Inspirational Story

Rebecca Haythorne

Who am I? Rebecca Haythorne

What do I do? Clinical Academic Occupational Therapist at Leeds and York Partnership Trust and Leeds Beckett University

Where did I study Occupational Therapy? Sheffield Hallam University

How did you find out about Occupational Therapy?

I completed my Occupational Therapy degree as a mature student; prior to this I completed a BSc in Psychology and Criminology and an MSc in Forensic Psychology.

I worked in health care as an Occupational Therapy Assistant for a year before starting my MSc in Occupational Therapy. I enjoyed the combination of academic teaching and placement experience which gave me the opportunity to understand Occupational Therapy practice in different clinical areas such as hand therapy, older adults, learning disabilities and forensic services. I have worked for the Trust since qualifying from Sheffield Hallam University in 2016.


I have been given the opportunity to work clinically and pursue my passion for research

What has your career journey looked like?

I started my career at Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust on the Occupational Therapy rotation programme completing rotations in the care homes team and then the Yorkshire centre for eating disorders; I finished my preceptorship in 2017.

In 2017 I was offered a permeant band five post in the community learning disabilities team. Since qualifying, I have been proactive in strengthening my academic and research career building skills in clinical audit and service evaluations. Furthermore, I have regularly submitted articles around Occupational Therapy interventions in peer reviewed publications such as: OT News, Journal of Nursing and Residential Care, Journal of Learning Disability Practice and Journal of Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities. In 2018, I was fortunate enough to be offered a Clinical Academic post with the Trust.

Over the last two years I have continued to work in the community learning disabilities team whilst studying part time for my PhD through the University of York.

My PhD explores the role of meaningful leisure activities from the perspective of adults who have a learning disability, carers and Occupational Therapists; I hope to work with our Trusts involvement team to turn this research into a toolkit which can be used in clinical practice.

Through the University of York I have also participated in the York Learning and Teaching Award and have had my first qualitative research piece accepted for publication in the British Journal of Learning Disabilities.

I will be leaving the Trust in August 2021 to purse my academic career at Leeds Beckett University, teaching on the Occupational Therapy programme; but, will remain involved with the Trust on an honorary contract whilst I continue my PhD and future research opportunities.

Occupational Therapist

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