Kate Sheehan from The OT Service has been working with Repose Furniture for several years now. Repose is one of a growing number of manufacturers within the healthcare industry which is seeing the benefits of working with an occupational therapist.
To celebrate World OT Day Kate explains what the role involves from both her and Repose’s perspective.
In recent years there has been an increase in the number of manufacturers working with OTs. My role within Repose is wide and varied and has developed over time as the requirements of the business have changed. Initially, I was more involved in the development of the brand, raising brand awareness and ensuring that the distributor engagement process was attuned to their needs. This included supporting the web and brochure development as well as in-house training for the sales team and the development of client focused knowledge based resources that will enable our consultants to help clients to make better informed decisions about the Repose range. This extensive in-house training has ensured that the Repose consultants are more aware of the medical conditions and how different impairments, can seriously impact the way people should be seated. This now allows them to speak with an element of expertise when talking to retailers and customers.
In the past couple of years, I have been heavily involved in the development of the company’s Harlem and Boston porter chairs both of which have proved to be very popular with end users, retailers and care homes. I have also supported Repose in situations where they have been asked to provide clear clinical guidance. For example, if a product is not working for the client I will liaise with all parties to ensure a suitable solution is provided. This may involve changing the chair, although often the issue is not with the equipment, but the way in which it is being used, or the specification was not correct initially due to a standard chair being specified by purchaser, when a more tailored bespoke solution was required.
The big advantage to Repose of having an independent OT, as opposed to having one in-house, is that I am 100% independent. Therefore, if I say for whatever reason a particular Repose chair is not going to be suitable, Managing Director Lisa Wardley accepts this, and if needs be will help with alternative suggestions. This provides Repose with tremendous credibility and integrity, promoting their ethical and customer focus approach because they are prepared to listen to clinical reasoning input even if it does not always result in additional business.
How does the relationship benefit the OT?
I have learnt a great deal about the manufacturing process and what can and cannot be achieved, and I am even more aware of what solutions are available and what bespoke alterations to an existing product are possible. I am also far more conscious of the financial side of manufacturing which is not something you learn about when training to be an OT.
A final word from Lisa Wardley, Managing Director at Repose: “Our relationship with Kate has proved to be of great benefit to us, our retailers and end users. Being able to tap into Kate’s wealth of knowledge and expertise is fantastic for us as a manufacturer and the fact she is 100% independent means our retailers and end users know they are receiving the best possible independent advice regardless of whether it results in us supplying the end product. Together with the rest of the team at Repose I am looking forward to continuing our relationship with Kate and The OT Service over the coming years”.
If you would like to learn more about the range of bespoke adjustable furniture solutions available from Repose, visit www.reposefurniture.co.uk, call 0844 7766001 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org