Connor Qualifies as an Occupational Therapist

Date: 31/10/2023

Congratulations to Connor Darton, who is the first therapies assistant at MKUH to become a fully qualified Occupational Therapist. Connor has recently graduated from the University of Northampton with a BSc Honours – a course he did via the apprenticeship scheme offered by our learning and development team.

Connor, who is from Milton Keynes, spent three years in Nottingham gaining a first degree in Sports Science before returning to the city.

‘I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but spent some time doing voluntary work in a care home that my grandma runs. I really enjoyed working with the residents and learning about some of their challenges,’ explains Connor. ‘Then I applied for one of the first generic band three therapy assistant roles here in September 2019. I loved the variety of the work and understanding the very individual needs of each patient so I decided to take the next step to study to become an occupational therapist.’

Connor did the groundwork required, attending university open days and liaising with the Trust’s apprenticeships team. With the support and backing of Kenya Williams, stroke team lead OT and Adam Baddeley, inpatient therapy service lead he was accepted on to the course and graduated with flying colours this summer.

‘Of course, working alongside studying is hard work but it was well worth it. The experience I had working as a therapies assistant was really useful as I got to grips with the many, and often complex aspects, of the OT role,’ says Connor who is currently on secondment with the AAFT (Acute Assessment Frailty Team) till the end of the month when he will return to the stroke unit. As an OT, Connor’s role is broadly to find solutions to help individuals carry out day-to-day activities which they may find difficult due to illness, trauma, ageing and long-term conditions.

‘It is a very rewarding role and a very personal one too as every patient is very different in terms of what their expectations are. Sometimes I might see patients only once or twice, but with conditions such as stroke, I can be involved in their care and recovery for a lengthy period of time so it’s important you get to know what makes them tick,’ he adds.

Connor is the Trust’s first degree-qualified OT to have used the apprenticeship route. If you’re interested in developing your career with the Trust via the apprenticeship programme, speak to your line manager or contact Apprenticeships Manager Lee Noble: [email protected]