Fawcett @alisonlaverfaw


#COT2017 S29 – The Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture: Life as an occupational being

Delivering the 2017 Casson Memorial Lecture – Before, During & After

Diane has posted a blog about her preparation for delivering this year’s Casson Memorial lecture – the ‘Before Casson Blog’. Alison has written two blogs on her impressions of the Casson both during and after the lecture.

The Before: The title of my Casson Memorial Lecture is “Life as an occupational being”, I approached this blog on the experience of delivering the Casson Memorial Lecture with this title in mind. When I found out I had been nominated and chosen to deliver the Casson I was delighted and terrified!

Over the year of preparation, I read, wrote, rewrote, read, and wrote again – the focus for me became the point of this being a lecture that is published and therefore written as a speech and then published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy  – I spoke to a number of past Casson lecturers and the advice was write for the day so that’s what I did.

Trying to decide what I wanted to say was the hardest decision as there were so many aspects of my life as an occupational being and our amazing occupational therapy profession I wanted to talk about – but I kept coming back to the importance of evidence and our need to investigate and publish what we do.

Once I had decided what I wanted to say then came the writing – the Casson is delivered as a lecture in its fullest sense. I needed to write a speech that could be delivered in 45 minutes and no more – how many words should it be? – advice I was given is somewhere around 5000 words as “the average person speaks at somewhere between 125 and 150 words per minute. It’s always better to speak more slowly than quickly”.  Others told me to write too much and then cut it down – I’ve delivered many lectures, seminars, workshops over the years in practice and in education I have always tended to do the slides and then talk to the slides – I’d never before being mindful of every word – a new experience – a new occupation – one I am privileged to have experienced.

Diane Cox @dianecox61

During the Casson: 19th June 2017

I had been waiting in anticipation for today to arrive for a long while the day my brilliant colleague Professor Diane Cox delivers the Elizabeth Casson Memorial lecture. I had been given some hints – but what would she say? And how would she say it? It is hard to do a 45 minute lecture that has taken hours of consideration to write justice is a short blog – so here are a few of my highlights:

Diane reminded us of the important legacy that Dr Elizabeth Casson has left us. In her explorations of RCOT’s archive she had found an early publication of Dr Casson’s from 1941 began with the statement ‘Rehabilitation needs serious attention at present’ – and Diane challenged us to address this, as it is still so true today.

A significant portion of her lecture focused on the meaning of occupation for human beings and for occupational therapists and occupational therapy. Occupational and social interactions are essential to a person’s life. Diane shared a couple of quotes from other authors that really resonated with me: “Occupation is as old as humanity” (Reed et al, 2012) and from Brock (1934): “Occupation is not a secondary matter. It is a primary need of an individual’s life”. So we must keep occupation central in our practice and research.

For me, one of Diane’s most reassuring facts is that occupational therapy is the lowest risk job to be taken over by robots. However, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels because Diane told us that a challenge OTs face is that, although we are the profession at least at risk of being taken over by robots because of the highly complex nature of OT interventions, on the surface occupational therapy practice can look so simple. Diane shared one of her own photographs of a swan – it looks serene but all the power is hidden under the surface. So we have to learn to be able to articulate and evidence the complexity of our practice, particularly the parts of occupational therapy that are not easily discerned by others.



Casson - low risk of robots

Her take home messages were very clear and the last one was given to us first in the lecture, as well as at the end: ‘Publish, publish, publish’! It is our responsibility as occupational therapists to provide the evidence base for the impact occupational therapy can make to enable people to be the occupational beings they need, want and are expected to be. Diane challenged every presenter at the COT to write their presentations up and submit for publication and to make a commitment to publish at least once a year. We must tell policy makers what OTs do and provide the evidence of our impact to influence policy direction. We also need to be able to summarise our practice and our research succinctly and know how to encapsulate what we do and why we do it. Like speed dating we need to get good at ‘speed describing’! Diane talked about the three minute thesis – can you do it? Can you define what you do, describe what you do – and could it be replicated? Your occupational therapy work or research summarised in 3 minutes? One way to try to summarise what you do is to organise it using PICO. P = patient, person, problem; I = the intervention; C = comparison intervention when relevant; and O is the outcome of interest. If you aren’t familiar with PICO you can find information here: 

Diane finished by telling us that publishing should be part of our shared occupation and is part of our OT occupational being.

