25 January 2016
Melanie Burrough, a children’s occupational therapist (OT) at the RFL has been named outstanding OT of the year at a national award show.
Melanie, who implemented an innovative occupational therapy model for school age children in Camden, was given the honour at the Occupational Therapy Show in Birmingham.
The new model, which she learned about during a working trip to Canada, involves giving 44 primary schools in Camden the training and education to help all children, not just those referred to the OT service. OT enables children to learn the functional skills they need to be independent and there are many ways teachers can adapt their teaching to improve learning and participation for all children.
The skills children might need support with include every day activities like writing, eating, dressing, gymnastics or dance in PE lessons.
“I was really surprised to receive this award, but it was wonderful to win,” said Melanie. “I am really grateful to my manager, Betty Hutchon, who nominated me for the award. I really appreciated having the opportunity to go to Canada to learn how to implement this new model of working.
“The new model is about working together with teachers to support all children in a school environment, to solve problems and create opportunities for all children to be independent learners. This might involve using equipment such as a sloping board or adapted scissors to support a child when he or she is writing and cutting or it might be helping those children who need additional support to attend and concentrate in a busy classroom. It might also mean helping the teacher adjust some of their activities to allow the child who has difficulty with a particular skill to participate. It is about promoting independence for all children in the whole school day.”
Image: Melanie Burrough
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About the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The Royal Free began as a pioneering organisation and continues to play a leading role in the care of patients. Our mission is to provide world class expertise and local care. In the 21st century, the Royal Free London continues to lead improvements in healthcare.
The Royal Free London attracts patients from across the country and beyond to its specialist services in liver and kidney transplantation, haemophilia, renal care, HIV, infectious diseases, plastic surgery, immunology, Parkinson's disease, vascular surgery, cardiology, amyloidosis and scleroderma and we are a member of the academic health science partnership UCLPartners.