New Approaches in the World of Work - a great study day!
The programme was packed with innovative approaches designed to maximise the benefits VR professionals bring to our VR clients

The “New Approaches in the World of Work” joint study day, by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section Work and the Vocational Rehabilitation Association, was held on November 3rd, and it did not disappoint!  The programme was packed with innovative approaches designed to maximise the benefits VR professionals bring to our VR clients.

For many of us who have been working from ‘anywhere we can access WIFI’, it seems commonplace. Indeed, we could have been thinking we know all there is to know about working anywhere. Helen Sheldon from The Work Foundation shared their research, which demonstrates that not only is flexible working good for you, but managers also see the benefits.  Getting it right, however, requires strong leadership, smart technology and good processes for all to reap the rewards.

The knowledge transfer continued with speakers communicating exciting and proven approaches, many of which I know I will be incorporating in my practice. Beverly Knops shared how she effectively uses Skype with her clients for talking therapies around pain management, and Ruth Siewruk shared her very impressive free Health App review website to harness the Information Revolution[1] whilst facilitating recovery from a large range of conditions.  We were impressed by the number of resources available, and the due diligence that Ruth and her team put these health apps through to ensure that they are value for our clients.

Nick Pahl from the Society of Occupational Medicine informed us about Government policy timelines, and a vision of a more effective employment support system and health service around occupational injury and illness, and Kath Sutherland, whilst not present on the day proved that even if unforeseen events prevent F2F delivery, technology allowed for her presentation to be shared virtually, sharing her expertise for breaking down the barriers for self-employment options for our VR clients.

A voice recognition software review with Alex Barker, and the practicalities and ergonomic solutions for mobile workers presented by Alison Biggs, were both very well received discussions.  Too bad if you missed these!! And Ceri Goodrum helped us all get to grips with how we can use our Twitter and Linkedin resources to better manage our own businesses.

The day was rounded off with discussions around training for those new to return-to-work services notably by Graham Halsey, who explained CDMP, and by Helen Barnes and Sarah Mead who outlined what the UK Allied Health Professions need to be effective in the UK today.

All in all, the day was packed with innovation, inspiration and information to allow us to be our best selves in the field of VR in 2017.

Deborah Edwards

VRA Chair