After the Casson: 21st June 2017

If you missed Diane’s Casson lecture or want to reflect on her messages further I’ve been told by BJOT’s editor that the Casson is usually published in the September issue of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy – it will definitely be on my ‘to read’ list. Inspiring was one of the words most frequently used in the comments made directly to Diane after the lecture and by people discussing the lecture as they left the auditorium.  I’ve been following the resulting tweet chatter with interest to get a sense of the impression that this year’s Casson lecture has made on colleagues at conference. In the spirit of evidence based practice I set the question: ‘How have OTs reacted to the 2017 Casson Lecture’? I searched for posts citing @dianecox61 and / or the #COT2017 hash tag for evidence. After appraising the evidence here are my key findings. The message that we all should be publishing was definitely picked up on by the OT Twitterazzi. Several people posted Diane’s final slide on twitter and it is still being retweeted and commented on by others two days later. For example:

@SBtweetsOT tweeted: ‘After challenge yesterday from @dianecox61 to Publish Publish Publish I attended a workshop with BJOT editor-in-chief on just that!’

Whilst @tcookot commented ‘@theRCOT 3 things on my mind the morning after #COT2017: oxygen masks, mental benches and…



publish publish publish - Casson


Miranda Thew @thewmiranda tweeted this afternoon: ‘@theRCOT Let’s see some of those inspirational ideas and research projects published!! As @dianecox61 urged!!’ But Channine Clark @channineclark appears to be the first person to report that Diane’s  challenge has been actioned,  as she posted at 4pm this afternoon:‘Following advice of @dianecox61 and submitted to BJOT this morning a paper highlighting issues of occupational deprivation on hospital wards.’

So whether you are a clinician, manager, educator or researcher – as Jo Webb tweeted today in response to Clare Taylor’s @ClareTaylorBU tweet of ‘one publication a year’

@‘Top of the To do list everyone!’

Alison Laver-Fawcett @alisonlaverfaw

#COT2017 My First RCOT Conference Diary:

Diary 1Sunday 18th June 2017 – The Journey

It all began with my journey to Birmingham. Well actually, it started way before that. I expressed my interest in going to the conference last year and I was lucky enough for the department I work in to fund it. From then the reality hit that, as exciting as it was going to be, it was also nerve wracking. I wouldn’t know a single person going. This leads me to provide my first tip to new conference goers: network beforehand! Make connections through twitter, join in tweet chats and get involved. That is how I came to be involved in writing these blogs. So I arrived at Birmingham after a 4 hour bus journey and made my way to the ICC to register early. I met with a welcoming group of #OTalk Occupational Therapists, organised through twitter, and went out for dinner. This helped ease the fear that I would spend the entire two days walking around on my own! A great start to the days to come…

Monday 19th June – Conference Day 1

I am a super organised person so I’d mapped the whole two days out in a pocket sized timetable for myself. The Book of Abstracts created by the conference team as invaluable.  There are a huge range of sessions covering a variety of areas you may not have even considered!  I balanced things that would directly benefit me professionally in my current workplace and things that just sounded fascinating.

Diary 4The opening plenary session was uplifting and inspiring and set the mood for the rest of the conference. Don’t forget to have a look at the #OTalk blog posts that cover a HUGE variety of sessions.

Competition was fierce to get into sessions and it paid to be organised by knowing what I wanted to attend, the timings and where to go – that is certainly my second tip for attending! As a third tip – have a back-up plan in case your first choice session is full when you get there.

