Research Module of MBA
|I completed a dissertation entitled the knowledge brokering challenges that the OT faces when scaling a service into schools. The research was the outcome of occupational therapy training given to school staff in order to empower them to observe, assess and implement strategies into the classroom for children struggling with their fine motor skills. The dissertation and its outcome was listed as part of my appraisal to research the challenges of the school based OT service that I have started in 2017. The outcome will be useful to learn from and utilised to modify the training programme offered. Abstract:
School based Occupational therapy is a recent development in the UK. There is no research regarding the impact and the service outcomes of a school based service. There is also limited research on utilising a Paediatric Occupational therapist as both a professional hybrid and a knowledge broker in order to scale an innovative service delivery model into schools by training staff in a very recent development. This research will investigate what the knowledge brokering challenges are that the Clinical lead faced when scaling the Paediatric Occupational therapy services into Primary schools in the East of England. The aim of the research was to establish whether training SENCO’s (Special Education Needs co-ordinators) in fine motor skills had an impact on their ability to implement new knowledge and skills into the classroom environment at their respective schools.
Paediatric Occupational Therapy services in the UK have been slow in changing their service delivery model to align with current evidence and practice because of historical agreements. This has resulted in a service where the Therapists worked in silo and long waiting lists due to the failure to implement a new service model. The NHS which the Paediatric Occupational therapy department forms part of, is undergoing a period of austerity and will need to utilise its resources efficiently and effectively. Various researchers, clinicians and other policy makers have stated that Paediatric service needs to change its service delivery model to one that is three tiered (universal, targeted and specialist services) and offers services to by training and working in partnership with education staff.
The researcher conducted twelve semi structured interviews with SENCO’s across different Primary schools. The research results highlighted the use of the Clinical lead as a professional hybrid working across the health and education sectors in order to introduce a new service innovation. The Clinical lead acted as a knowledge broker who engaged in transferring knowledge through training SENCO’s and school staff in fine motor skills and so developed positive working relationships. Through this direct contact with the OT the value creating process occurred and opportunities for co creation took place.
The recommendations from the research concluded that the Paediatric OT service needed to address utilising digital innovation i.e. online videos and content in order to train all school staff, ensuring all OT staff is skilled in effective knowledge brokering and creating a working group with education staff in order to compile future training packages.