HRH The Princess Royal helps celebrate 25 years of Nottingham occupational therapy research

09 Jan 2012 14:43:21.550

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HRH The Princess Royal heard how 25 years of work by Nottingham occupational therapy researchers has helped to lessen the impact of disease and disability on everyday life and deliver innovation in patient rehabilitation during a visit to the city.

The Princess Royal met academics, clinicians and research patients during her visit to The University of Nottingham’s Medical School on Thursday January 12 to celebrate the 25th anniversary year of occupational therapy research through its Division of Rehabilitation and Ageing.

She was invited in her capacity as patron of the College of Occupational Therapists, which has provided around £100,000 in funding to the University’s research over the last three years. The College of Occupational Therapists is the professional body for occupational therapists and support workers and the voice of Occupational Therapy in the UK. It champions the unique and vital work of occupational therapy staff promoting value, excellence and innovation across the profession.

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Dr Pip Logan, Associate Professor in Community Rehabilitation and Chair of the College of Occupational Therapists’ specialists section on Neurological Practice, said: “We were really pleased and excited to be able to welcome The Princess Royal to the University to celebrate with us 25 years of occupational therapy research. Our research is aimed at improving the quality of life for people with long term medical conditions while avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and our results influence clinical care in the UK and abroad. The first UK Doctorate of Occupational Therapy graduated from The University of Nottingham and at present we are the largest group of clinical research active occupational therapists in the UK.”

The Princess Royal arrived at the University’s Medical School to be greeted by a host of dignitaries including The Right Worshipful The Lord Mayor of Nottingham Councillor Michael Wildgust, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council Jane Todd, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham Professor David Greenaway, Dean of the Medical School Professor Ian Hall and representatives from the College of Occupational Therapists.

During her visit, The Princess Royal learned about and discussed the numerous rehabilitation research projects being conducted by the University, in partnership with NHS colleagues, and spoke to patients currently participating in clinical trials.

Among the projects she heard about were:

• The history of the University’s long-running research into rehabilitation for stroke patients, including the establishment of the Nottingham Stroke Research Consumer Group, a unique partnership between stroke survivors and academics. The research is headed up by Professor Marion Walker, an occupational therapist, Fellow of the College of Occupational Therapists and recent recipient of an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List, and supported by stroke survivor Ossie Newell, who has worked tirelessly for better stroke care, service provision and research.

The Princess Royal heard how the importance of stroke rehabilitation has been recognised by the University through its Impact Campaign, which aims to raise £150 million in philanthropic support across five strategic themes over the next five years.

• The Getting Out of the House study, led by Dr Pip Logan, occupational therapist and Associate Professor in Community Rehabilitation, and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), which aims to help stroke sufferers regain their confidence and examine whether a new way of offering rehabilitation therapy could help patients to leave their homes more often. The study has now finished recruiting more than 560 patients from across 14 areas in the UK and will look at whether providing stroke patients with a targeted rehabilitation approach and goal-based outdoor mobility programme could be physically and emotionally beneficial.

• The Assistive Devices research team, led by occupational therapist, chartered psychologist and Associate Professor in Rehabilitation at The University of Nottingham Dr Lorraine Pinnington, which works to assess which are the most effective and cost-efficient rehabilitation devices, such as walking frames and hoists, out of the raft of those which are available. A recent research project into mobile arm supports (MAS) by the team found that the devices can improve patients’ confidence and ability to take part in a range of social situations while also offering them increased independence. Local man Brandon Fick, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, will be demonstrating the use of a mobile arm support which he uses to successfully assist him in a number of daily activities including eating a meal and using his mobile phone or computer.

• Stroke rehabilitation research funded by the Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC), led by Professor Avril Drummond, occupational therapist and Professor in Rehabilitation Research. Among its current research projects is a study looking at whether commercial virtual reality gaming systems such as the Nintendo Wii and Novint Falcon can be used for upper limb rehabilitation in stroke patients and trial participant Peter Clegg will be demonstrating the use of the Nintendo Wiimote (rehabilitation glove).

• Hospital-based occupational therapy research through Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust’s Medical and Mental Health Unit on Ward B47 at its Queen’s Medical Centre campus, led by Occupational Therapist Louise Howe and Rowan Harwood, Professor of Geriatric Medicine. The unit has introduced a person-centred approach to improve healthcare for patients suffering from dementia by offering specialist training to nurses and therapists and offering specialist facilities for patients including rooms where they can take part in organised activities such as game and painting. It aims to reduce the confusion and distress that some dementia patients experience when admitted to hospital for medical care.

• Falls prevention for older adults research through Nottingham County Health partnership and Nottingham CityCare Partnership led by community based occupational therapist Kate Robertson. This team has introduced a rehabilitation programme that shows people how to prevent falls in their own homes or in residential homes. The programme can be completed by carers, care home staff or relatives. It includes exercises, advice about diet and dehydration, removing hazards in the home, techniques for getting up from the floor and what to do if someone does fall.

Find out more about the University’s Impact Campaign and how you can support stroke rehabilitation research at

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011, a league table of the most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions.
The University is committed to providing a truly international education for its 40,000 students, producing world-leading research and benefiting the communities around its campuses in the UK and Asia. Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. For more details, visit:

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power.

The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Award for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research on global food security.

More news from the University at: 

Story credits

More information is available from Dr Pip Logan on +44 (0)115 823 0235,

Emma Thorne Emma Thorne - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5793 Location: University Park

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