My day consisted of:

  • S1: Opening Plenary with Paul McGee (SUMO) and Dr Winnie Dunn (University of Kansas)
  • S12: Facilitated Posters – A set of 4 posters that were presented and then questioned in quick succession.
  • S22: Critical Discourse – Sleep, sleep problems and sleep treatment: future directions for Occupational Therapists (Sophie Faulkner)
  • S29: The Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture – Life as an occupational being by Professor Diane Cox.
  • S30A: Occupation Station – a practical session where we made a stop motion animation of a blooming flower.

I also took time to view the posters, the mini A4 versions to take away is a brilliant idea! The day passed surprisingly quickly considering how packed it was. For me it finished with the welcome drinks, for others it went on into the night with the Conference Party – something I’ll definitely go to in the future.

Diary 5Tuesday 20th June – Conference Day 2

Conference started at 8.30am with another jam-packed day of sessions. I gave myself a few breaks today as I was flagging from the sheer amount of information I had taken!  This time wasn’t wasted, I networked with other delegates, visited the stands, signed up to the Mental Health Specialist Section.  I also collected lots of goodies to take back to the Occupational Therapists at work – pens, badges and post-it notes galore!

Today I attended the following session:

  • S54: Brag and Steal – 4 innovative practice examples that Occupational Therapists are proud of and want to share.
  • S65: RCOT Insights – Mental Health – the value of Occupational Therapy (Genevieve Smyth)
  • S70: Occupational Science – Occupational balance: who decides? (Michael Feighton). This was a truly inspirational and brave professional and personal story session.
  • S84: Occupational Science Research – The presentation of two studies, one looking at skilled participation in embroidery and the other at the meaning of creative writing as an occupation.
  • S92: Service Development Research – A pre-post evaluation of an Occupational Therapist led group lifestyle and resilience course for well employees in a public sector workplace (Miranda Thew)
  • S98: Closing Plenary: Dr Jennifer Creek (Occupational Therapy Researcher and Author) and Tina Coldham (Mental Health Campaigner)

The closing plenary was just as uplifting at the opening one and I left with mountains of information to share with the many amazing Occupational Therapists I work alongside.  Here’s hoping I can attend next years conference in Belfast!

Diary 3Blog by Catherine Gray (@CGray_OT)


#COT2017 Your index guide to the blog posts

As you will know by now the blog squad had a very busy time writing about their conference experience. Many of the posts were published during conference and a few after and we know there are a lot.

To make it easier to find your way around here is a quick reference with links to the relevant posts.

General Posts

Introducing the blog squad

Sheffield occupational therapists prepare for conference

Be brave: 5 tips for networking as a student

My first RCOT conference


S1 Opening Plenary

S5 Unlocking Potential: occupational case formulation in a prison setting.

S7 RCOT Insights. Work, health and disability – occupational therapists as health and work champions

S10 Children and Families (research and practice development)

S11Keynote address RCOTSS Older People. Enabling a healthy and active older age

S12. Facilitated Poster Session

S25 Transforming healthcare for homeless people: the value of occupational therapy

S28 Older People Research. Lived experience of engagement in occupations by older people during the first year of widowhood & Social groups – exploring occupational engagement in older me.

S29 Elizabeth Casson Memorial Lecture. 

S30 Occupation Station. Hooked on Crochet

S30A Occupation Station. STARTwork: an art-based intervention to support people experiencing mental ill health move towards employment

S31 Combined Facilitated posters  (the occupation of cycling: an intervention for patients in rehab & recovery & promoting cycling and walking in the psychiatric rehab setting) and seminar (the value of cycling as a meaningful occupation)

S35 RCOT Insights. Media relations for occupational therapists

S38 Spirituality embedded into acute adult health occupational therapy

S39 Arthritis: products and life hack

S44 Doing beading and becoming: exploring beadmaking as therapeutic media.

