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1st Cygnet Occupational Therapy Conference 2018

Our Cygnet Occupational Therapists (OTs) held their 1st national conference with OTs from across the group on the 3rd December 2018. The theme of the conference was ‘Coproduction: working together for empowerment and respect’.

“Many people have lived experience, whether it be as a current or past service user, carer, friend or relative. Involving everyone is key to success. Coproduction is vital to service improvement and development. It is fantastic to see so many people at conference today. The number of submissions we received to present at conference demonstrates the wealth of coproduced work already embedded in occupational therapy practise at Cygnet Health Care.”Kay Bolton, Regional Director of Occupational Therapy, North

Experts by experience, carers, service users, OTs, OTAs and other members of the Cygnet team were in attendance. The conference was opened by our key note speaker Naomi Moorhouse. Naomi is an ex-service user from Aspen Clinic, and shared her recovery journey which focused on the power of meaningful occupation.

Dwayne Smith and Raf Hamaizia gave us a presentation on what coproduction means to them and their roles within Cygnet.

We had presentations from a number of our OTs and physiotherapist throughout the day in a variety of workshops, presentations and seminars. For example; Cygnet Victoria House’s Head OT, Vicky Wisniewski did a presentation on how sleep is crucial for MDT focus on admission to support recovery and she shared her co-produced sleep assessment and intervention.

Liz Hendle, a current service user, was joined by her parents to who spoke about their perspective on coproduction. Liz herself was part of a workshop describing a new recovery training package that will be electronic with the hope that this will be more accessible to staff than our existing ones to further enhance our focus on recovery. Beckton’s Head Occupational Therapist, Jennifer Beal, is leading on this training package.

“Discussions throughout the day were very humbling as people shared a renewed energy for their roles within their teams, and many saying that they have a much better grasp of the importance of co-production. Staff were brimming with ideas of embedding all they had learnt into their practice, and the experts by experience alongside service users felt very uplifted by shared experiences and by exciting, new ways of looking at health and wellbeing, for themselves and for those they work with.”Emma Crowcroft, Regional Director of Occupational Therapy, Midlands

The conference closed with a presentation from Eadaoin Bhreathnach who is an internationally renowned speaker in Sensory Attachment Intervention. She spoke about the need for firstly identifying an individual’s readiness to engage in intervention and then depending on their state of arousal, which therapeutic programme to select. She also discussed how we need to aim for an individual’s arousal state to be optimised prior to engaging in any rehab or therapy of any kind as they will not be able to access it.

“Feedback from the conference was fantastic to read. Everyone had a really great day, with very positive comments about how valuable the various workshops and presentations were to their practice. People also enjoyed the opportunity to make new connections, share ideas and network with others in similar situations. The overall message was that everyone wanted another one next year, and we are happy to oblige!”Sylvia Dubarry, Regional Director of Occupational Therapy, South

Thank you to our occupational therapy directors Kay, Emma & Sylvia for initiating and organising the event, to all the presenters and guest speakers and to all who attended and contributed to make the event a fantastic success.

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