I'm an OT - what can I do?

Tamara Rayment's picture

By starting to make simple, practical changes in practice, OTs in all their settings can make a telling contribution to carbon reduction in health and social care and beyond.  You could join OT Susnet and print off the 10:10 OT checklist for your workplace. 

With service users:

  • Model sustainable behaviours in your interventions
  • Establish a ‘Sustainable Living Skills’ OT group
  • Through dialogue and active listening, seek opportunities to raise clients’ awareness of the benefits of sustainable lifestyle choices
  • By seeing the whole person, distinct from illness and with valid roles, tap into clients’ sustainable development knowledge, skills and attitudes to build your own capacity and facilitate active partnership within the therapeutic relationship
  • Include looking for carbon-friendly sources of food used for cooking activities. Explore opportunities to inform service users about water and energy consumption and conservation.

Within your setting/department:

  • Get your MDT colleagues involved and set up a ‘green’ reps group in your department
  • In partnership with stakeholders, service users and colleagues develop a sustainability policy in your setting/dept/community
  • Use CPD as a vehicle for exploring sustainable development
  • Carry out sustainable development audit/ research /pilot study activities in order to transform service provision in your setting
  • Engage your managers in dialogue regarding the sustainability of equipment, media, and other resources procured for the service
  • Work with colleagues to develop understanding that sustainable OT is best practice

Within your organisation:

  • If there is one, join the environmental steering group at the organisation and introduce colleagues to the holistic values of OT and their significance to the sustainability agenda
  • If no environmental steering group exists at the organisation explore avenues to establish one
  • Explore opportunities for addressing the key areas of the Sustainable Development Unit’s strategy for health and social care, working alongside other professions.
  • OTs involved in decisions about commissioning of services and the procurement of equipment, could ask questions about sustainability, e.g. where is the equipment manufactured and how ethically it is made?

Within education:

  • Explore ways in which sustainability issues could be incorporated into your OT curriculum to meet the WFOT minimum standards
  • Develop research projects examining sustainable OT practice.
  • Link in with other disciplines exploring sustainability within your university

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