S45 Facilitated Posters

S57 Don’t find fault, find a remedy. Building professional leadership in occupational therapy

S68 RCOT Debate. This house believes that diverse roles are a vital tool in the future of our profession.

S72 RCOT insights. Working in prisons – how occupational therapy can have the biggest impact.

S74 The value and meaning of a drop-in centre for asylum seekers and refugees.

S75(1) Brag and Steal. Perceptorship for newly qualified practitioners & Occupational therapists’ research engagement: enablers and challenges.

S75 (2) Interactive Journal Club

S84 Occupational Science. Exploratory study of skilled participation in embroidering & Exploring the meaning of creative writing as a meaningful occupation

S97 RCOTSS Older People Keynote: You don’t stop dancing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop dancing. 

S90 Neurology

S92.2 Pre-post evaluation of an occupational therapist led group lifestyle and resilience course for well employees in a public sector workplace.

S98 Closing Plenary


P26.Clicking your way through continuing professional development

P33 Leadership from the ashes: influencing change and promoting occupational therapy

P54 Bridging the gap between inpatient and community within a forensic learning disability service.

P56 Creating community connections: using photography, green spaces and a hot cup of tea to improve volition and bridge the gap between the low-secure unit and the community.

P60 The changing face of Birmingham City Council’s adult occupational therapy service

P81 Participation in advanced age: enacting values, an adaptive process.

#COT2017. S92.2 Service Development: Research: A pre-post evaluation of an Occupational Therapist led group lifestyle and resilience course for well employees in a public sector workplace

As an Occupational Therapist working in the NHS I have seen many staff become burnt out or trying to attend work and “soldier on” when really they should be anywhere but at work.  I’ve observed lots of things put on offer by the NHS for managing staff sickness for example counselling sessions, supervision, occupational health etc. However it’s always struck me that not a lot has been done to prevent workers getting to this point and the literature in Occupational Therapy involvement is scarce.  When I saw this talk in the programme I knew I had to attend.

Miranda described in her talk how many companies offered tele-care for their staff, this was seen as a tick box measure to say that staff were offered support. This is neither effective or personal.  It also does not address the issue of presenteeism – attending work when a person’s mind is not on the job and really should be on sick leave. Presenteeism leads to a decrease in productivity and becoming a burden for the team – ultimately leading to dysfunctional unhealthy teams.  Companies however are very focussed on absence rates. Miranda discussed that once presenteeism was described to employers she received comments such as “ah yes I have 6 of those”. They could see that something else had to be done.  This concept also had to be sold to companies using their own language – using words such as resilience resonates with companies who will commission services.

The course consists of a closed group with 6 sessions that were 2 hours long and which took place every other week. The key was that it was in the workplace, people wanting to attend snowballed from the first group through word of mouth.  Feedback was that the attendees didn’t like the venue – it was in work! However other colleagues could hear and see laughter from the group sessions and were curious. Soon there was the creation of a culture to talk about balance and resilience in the office. Outstandingly there was virtually no drop out – the ones who did drop out said it was due to sessions clashing with meetings rather than choice – so therefore wasn’t a true drop out.  Miranda completed measures of participants before and after to determine whether the group was having the desired effect.

Groups consisted of sessions covering sleep hygiene, self-esteem/respect, lifestyle diaries (which were colour coded) and stealthy exercise.  Miranda stated that stealthy exercise is essential forf the sedentary office based worker – plus “why preach about having all your fruit and veg and 40 minutes of exercise every other day when I don’t even do this myself!?”

The results from the pre and post measures demonstrated significant changes in depression, anxiety and presenteeism scores. On top of this morale in the office was on the increase. Staff sickness absence, although already low as these were well members of staff, also dropped.  Feedback from the group was resoundingly positive with every session being rated as invaluable

The difference between running this type of group in an office environment rather that offering a call centre is that Occupational Therapists can offer adaption to people’s need rather than a one size fits all.

