OTs in London Do ‘Pint of Science’ – 23rd-25th May 2016

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting, fun, relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – all in the pub! We want to provide a platform which allows people to discuss research with the people who carry it out. It is run by volunteers and was established by a community of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in 2012. The main festival takes place annually over three days in the month of May simultaneously in pubs across the world.


Last year, OTs in London went along to the Horse Pub to listen to Dr Vaughan Bell speak about the psychology and neuroscience of hearing voices, and Professor Sir Simon Wessely debunk the myths of military mental health.

This year, we are going to the following events – and you are welcome to join us! (Tickets cost £4 and can be purchased on the Pint of Science website)

“Brain, what a marvellous organ. What goes on in our brains? We’ve all been there – sat across the table from each other on a first date. Have you ever wondered what the other was thinking? If they found you romantically attractive? Come join us to find out! We will be discussing the psychology of romance and romantic attraction. But it’s not over yet, what happens if our brain is deprived of oxygen at birth? What can science do to help and avoid the dramatic consequences of neurotrauma?”

Dr Martin Graff (Reader in Psychology )
Why attraction is important to us? What are the gender differences in attraction, and what features men and women find attractive? I will also discuss how our levels of attractiveness are perceived to alter at certain times, in addition to covering the utility of studying attraction and the other positive features which are related to levels of attraction. The talk will also look at online dating, and give some research based advice on this. The session will conclude by considering differences between males and females in what they seek in a romantic partner.

Dr Ping Yip (Non-clinical Lecturer in Neurotrauma)
Newborn babies can suffer deprivation of oxygen and/or blood supply anytime during or before birth, often with no identifiable cause, resulting in disability or death in moderate to severe cases. This type of brain injury or neurotrauma can occur up to 4/1000 live births in western countries. Therefore, there is a desperate need understand brain injury for brain-saving treatments. Our research involves studying biological markers from a small amount of blood of brain-injured babies using the latest technologies to determine the level of damage in an injured newborn brain.

“How do robots actually perceive the world? Sci-fi movies such as Star Wars and Ex Machina have shown us how the robots of the future might become perfectly autonomous machines, capable of interpreting their surroundings, making decisions, and sensing human emotions. But how are we stepping towards this human-level artificial intelligence? This event takes place on the first floor, only accessible by stairs.”

Professor Maja Pantic (Affective & Behavioural Computing, Imperial College London & University of Twente)
The human face is our main means to communicate our identity and send social signals. This talk will demonstrate how facial expressions can be automatically sensed and analysed by computers. Maja will present her research on machine understanding of human behaviour, including vision-based detection, tracking, and analysis of human behaviour like facial expressions, body gestures, laughter, and social signals.

Dr Edward Johns (Dyson Fellow at Imperial College London)
Imagine that you are a robot and you need to clear a messy table. You try to observe the local environment through your visual sensors, which present the environment as a bunch of numbers. How would you interpret these data? Edward will discuss how robots can learn visual perception autonomously and show you how robots of the future may be able to clean up your house without burning it down!



CPD Event: ‘Power in Therapeutic Relationships’ – 6th May 2016

Join us for another free OTs in London CPD event  at the Sugarman Offices on Fenchurch street. This time, Kee Hean Lim (from Brunel University) will be speaking with us about Power in Therapeutic Relationships.

“The term power engenders mixed emotions in all of us. Power is often viewed as an imposing influence and associated with behaviours such as intimidation, control and dominance. Within organisations those in power seem to decide and impose their will on others and this creates even greater inequalities. Within the scope of therapeutic relationship, power exist between health professionals, carers, service users. The influence of power can sometimes be more covert than overt and dictates the type of therapeutic relationship that exist between individuals. The focus of the talk will be to examine different types of power bases, understand the power processes that exist, ascertain the influence and impact of power, to explore how we can readdress the power imbalances in therapeutic relationships and to work towards a more equal and person centred approach to therapeutic care.”

You can RSVP on our Facebook event or by commenting on this post.

CPD as you mean to go on

It’s a new school term and a new HCPC CPD Audit Cycle.  Every 2 years a lucky 2.5% of us will be chosen to have our Continuing Professional Development Audited which can seem like something to dread, especially if you haven’t been particularly meticulous about logging everything you’ve done!

The good news is that even if you don’t feel like you have done very much – you have.  The even better news is that the Audit focuses on two years worth of CPD and so it’s the perfect time to start if you haven’t already.

On the 18th September 2015 we will be hosting an evening looking at how to CPD as you mean to go on.  Stop by and join us to talk to other OTs who have been through it and come out the other side. We’ll be sharing tips, tricks and wine as well as creating at least one piece of CPD evidence for you to take away on the night!  Tickets are free but limited so sign up and come along.

