Several Occupational Therapy students from the University of Bradford have been able to do their 9-week role-emerging placements with various departments of a local council. They have worked on a range of projects including with the locality social work teams and the discharge to assess pathway. For one project, they prepared a business case for employing an OT within the locality team, demonstrating the cost savings of doing so compared to reduced care packages.
The students go out in pairs, and have weekly peer support sessions. The placement provider arranges for an on-site supervisor who does not have to be an Occupational Therapist as the university arranges for a long-arm supervisor who is a registered OT to meet with the student for one hour each week.
These projects develop the students’ creative problem-solving skills, entrepreneurship and communication skills. They are also able to think about how they can employ their skills in different environments and have a better understanding of the determinants of health. By offering these placements, the council benefits from having two students deliver an evidence-based project which they would have otherwise lacked the capacity to complete.