Occupational therapists and students gathered at Robert Gordon University (RGU) to highlight the value of the profession.
The first Grampian Occupational Therapy “Celebrating our Success” Conference was held at RGU and throughout the day, members of the profession shared their knowledge and achievements, while highlighting the innovative services delivered by occupational therapists in Grampian and nationally.
The conference was opened by Dawn Mitchell, one of the organisers of the event and subject lead in Occupational Therapy at RGU's School of Health Sciences, who said it was wonderful to have everyone together to highlight and celebrate some of the great work everyone has been doing.
Dawn welcomed Dr Catherine (Irene) Paterson to the event, who was the former principal and founder of The Grampian School of Occupational Therapy, Aberdeen which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Dr Paterson acknowledged that she had taught many of the occupational therapists and academics in attendance at the conference and reflected on the changes in the profession over the last 40 years although the value of occupation remained central to the profession’s philosophy and practice.
Susan Carr, Associate Director of Allied Health Professions in Grampian highlighted the inspiring work of occupational therapists in Grampian in addressing the Scottish Government’s “AHP Delivery Plan” and introduced the audience to future policy strategies, encouraging them to rise to the challenges these offer in demonstrating the impact that occupational therapists can have for improving peoples’ health and wellbeing and participation in daily life.
Karin Orman, professional practice manager from College of Occupational Therapy, the professional body for occupational therapists, closed the mornings plenary session by reviewing the evidence of the impact of occupational therapists in the COT campaign Occupational Therapy “improving lives, saving money”. These have been reported in Parliament and in the press, and included a number of examples from across Grampian.
The stimulating and interactive conference also featured a range of workshops delivered by occupational therapists from across Grampian and which focused on innovative or more effective ways of working.
The day’s conference was closed by inspirational presentations from two nationally recognised speakers from Grampian - Stephanie Morrison, Teaching Fellow and member of the OT academic team at RGU, and Therese Lebedis, consultant occupational therapist at NHS Grampian who reflected on the profession’s core values and how occupational therapists could articulate the power of the profession.
The day was closed by Shona Campbell, Chair of the Grampian OT Forum for Managers who encapsulated the day, reflecting on the various presentations and the innovative developments taking place across Grampian.
Dawn Mitchell, Subject Lead in Occupational Therapy at RGU, hailed the event a successful and positive day for the profession. She said: “It is important to recognise what our profession can do and the positive messages coming through today are evidence of what we are achieving and what we strive to achieve in this profession and in transforming the lives of individuals.”
Release by Stacey Lynch
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