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what you need to know for your appointment

What you can expect from us

We have a responsibility to ensure that the graduating workforce is equipped to practise in changing and dynamic environments.  We will ensure that we have the necessary resources to enable you to develop competence in your professionalism, knowledge and skills.

The Trust employs a part-time placement co-ordinator who has overall responsibility for the development of occupational therapy practice learning opportunities across the organisation and supporting students and PPEs during placements. 

Contact details:

Jane Smith 07976-218718

OT Central Office Newton Building Springfield Hospital 61 Glenburnie Road London SW17 7DJ

Before you start your Placement

For all placements we use university practice placement handbooks to make sure that we are aware of our responsibilities and the requirements for your placement. Practice placement educators (PPE) are also expected to attend University pre-placement briefings or access this information on-line.

We will give you a placement profile for the clinical location you have been allocated to and if possible arrange a pre-placement visit.  We will also organise access to Trust IM&T systems, e-learning and libraries.  We will inform you of the process to obtain your Trust ID badge, Smartcard and accommodation (if relevant)

During your placement

Learning Contracts

We will:

  • Negotiate learning contracts with you.
  • Work collaboratively with you to achieve placement outcomes

Supervision & Support

We will:

  • Ensure that staff are available during working hours for direct & indirect supervision
  • Provide one hour of formal supervision per week by a named PPE
  • Empower you to progress from observing practice to independent practice.
  • Use adult learning methods and be aware of different learning styles
  • Be aware of the support systems available when supervising exceptional or failing students or those with special needs.
  • Make you aware of the academic and pastoral support available whilst on placement.
  • Assess and manage risks.
  • Inform the university if we have concerns that you are failing a placement.

Disclosed disabilities

We will:

  • Make reasonable adjustments for you if you have a disclosed disability
  • Encourage you to disclose a suspected disability. If you do not disclose you will continue to be assessed on your competencies.

Health and Safety

We will:

  • Make you aware of health & safety policies

Learning opportunities

We will:

  • Enable you to experience the Occupational Therapy process with a range of people with different health and social care needs.
  • Ensure that opportunities exist for you to experience inter-professional team working and education.
  • Allow time each week for independent study.

Assessment and Evaluation

We will:

  • Use valid, reliable and fair assessment.
  • Record learning outcomes in the practice placement report
  • Demonstrate that you are being assessed within the context of client-centred, inter-professional and inter-agency service delivery.
  • Ask you to complete a placement evaluation


DSC 4035

What we expect from you

Before your Placement

Once the University inform you of your placement you are expected to email your PPE at least one week prior to the start date in order to introduce yourself and make arrangements to do a pre-placement visit. You can also ask any questions which will help you prepare for your placement experience. It would be useful for you to provide a summary of your learning to-date for your practice placement educator.

Please follow any instructions that your PPE gives you e.g. provide Smartcard number as this helps us save time by completing processes before you arrive.

Also, you might find it helpful to start thinking about your particular learning objectives prior to starting the placement. 

During your Placement

You are expected to present yourself in a professional manner at all times whilst on placement, abide by the Trust values, policies and procedures and act in accordance with the RCOT Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Occupational Therapists.

Your hours of work will be dependent on service requirements and students are expected to comply with the normal hours of work for your placement setting.


You will:

  • Acknowledge that service users have a choice about whether they wish to engage with you and you must seek their permission prior to assessments/interventions
  • Inform your PPE and/or the member of a staff in charge of their clinical area of work immediately in the event of any critical/unusual incident occurring during a client treatment session either to the client or to them.
  • Ensure that a qualified health practitioner countersigns all the entries that you make in client’s case notes.
  • Report any incidents of verbal, racist or sexual abuse or violence towards its service users or staff, contractors or visitors to their PPE
  • Maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Make sure that on leaving the placement any outstanding issues regarding patient care are handed over to the practice placement educator and documentation is up-to-date.

Learning contract

You will:

  • Negotiate an individual learning contract and weekly objectives with your PPE
  • Not accept responsibility for tasks that are above and beyond your capabilities or alternatively avoid taking responsibility commensurate with your level of training.
  • Identify, develop and use learning opportunities to achieve placement outcomes.

