Southwark Council’s Children & Adult Services department has become one of the first to use remote video conferencing to provide training on stairclimbers,
A virtual meeting organised with stairclimber provider, AAT, enabled the council’s occupational therapy team to explore the range of devices and consider how these can be accessorised to gain insight into prescribing the equipment.
“If someone has impaired mobility, the perception on the whole is that they need a fairly major adaptation to their home to enable them to get up and down stairs,” explains Gareth Brown AAT Technical Director. “With COVID impacting so much on the practicality of occupational therapy teams across the country to undertake home assessments and expediate adaptations, there is growing need for alternative strategies that are realistic, practical interventions.
“Virtual conferencing is becoming an accepted methodology for meetings, home assessments and CPD sessions. It made logical sense to Southwark and us to extend its application for technical training, in situations where the healthcare professionals need to actually see how the function and scope of a device can be appropriate, and how it integrates with the PEOP model for a positive outcome.”
Clare Weale, Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist at Southwark, who came up with the idea for the session, added: “We need to have practical sessions to develop a technical framework as to what is feasible and therefore realistic as an intervention. With current working practices because of COVID, a virtual session was the closest we could come. Adoption of such new practice is essential for our team to continue to build on our professional skills, and deliver outcomes to improve people’s wellbeing, where stairs or steps present as environmental barriers to participation in daily living.
“The AAT virtual workshop was interesting and informative. It gave our clinicians the necessary knowledge of what may be a technically feasible option with more complex equipment prescription that may not otherwise have been considered.”
Virtual technical training sessions are just part of AAT GB’s armoury to help OTs and adaptations teams prescribe solutions in the current socially-distanced, protective times. The company can also assist with home assessments, be it remotely, or in person, with all appropriate measures applied for each individual scenario. Telephone, email and LiveChat support is also on offer.