Reflecting on RCOT Annual Conference 2022 -Blog post 2 – ‘PLENARY SESSION: Levelling the playing field;

Acknowledgment – This blog post is a personal opinion piece of initial thoughts after attending conference, with an aim of being a critical friend, often just asking questions I have yet to determine the answer, if indeed there is an answer. This website has an accessible feature, that allows different accessible formats by simply clicking on a button labelled Accessibility menu that appears in green on all pages. It will provide you with a number of options to change the appearance to meet your accessible needs. This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. I’m #MadeByDyslexia – expect creative thinking & creative spelling.

‘PLENARY SESSION: Levelling the playing field; Leadership, physical inactivity and occupational therapy with Lyndsey Barrett Director and Lead Occupational Therapist, Sport for Confidence and Dr Chris Whitaker Senior Disability Manager Sport England

Lyndsey shared her own story of recovery and how occupational therapy played an integral part, reflecting on the occupations that were important for her to get back to.  Which lead to developing Sport for Confidence, with a no labels model. 

Lyndsey articulated how she provided occupation focused intervention using sport activities, giving great examples of how these interventions could enhance occupational performance.  For example a swimming session can achieve so many goals, including washing and dressing practise.  What I liked about this is the natural way to assess and develop  skill, rather than a manufactured task for the purpose of assessment, which is often the case within hospital settings. 

Lindsey’s passion and enthusiasm for the profession shone through, and what she has achieved within this non traditional setting is core to what occupational therapy is meant to be.  

Also in this session was Dr Chris Whitaker, Senior Disability Manager, Sport England’. Who talked about his leadership role and what he is doing,  there were many statements that made me think.   He talked about the impact pandemic had it increasing inequalities and barriers for those with disabilities.  

Some take home statements from this session for me were: 

  • Getting people more activity by transformation sport and physical activity to fit in to peoples lives rather than us expected people to fit physical activity in to their lives. 

Reflection – How health care is very much build to suit the needs for those working in it rather than those accessing it.   There is so much to learn here.  

  • Lyndsey talked about inclusive outcome measures are hard to come by, 

Refection on how do we ensure outcome measures are inclusive, co-production and shows the information required.  

  • Lindsey challenged barriers of new ways of managing money the pandemic has created.  Not everyone has access to card payments, online banking as away of paying for things. Cash is important,  touching on the idea that some of that is about skilling people but some is also about understanding that using cash is preferable for some. 

Refection – made me think about my Dad’s reluctance to use self checkouts,  my initial thought was I need to teach him how to use these, because I find them useful,  but that doesn’t mean its right for him.  

Reminded me to set the goals people want rather than what and need rather we think they want and need.

I have more refections to come and will post them as I finish them. Please do share your thoughts. I would also recommend checking out RCOT Highlights of conference here . Also remember for your continuing professional development its important to evidence your learning. One way to does this is to use RCOT’s 5 min reflection tool or even the Equity, Diversity and Belonging reflection tool


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