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Megan Heaphy works in Occupational Therapy (OT) at Broadmoor Hospital. She’s one of the first people in the country to do an OT apprenticeship degree, as part of which she’s using her skills at the hospital.

The Trust was the first trust in London to offer occupational therapy apprenticeships, working in partnership with Coventry University.  Megan was the first OT apprentice in London.

She talks about her role and how it’s been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic:

This aspiration began when during my first volunteering role at University where my peers and I provided a ‘pamper evening’ for women in the community who were suffering from mental health problems. During this session, I saw how effective simple activities and being a good listener are to a person’s wellbeing. From this experience, I wanted to develop my understanding of OT further and observe how it is used in different services to benefit patients. I volunteered within the NHS, working alongside OTs initially, ultimately building the confidence to apply for an OTA role. 

I work across the wards planning and providing occupational therapy (OT) treatment sessions. 

These can be one-on-one or in groups to help patients look beyond any limitations they may have due to their mental health. 

I help find out their interests and meaningful occupations that can be achieved within the confines of the hospital. This includes cooking, music sessions, creative projects and helping develop skills to attend work areas such as pottery, card making and gardening. 

We are spending more time on the wards and still trying to incorporate parts of the OT role into everyday life. We wear PPE (mask, apron and gloves) all the time and everyone is very cautious. We are used to this new way of working.

The feeling overall has been positive. We are all just trying to do the best we can to make things as normal as possible for the patients. It can be difficult, but team spirit is high. We all try to check in with each other as regularly as possible while not working as closely together.

I love being a part of a patient’s progress - it can be so rewarding. When you work with someone through very hard times because of their mental health, it’s amazing to see changes and developments.