The University of Sunderland will now be responsible for producing an army of professionals dedicated to supporting service users with interventions that improve their daily lives.
The University now delivers a full cycle of health programmes from paramedic training and nursing to pharmacy, physiotherapy and medicine – and the new Occupational Therapy degree, which has just had its first intake of students, further complements Sunderland’s health and social care offer.
The investment in the course includes a fully functional independent living environment, a multi-media workshop and a suite of rehabilitation laboratories, the programme has also been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and is accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.
To mark programme launch, the University is supporting National Occupational Therapy Week (Nov 4-10) which will focus on the theme: Small Change, Big Impact. The theme celebrates and champions the impact of OT on the lives of service users and the communities they live in.
Occupational therapy helps patients recover or develop skills needed for everyday activities, leisure, independent living and work. Therapists work in a variety of locations such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes and with patients in their own homes. Patients who benefit from occupational therapy, include people who have had strokes, people with autism and other development disorders, people recovering from certain surgeries, people who experience from depression or anxiety, as well as veterans and the elderly.
Cath Turner, Senior Lecturer in OT at Sunderland said: “By supporting this national event, Sunderland is demonstrating that its small change was to introduce the new OT programme and the big impact of this will be the positive effect on our wider community.
“It’s really important for us to be part of this week and engage with the RCOT, drawing on their expertise and experience.”
Vice Chancellor Sir David Bell said: “At the University of Sunderland, we are delighted to be training the next generation of occupational therapists in superb new facilities. As a result, our graduates will go on to make a vital contribution to the health of the city and the region.”
Image: Vice Chancellre Sir David Bell, credit Unviersity of Sunderland.