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Guest post by Andrew Graham, Registered Occupational Therapist and Ph D Candidate, Teesside University Having recently made the move from NHS clinician into academia (I started my Ph D at Teesside University in December 2017), I arrived in Belfast for the Royal College of Occupational Therapy Annual Conference with an appetite to hear new and interesting research in the profession.

In my welcome pack, I received a copy of the RCOT’s Strategic Intentions which represent the leadership response to the challenges of the changing landscape of health and social care.

For instance, lowering alcohol tax by 33% was shown to increase inequalities in rates of death amongst disadvantaged groups in Finland.My own pledge was to better explain ‘occupation’ and its meaning within occupational therapy to a range of audiences. I’ll go with ‘doing things that we need to do and want to do (meaningful activities), which enable a sense of self-meaning and improved health and well-being.I feel as a profession we are experts in using occupation as a goal (top down approach) and/or a means (bottom up approach) to ensure provision of high-quality, client centred services.The principle that stood out for me was to ‘position the Profession, and our members, for the 21st century’.With my background in amputee rehabilitation I have seen first-hand the impact of socio-economic inequalities and lifestyle trends on amputation rate in North East England.

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