Marketing Occupational Therapy

I make no apologies for returning to my marketing Occupational Therapy soap box for the first blog of the year.

On the train on the way home from London after our shopping expedition to Oxford St last week with my daughter, I was reading the back of packet of sandwiches plain ham and cheese that she had bought. It had been a long day I was tired..!

Anyway, on the back of the packet it said and I quote, ‘Honey roast British ham with farmhouse cheddar cheese, full fat soft cheese and seasoned mayonnaise on oatmeal bread.’

I think that most Occupational Therapists I know are guilty of apologetically explaining Occupational Therapy as the plain old ham and cheese sandwich.

We are moving into a different public health arena where some of you will be presenting tenders to commissioners for your own jobs, or doing it as part of a m ultimate disciplinary team.

At the moment the College of Occupational Therapy are promoting our services to the government as fantastic value for money, even money savers. As Occupational Therapists we are well aware of the value for money that we provide and for the client centred approach that we actually deliver and which most other health care professionals now argue to promote, but don’t always deliver.

So what makes us special? We really need to spell it out with bells on if we are to secure our place in the new emerging health care sectors.

We need to be ready to fully articulate our unique role with the client or service user, not JUST an Occupational Therapist but…….have a go at inserting your own with bells on personalised quote in here, to reflect your role in the ever complex health care that we are providing.

Imagine you are selling to someone with no knowledge of either the health service or occupational therapy. Someone who wanted to market you to people who have no idea who you are or what you do.

I have just had to do this recently to someone that I met at the Occupational Therapy Show. They were from product development, and kind of thought they needed an Occupational Therapist but not sure exactly why. They had absolutely no idea what a band 5/6/7 meant in terms of differences in wages and job descriptions. They didn’t know what CPD meant or why we required supervision, what it was, how often it was needed

This was my initial attempt,

‘……a fully qualified health care professional registered with the Health Care Professions Council with a degree in Occupational Therapy who delivers bespoke solution focused functional occupation based interventions which are meaningful for clients through specialised person centred assessment of need, prioritisation of client led goals leading to agreed outcomes which can be measured.

I would love to hear what you come up with.

Email them to me on I will look forward to reading them, or any comments you have.

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About Margaret Spencer

For the kind of collaborative supervision you have always wanted. Are you are passionate and enthusiastic about occupational therapy? Are you working in the NHS, third sector, independently or for a private company? Would you like your supervision to enhance, and develop your professional practice? If you answer yes to any of the above I would love to hear from you. Have a look at my website to see where we could work together. I have supported many occupational therapists in developing a service from scratch,. I have worked with OT's to design training packages for support staff in older adult falls services, I continually carriy out audits in psychiatric intensive care units, and learning disabilities forensic services. On behalf of commissioners I have completed service reviews in learning disabilities from 2002 onwards. I complete individual HCPC audits with OT staff in many different clinical areas, am involved in yearly appraisals, and monthly supervision sessions. I also critique, design and write job descriptions. I shortlist and interview for all levels of OT post from Band 5-8. What ever your needs I can support you.

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