Alison McIntyre, Occupational Therapist child health, NHS Tayside
When I sat down to write this blog, I thought how hard can it be? It should be easy – right? I could discuss a wide variety of topics – the occupational therapy journey in recent times within child health in Tayside, the topic of putting ‘occupation’ back into occupational therapy, the art of survival when working within an ever changing NHS – the list is endless but I realised it’s very difficult to get across your viewpoint in about 500 words succinctly and interestingly!!! I hope I haven’t lost you already…
So if you’re still reading then I’m going to make this more personal. As I head past my 50th year (for those who know me, I know – I don’t look it ☺), I’ve become reflective of why I am where I am, both personally and professionally. Occupational therapy is a part of me but it does not define me. I’m here because of my values – what I feel is important in life – honesty, kindness, compassion, fun, friendship, authenticity, integrity, learning, adventure and many more. It’s why I switched from a potential career in business to one within the ever shifting social and healthcare landscape, where your feet sometimes barely hit the ground running and the carpet can be whipped out from under your feet at any time. It has not always been an easy journey, but I would not have had it any other way and I certainly will not look back with any regrets.
Within child health, as like all areas of health, the times they are a-changing and for as long as I have been within the NHS, it has always been this way. We are urged to be comfortable with uncertainty, innovate, be change agents, create disruption, be transformational, take informed risks, collaborate and so forth while clinging to the core of our profession. We have many strategic drivers within child health that guide us – Getting It Right For Every Child, Ready to Act and the ambitions within it, the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child as some examples – however we know that culture can eat strategy for breakfast (whether Peter Drucker did or did not say this is up for debate but the sentiment is powerful). Strategy is important in underpinning our practice and the direction of travel, but it is the relationships within this that make the real difference in supporting and sustaining positive change. It is the relationships, in all their glorious colours and shapes which are at the heart of making things happen. It is these relationships that connect us, that make us feel part of something bigger and which help us be the best we can be. In Tayside, we continue to endeavour to make a difference to the children and families we work alongside through the relationships we foster with them, whilst at the same time staying true to the power of occupation to positively impact children’s health and well being. It is at the centre of all we do, and part of NHS Tayside’s vision of ensuring that “Everyone will have the best care experience possible”. There are many examples of the changes we have made as a service in relation to how we work within child health which we would love to share with you so please pick up the phone or send us an email and we will share with you our personalised and continuous stories of change and the importance of the relationships that have made these happen.
More info :
Our Website – www.OTCYP.scot.nhs.uk