HRH The Princess Royal visited Leeds Metropolitan University as part of a one day visit to Yorkshire.
HRH, who is Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists, attended a conference organised by MSc Occupational therapy and Physiotherapy students at the University’s City Campus.
HRH The Princess Royal was given a tour of the University’s recently installed Clinical Skills Suite, which consists of a high-tech simulation suite with critical care bed, high-tech human patient simulator, a film recording system and viewing room, a community living space with a ceiling hoist and adapted equipment as well as four teaching rooms equipped for the teaching and safe practice of a range of healthcare skills. She then met physiotherapy and occupational therapy students before delivering a speech at the conference in the University’s Rose Bowl.
MSc Physiotherapy student Rachel Davis, who helped to organise the conference said: “Her Royal Highness gave a really inspirational speech and we felt really privileged to speak to her about our achievements and our course in general. The clinical placements as part of our course here at Leeds Met have prepared us really well for the world of work and I’m looking forward to progressing in my chosen career.”
MSc Physiotherapy student Amy Turner added: “It was a very humbling experience to have had the opportunity to represent my course colleagues in meeting her Royal Highness. I was really impressed with her depth of knowledge about my chosen field and she put us at ease as we discussed the course and our plans after graduation.”
Senior Lecturer Rob Brooks, who was instrumental in organising the visit, adds: “I was delighted that The Princess Royal was able to attend the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy student conference in her role as the Patron of the College of Occupational Therapists. She is an excellent ambassador for the profession and it was fantastic for her to meet our students and seeing the excellent clinical, academic and research training that we provide at Leeds Metropolitan University.”
In her speech HRH praised the students for their dedication and hard work saying: “I hope all of you are here because you feel that this is a caring role, a role very particular to occupational therapists and physiotherapists. This course is allowing you to pursue that as well as you possibly can and to grow your own natural enthusiasm and understanding of what that means. Here at Leeds Metropolitan, bringing this course together and developing it as an MSc alongside the facilities you have at your disposal certainly make your roles a lot easier. The way in which you can enjoy placements as much as possible to help you fulfil your particular ambition does make a real difference in terms of your ability to understand what you’ll be doing next. I’m sure that this course and the people you’ve worked with, the way in which the course has been put together will make a major difference in your future endevours.”
Dean of the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Leeds Met, Professor Ieuan Ellis said: “It was a great pleasure and privilege to welcome her Royal Highness today, and indeed to welcome so many guests – these being drawn from key partners of our university from the professional bodies, NHS education and service commissioners and health and social care provider organisations. Today’s conference is symbolic in marking the final phase of our students’ course and their transition from student to practitioners in occupational therapy and physiotherapy.”
MSc Occupational Therapy student Emma Shedlow added: “The conference was an opportunity to showcase all our achievements over the last two years and we’ve been extremely privileged to have been joined by HRH The Princess Royal, it’s been a really special day. It was great to hear the insight she had into occupational therapy as a profession and she encouraged us as we now enter the world of work.”
MSc Occupational Therapy Anna Wood said: “It was lovely to meet Her Royal Highness; she seemed really interested to hear about our placements and research and we feel really fortunate to have her here today to come and speak to us.”
Julia Scott, Chief Executive, College of Occupational Therapists said: “I am delighted to be here today with our Patron, The Princess Royal, to celebrate the students’ hard work throughout the year. The occupational therapy students’ innovative and creative approach to practice will stand them in excellent stead for the future and we are extremely proud of their achievements. Their collaboration with physiotherapy colleagues is a leading example of how to embrace and adapt to our evolving health and social care landscape and will pave the way for new collaborative working arrangements between allied health care professions. We wish them every success in their future career.”
The MSc Occupational Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy End of Course Conference showcased the achievements of the students and was themed around innovative practice and entrepreneurship. The conference was attended by a wide variety of people representing local NHS trusts, NHS England, charities, social enterprises and commissioners, as well as students, lecturers and clinicians from across the county. The conference allowed the final year students to reflect on their learning experiences and achievements throughout their training.