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Importance of occupational therapy recognised at Holyrood event

Friday 7th December 2018
Scotlands Occupational Therapists have been blowing their trumpets in an event at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.
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The importance of occupational therapy has been highlighted in an event held at the Scottish Parliament, which helped raise awareness of the Improving Lives, Saving Money campaign. 

Sponsored by the convener of the Health and Sport Committee in Scotland Lewis Macdonald MSP, the event included speakers such as the chair of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) Council Dr Patricia McClure and RCOT policy officer Alison Keir. 

Mr Macdonald said it was "vital" that MSPs and Scottish government ministers recognise the work being done by occupational therapists in helping enhance health and social care services across Scotland.

He added: "The event provided an excellent opportunity for occupational therapists to engage with MSPs and to talk about their innovative local projects, but perhaps just as importantly, it raised the profile of occupational therapy among decision makers at the Scottish Parliament."

Dr McClure echoed these sentiments, stating that the interest shown in the event and the work of occupational therapists by the MSPs present "evidenced their commitment to working with the profession to ensure people of all ages receive occupational therapy services in the right place at the right time." 

Ms Keir described the event as a "fantastic evening", noting that more than 100 occupational therapists were there and were able to spend the evening networking with colleagues and MSPs.

Events such as the one at Holyrood are an obvious way to highlight occupational therapy in Scotland, but it is not the only way that has happened recently. 

A therapist based in the Shetlands was able to raise the profile of the profession last month when he appeared on the BBC One show Island Medics. 

Marc Beswick, who works at the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick, was shown helping a three-year-old patient learn to feed herself and get around using a wheelchair. 

He told the RCOT website that he had been keen to use the TV exposure to demonstrate the "uniqueness" of what occupational therapists do. 

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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