Supervision and Support

You will:

  • Actively participate in a minimum of one hour of formal supervision with the named PPE per week
  • Be willing to discuss both your strengths and weaknesses so that there is a planned approach to learning and supervision
  • Be aware of the academic and pastoral support available whilst on placement.

Assessment and Evaluation

You will:

  • Carry out self-appraisal and critical reflection on a regular basis in preparation for both formal assessment and supervision sessions.
  • Complete the Trust evaluation questionnaire at the end of the placement.

Health and Safety

 You will:

  • Adhere to your university procedures regarding absences due to sickness and contact the placement at the earliest opportunity and NO LATER THAN the normal start time on the first day of sickness.
  • Alert their PPE to any health issue, which may impinge on client care.
  • Read and adhere to the Trust's health and safety policies and make yourselves aware of and follow the control measures of any risk assessment prepared.
  • Adhere to the Trust’s Smoke Free policy
  • Adhere to the Trust’s dress code.


You will:

Disclosed disabilities

You will:

  • Not be obliged to disclose a disability, however if you choose this option you will be assessed without the benefit of additional support.
  • Be encouraged to initially disclose a disability to their University in order to receive any pre-placement support. You can however disclose a disability whilst on placement.
  • Be required to provide information about how your disability affects you on a daily basis and to identify what 'reasonable adjustments' are required to make the placement accessible.
  • Be encouraged to visit your placement before starting to openly discuss your needs and what adjustments they would find helpful.


You will:

  • Never accept a gift, favour or hospitality from a service user, carer or relative currently receiving care.
  • Not use your mobile phone during work hours except in exceptional circumstances e.g. as a safety measure

mental health care pathways

OCD: Treatment approaches

There are different ways to treating OCD.

The 2005 NICE guidelines for the treatment of OCD and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) encourage the use of a stepped-care model. The model aims to provide OCD sufferers with the least intrusive but most effective management for the patients needs. Each step provides successively greater intervention, assuming the previous step has already been implemented but has been unsuccessful. The model tailors the level of intervention to characteristics of the sufferers OCD and emphasizes the benefits of involving the family, schools and social workers.

Quick reference guide to the treatment of OCD 

  image Stepped-care model for OCD (145 KB)
(click for image)

Psychological therapy

Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) is a form of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and produces response rates of 85% in subjects who complete therapy. Patients are first required to produce a hierarchy of anxiety-inducing situations. The client then faces the feared situations or objects without performing the compulsive ritual. The objective of ERP is to produce habituation, where anxiety reduces naturally after prolonged exposure to the stimulus. A reduction in anxiety is seen within 60-90 minutes if the patient does not engage in anxiolytic behaviours. The patient works through the graded hierarchy tackling the least feared challenges first.  

ERP can be delivered in a variety of forms, including self-help programs such as books, computer packages and telephone therapy. These provide a self-directed approach to overcoming OCD but with some therapist input for goal identification and early education. CBT often has long waiting lists and is demanding on therapists time. Self-help approaches have the potential to help more patients with minimal input from a clinician and may be monitored at the primary care level.

Psychological interventions for children with OCD follow similar principles as adult-based therapies. It is important to acknowledge developmental discrepancies and language ability in children. Significant emphasis should also be placed on involvement of the family. 

Find out about the National OCD/BDD service provided by the Trust.

Pharmacological therapies

Clomipramine and the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most effective drugs in the treatment of OCD. This is due to their ability to specifically inhibit the synaptic reuptake of serotonin. Advice on prescribing for OCD


publication of expenditure

OCD: Epidemiology and aetiology

The epidemiology and aetiology of OCD.


  • OCD is observed in males and females in approximately equal proportions.
  • Prevalence may be as high as 1% to 3% in adults and 1% to 2% in childhood/ adolescence (especially just before the onset of puberty).
  • Many adult sufferers report symptoms appearing for the first time in childhood or adolescence.
  • Men more frequently present with checking rituals and women are more likely to display compulsive washing. 
  • The course of OCD is usually chronic but may vary in severity in response to stress. 
  • Many individuals do not present to healthcare professionals until early in middle age. 


  • Multifactorial in origin.
  • Includes environmental and hereditary factors.
  • Brain imaging studies have identified the basal ganglia and orbitofrontal cortex to be involved in the development of OCD.



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