The School of Health and Social Care at the University of Lincoln celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of Occupational Therapy students in December.
The programme was born in January 2019 on the back of a practice desire to grow a Lincolnshire based workforce to meet its future staffing needs. Academics alongside practice partners and service users worked in partnership to create a 2 year programme that was contemporary and innovative in its design that could supply Occupational Therapy staff fit for the Lincolnshire health and care system and beyond.
The first cohort of 14 students started their journey in January 2019 and despite a rollercoaster of a journey due to COVID19 disruptions, kept focussed and on track to graduate on time in December 2020.
The Occupational Therapy programme team have worked extremely hard to very quickly reconfigure the student’s academic programme and convert to a blended approach of online and face to face learning. They also worked together with practice partners in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas that provide placements as an integral part of the programme, to pause placements in the first wave of COVID 19 then restart them in the autumn term.
We would like to thank and commend our practice partners as this meant two cohorts of students were out in practice for a long block at the same time and placed increased demands on a health and care system under pressure whilst getting to grips with working in a different, and for some a more virtual world. However, despite this our students have shown tenacity and resilience to complete their placements and we have heard powerful stories where students have been able to contribute to the high workforce demands and make a difference.
And so now we get to celebrate their completion of the programme and with final results in, we are proud to see 9 students with distinctions and 4 with merits in their studies. Most students already have job offers and are looking forward to joining the workforce at a time when their expertise is much needed. The official graduation has had to be postponed until the summer but we look forward to celebrating with them then in person.
Kate Grafton Head of School of Health and Social Care said “This 1st cohort of OT’s to graduate from the University of Lincoln is the result of 5 years of collaborative work with our NHS and community partners and it is just the start of the universities commitment to support the development and supply of OTs and other AHP’s to the Lincolnshire care system.”
Congratulations to Class of 2019 – the first MSc Occupational Therapy students at the University of Lincoln.