Royal College of Occupational Therapists appoints new chief exec


The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has appointed Steve Ford as its new chief executive.

This will come after the departure of current chief executive Julia Scott, who departs 26 February.

Ford will take over on 6 April, bringing more than 30 years of leadership experience in the sector.

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He has been chief executive at Parkinson’s UK for the last 15 years, prior to that holding general manager and chief executive roles in the NHS.

Commenting on the announcement, RCOT chair of council, Diane Cox said: “I am delighted to welcome Steve to RCOT. He is a well-respected, proven and innovative chief executive with an exceptional record.

“His leadership experience in the health, social care and charitable sectors will be invaluable.  

“His personal approach and leadership style will serve him well in leading both the RCOT team and our 34,400-strong community.

“His passion for improving lives is perfectly in tune with our role as occupational therapists to enable individuals to achieve their full potential.

“I am confident that in Steve Ford we have the right strategic leader, who will work seamlessly alongside our occupational therapy experts to ensure the profession is best placed to meet future health and social care challenges.”

Meanwhile, Ford himself added: “RCOT is a great organisation, full of great people, and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to help shape its future and that of the occupational therapy profession.

“Throughout my career, I have worked alongside many amazing occupational therapists.

“I’ve seen the difference occupational therapists make to people’s lives, in particular the vital role they play in supporting people with long-term health conditions.

“I am looking forward to raising the profile of the profession so that it receives the investment needed to ensure occupational therapists can play their full role in future models of health and social care.”

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Sam Lewis

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