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04 October 2005 at 09:06
A group of occupational therapists that work in Southport & Formby and West Lancashire have been promoting their profession to careers tutors in local schools through a career pack explaining the work of occupational therapists.

The pack is being sent to 29 local schools. Information stands will also be on display at both Ormskirk and Southport & Formby District General Hospitals. Local occupational therapists from a wide range of specialist areas contributed to the pack targeted at High Schools for ‘Occupational Therapy Week 2005’, a national awareness week which starts on Sunday 2nd October.

As Nicola Ivanovic, Head Occupational Therapist at the Trust explained: “I have worked in the profession for 25 years and have been qualified for 16 years. It is a fantastic profession helping people to lead more independent and rewarding lives. There are great job opportunities for occupational therapists working in hospitals, social care, schools, charities, and in the independent and commercial sectors.”

Occupational therapists help people who are ill, disabled or feeling the effects of ageing to do the things that are important to them – such as preparing a meal, working, or undertaking a favourite hobby. There are over 26,000 qualified occupational therapists in the UK. Sheelagh Richards OBE, Chief Executive of the College of Occupational Therapists (which is the professional body for occupational therapists in the UK), said: “On a daily basis, we hear from people about the difference their occupational therapist has made to their lives.

We also regularly get feedback from our members, saying how much they love their jobs. The growth in the demand for occupational therapists means there are great job opportunities for people entering into the profession.” Earlier this month the Trust’s occupational therapists helped organise a conference at Lancaster University at which the 70 delegates heard speakers from the College of Occupational Therapists, community therapists and from our own Trust.

Subjects ranged from experience gained on placement in Norway, the Blue Badge scheme for disabled drivers, the paralympics and an excellent poster presentation reflecting their work on acute medical wards. Occupational therapy courses are available at 34 universities in the UK. Details of these are available on the College’s website: The College of Occupational Therapists has 28,000 members, including students and support staff.

For further information, please contact: Nicola Ivanovic Head Occupational Therapist 01704 704143 Notes to the editor: Occupational therapists help people in many ways, based on each individual patient’s needs and lifestyle. Their work could involve:
• Giving advice on how the home or workplace environment can be changed (for example, ensuring wheelchair ramps are installed)
• Helping people to learn new ways of doing things (for example, teaching someone with reduced stamina how to conserve energy when performing daily activities)
• Adapting materials or equipment (for example, adjusting a knife for someone after they have lost hand dexterity)
• Consulting in schools to help children overcome writing difficulties and other learning challenges
 • Heading up a disability management programme for an organisation
• Assisting an ageing couple to care for one another in their own home
• Helping someone suffering from depression to return to the workplace
• Travelling to developing countries or war-torn regions to set up rehabilitation programmes

Issued by Matthew King,
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.
Enquiries to: Matthew King
Tel: 01704 704714