CPD as you mean to go on Tickets

Further Reading:

A recent OTalk on the subject of being CPD ready for Audit

A link to the HCPC home page

My Experiences at OTsinLondon Events as an American OT Visitor By: Bill Wong, OTD, OTR/L

A big thank you to Bill Wong who has visited London lately as part of his UK and European tour 2015!  All the way from America Bill managed to fit in two OTs in London events as part of his super packed schedule and even wrote a blogpost about his experience for us!

I had a long desire to visit UK for 2 years, as I have been a regular participant of #otalk for the last three and a half years. When I originally planned to come to UK in 2013, I just thought about coming to COT conference this year and meet as many OT folks I have interacted online as possible. But as time went by, I knew many more UK based OT students and practitioners. So, I have been thinking about a good time in doing a grand tour across UK while also satisfying my desire to come to COT conference.

Then, an opportunity came when I was invited to do a couple CPD workshops in Croatia in the middle of June late last year. I thought, “When will be a better time to visit my UK colleagues?” Once I get a better consensus that it is better to do it before I come to Croatia, I settled on my dates to come to UK. After a few months of trying to get the logistics in order, Charlotte then asked me if I want to do two OTsinLondon events while I was in town. Since it fulfilled my objective, I did not hesitate to say yes and Charlotte gave me the dates that would satisfy my schedule.

The first event I went to was curry night. It was right in my element because I love curry whenever I have a chance to eat it back home. I did not hesitate to ask for the hottest curry dish available at the restaurant to the waiter. Most of the fellow OT geeks looked at me with shock and amazement of my boldness. As I was eating the curry, my face turned red. Some OT’s noticed that and wondered if I would give up. I proved them wrong by finishing the whole dish. (I am sure that was part of the entertainment for the night.)

Bill Vindaloo

After that, we went to a bar and played celebrity heads. I gave an OT item that I thought it was easy because it was discussed a lot in American OT programs. Little did I know, poor Nishi had no idea what weighted vest was. (I guess that’s a difference in American and British OT education!) It was good fun in all, as we exchanged a few laughs while the other attendees trying to learn a thing or two about how UK OT practice is different than US.

The second event I went to was an event sponsored by Sugarman group. It was a bigger event than curry night. There were occupational therapy practitioners who had their trainings done in other countries trying to work in the UK. There were also job recruiters from Sugarman group. It was another fun evening as we got to socialize with one another and enjoy some games of foosball. I had so much fun that we did not leave until late into the night.

Foosball 1 kick

What did I get out of the experience? I think OTsinLondonis an awesome idea for OT’s based in a particular regional area to meet one another and network. It has also become an avenue where potential employers might hire potential candidates on the spot in lieu of a job interview. For the earlier, I feel that it is a model that state associations in America can copy the blueprint and use it as a strategy to increase incentives to take up membership. For the latter, Ifeel that it is an innovative approach to get to see other sides of potential employees than at a job interview.

As for my mission when I come back to Los Angeles, I am going to strongly push such events happen more regularly in California. Although I am not in any executive board positions in my state association yet, but I know enough of the executive board members to try to push the idea through, perhaps with modifications on how the model might work better.

On that note, I am enjoying my time in the UK! I will be back for more OTsinLondon events the next time I come back to London.
Thanks for the glowing recommendation Bill!  Looking forward to seeing you again next time you’re here!

And thanks again to Sugarman who sponsored the foosball event at Kick.  Looking forward to many more joint ventures in the future!  Follow us on Twitter, on our blog here or subscribe to our Facebook Events page to stay up to date with all our future outings!

London OT Curry at Chillies – 30th May 2015


Saturday night and yet another (but personally my first!) OT curry! 7 OTs and 2 OT students assembled at Chillies on Brick Lane for curry, wine and conversation of the highest caliber.

Although, this was not before getting a tiny bit lost, stumbling across Newcastle University and wondering whether we’d gone too far!


A great mix of people attended, with therapists having travelled from across London, from Derby and even from the USA! There was a wide breadth of experience amongst the group, with paediatrics, mental health, neuro, community adult and more being represented! Experiences were shares, OT roles were promoted, understanding was increased…and then our food arrived.

The curry was fantastic, but most memorable might have been Bill’s brave choice of lamb vindaloo:


The meal deal offered to us by Chillies and the kind contribution from BAOT London Region ensured 9 very happy OTs and an evening of great value.

Following the curry, we headed towards Commercial Street and stopped off in The Commercial Tavern for a couple more drinks to truly to supplement the Saturday feeling. Charlotte suggested the ingenious idea of playing an OT adaptation of Celebrity Heads, and the results were brilliant. Models of practice, theoretical concepts, specialist equipment and more were discussed, proving that a trip to the pub can be educational as well as fun!


Here’s to the next OT curry, but in the meantime we’re heading to Kick on Thursday 4th June for table football! The event is in collaboration with The Sugarman Group, and looks to be another great evening. Let us know on the Facebook event if you’re coming along!

See you there!

Thank you to Cara, one of the newest members of OTs in London, for this blog post!