13th September 2021

Occupational Therapy: 2021 and beyond – award recipients announced

The Elizabeth Casson Trust is excited to announce our research awards for the Occupational Therapy: 2021 and beyond call.

Dr Anita Atwal of London Southbank University, together with Professor Elizabeth McKay (Edinburgh Napier University) and Dr Vimal Sriram (Imperial College London) have been awarded £49,430 to carry out the study ‘No Barriers to Success: Safe space as a vehicle to promote personal and career transitions for BAME OTs and Managers’.

The aim of the 18month study is to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of the concept of safe spaces and a mentorship model for BAME OTs to promote career transitions. It is anticipated that this project could facilitate the development of more diverse leaders within the profession through the development of a mentorship model that recognises the need for race allyship and creating a sense of belonging within the profession (one of the four pillars of the NHS People Plan 2020/2021 to deal with discrimination and inequality faced by some staff).

Alicia Ridout of Involve Me Digital Health, together with Emma Casimir (HMA Digital), have been awarded £48,950 to carry out the study ‘Co-designing a competency-based programme to build novice Occupational Therapy digital health practice: Crossing the flaky bridge’.

The project seeks to build on work undertaken during the pandemic in 2020-2021, using a novel online tool, COG-OT (Clinical Onboarding Guide for Occupational Therapists (OT)), to support the profession in development of their digital practice in the face of exceptional pressures and the sudden at-scale deployment of digital tools in health and care.

The aim of this 18month project seeks to optimise novice practitioners’ successful transition and deeper use of the tool in practice, building up the digital competency aspect of their practice and those around them. The project will therefore explore, through action-research, an evaluation of novice practitioners’ experiences, utilisation of the programme, insights/ideas for future deployments, and the impact on students becoming newly qualified OTs using the COG-OT+. Content will be co-designed and refined with students and practice educators to optimise successful deployment and create new resources.

The trustees and assessment panel would like to congratulate these teams for their successful research applications and we look forward to hearing more on the projects as they progress.




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