A paper collaboration with Professor Diane Cox is currently in process and will be submitted to the BMJ. After all, our conference take home message had to be “Publish! Publish! Publish! Good luck and I look forward to reading it in print!

For more information on Miranda Thew’s work:

Follow her on Twitter: @ThewMiranda

View her Healthy Living – Breathing Techniques video on YouTube:

Or read her book: Thew, M. and Mckenna, J. (2008) Lifestyle Management in Health and Social Care. Chichester: Blackwell.

Blog post by: Catherine Gray (@CGray_OT)

#COT2017 S90. Neurology

Factors associated with participation in life situations after stroke in community dwelling adults: a systematic review

By Leisle Ezekiel (@lezeki ‏)

Ezekiel presented part one of her three planned systematic reviews that explored factors associated with participation in life situations after stroke in community dwelling adults. The lack of long-term support after stroke and the changing stroke demographic (an increase in the under 55 population) were highlighted. We were reminded that, as Occupational Therapists, we work at adapting the intersection between person and environment making participation modifiable.

The criteria for inclusion in this systematic review was outlined to include studies that investigated biopsychosocial factors over time in quantitative data. I found the discussion around bias useful to remember when reading research. For example, studies that excluded people after experiencing a severe stroke or people with communication difficulties were omitted. These would be the populations that would have increased difficulty in participation and therefore, we would be eager to record their experiences. This resulted in a review of over 11,000 participants between the ages of 18-99 years old living at home or a care facility.

Time was tight in this session so I couldn’t record all the findings but in summary, every factor of life effected participation after stroke apart from the type of stroke (a clot or a bleed) and more evidence was needed around the factor of driving. It was clear little research has been carried out past one year after stroke but commented that having poor participation after one year resulted in continued poor participation. Of course, the more severe strokes experienced resulted in poorer participation. Social support looked to be a positive factor for participation. Studies commented depression after stroke was difficult to treat which led us nicely into the next study by Aisling Durkin. Finally, Ezekiel suggested treatment plans need a change in vision creating a top-down approach. Personally, I have just finished my first placement in acute stroke rehabilitation and enjoyed the overview of the research available that this session brought.

Exploring the current education levels and practices for the assessment and treatment for post-stroke anxiety and depression: a survey of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists in the UK

By Aisling Durkin (@ais_d)

Figures show that 30% of people after stroke experience depression and 25% with post-stroke anxiety (PSA). Durkin concurred with our previous speaker, Leisle Ezekiel, that psychological changes such as depression and PSA effects participation but also mobility and cause an increase in clients’ length of hospital stay. It was also reiterated that not all people are receiving their review six months after stroke. This study recruited its 421 participants through social media comprising of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, and speech and language therapists working across the United Kingdom.

The findings revealed there is limited guidance on what education all professions should receive regarding assessing and treating depression and PSA with only some speech and language therapists reporting they attended formal counselling training for depression. Those that had had formal or informal training were shown to assess for depression and PSA. The most popular formal assessment was the Hospital and Depression Score (HADS) but many were assessing informally or within a general hospital questionnaire. Surprisingly, among many interesting statistics, 4.25% of Speech and Language Therapist did not assess for PSA when patients had aphasia post-stroke. As for treatment, Occupational Therapists were performing lifestyle, group, peer-supported, and individual self-help workbook interventions for depression post-stroke. Whereas, goal-setting, relaxation, graded approaches to activities, CBT, and individual self-help workbook interventions were reported as being used to treat PSA.

A positive finding for many in the audience was the fact the majority of all the professions either agreed or strongly agreed that it is their responsibility to assess for these conditions after stroke. It was also encouraging to see the work physiotherapists were doing already in this area but on the other hand, there was room for improvement for speech and language therapists.

In conclusion, Durkin reveals the gap between guideline expectations and reality in practice regarding gaining education in this area. Echoes from Diane Cox’s Casson address, ‘publish, publish, publish,’ were heard in my mind as non-validated tools and interventions are being undertaken in stroke rehabilitation at present. The agreement of every profession accepting responsibility for assessing depression and PSA after stroke is a big encouragement and was discussed in the question period after this presentation.

 Blog Squad writer: Orla Hughes (@orlatheot)


#COT2017 S98. Closing Plenary

IMG_0316It’s always great to come together at the end of conference rather than all drifting off homeward and boy was this a session worth coming together for.

A session which informed, provoked thought, was full of humour and ended with the usual video roundup of photos you may have wished you knew were being taken at the time.

Jennifer Creek started the session by taking us on a journey from the origins of our profession to present day proposing that we should pay more attention to practice that is happening on the margins if we want to seek answers to some of the major challenges we face currently. It really challenged by thinking about what how power is invested in the centre and the influence this power exerts on a profession and the way it practices.

I had never really thought about the relationship between the origins of our profession and the rise in women’s movement from the late 19th century onwards but of course it made sense. How the liberation of women from the home and the domestic roles they had been cast in previously opened the door for them to take on wider more influential roles and responsibilities within society. Education, housing, contributing to the war effort and supporting those marginalised within society all became a focus of their work. Women started moving into professions where they had greater influence and ability to effect change.

Jennifer traced this journey across the Atlantic to the founding of the first school of occupational therapy and back to the origins of occupational therapy in the UK. It is of course always important to be reminded of our history but Jennifer’s journeying didn’t stop there.

Rather than this closing plenary being a lesson in our history we were taken one step further a step which felt a little less comfortable as Jennifer explored how thinking and practice in the USA and UK began to colonise our practice on a global level and dominate the centre ground of occupational therapy practice. Perhaps sharing her definition of margin may help illustrate this:

a physical place, a social space or a personal experience on the periphery of the social mainstream or dominant order. For every margin there is a core that represents some form or position of authority, power and privilege.

Jennifer shared how her experiences in South Africa had provided her with an opportunity to witness the resourcefulness, innovation and expertise that are occurring when you move further away from the constraints of the centre ground. She explored some of the characteristics of working at the margins – summarised on the slide below


Having worked in a small voluntary sector user led organisation in the late 1980s where funding was always an issue, the organisation was transitioning to becoming user led at the height of the rise of the disability movement and we were seeking new responses to meet demand – these all sound familiar. Exciting, challenging, liberating and scary are all be words I would use to describe that time.

Jennifer’s call: Explore the margins, places and spaces away from the mainstream if you want to discover places where creativity happens. This resented strongly with me.

DCxnlbvXgAEaYixTina Coldham. Chair of the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) Co-Production Network, SCIE Trustee and Mental Health Campaigner

Last night an OT Saved my Life

Well, what can I say – I’m not even going to try to summarise Tina’s presentation for you as I know I won’t do it justice. There are some great moment captured on twitter for you to explore – just explore the hashtag #COT2017.  You really did need to be in the room to experience the heartfelt, side splittingly funny way in which Tina talked about the impact of occupational therapy on her life.

Describing herself as, “a practicing depressive – because I’m still practicing!” and through all the laughter, banter and jokes there was a serious message as Tina reflected on the different ways in which her encounters with occupational therapists have supported her at different times in her life. She talked about what it meant to have someone who was interested in her rather than her diagnosis. How no area of discussion was out of bounds.

Perhaps it is enough to leave you wth Tina’s description of occupational therapy as ‘the art of the possible rather than the science of the impossible.’

If you didn’t make it to conference I really want to flag up that Tina will be hosting one of the weekly #OTalk researchers on co-creation in research. Watch this space because I just need to pin them down to a date but it will be the 1st Tuesday of the months some time in the future!

What a fitting note to end conference on – but then of course came the photos!

Written by @lynnegoodacre