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Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapists enable people living with a range of health problems and chronic conditions to overcome the barriers so they can participate in everyday life, and improve their health and wellbeing.

Occupational therapists assess the needs of people to do what they need and want to do (occupations). They develop plans with patients, so they can re-engage in everyday life, despite their health and social difficulties.

Through intervening early and taking a collaborative approach occupational therapists are able to address what matters to people. This can minimise crisis situations, prevent further deterioration and promote independence and social inclusion.

Occupational therapists help GPs to support patients who:

  • are frail, with complex needs
  • live with chronic physical or mental health conditions
  • manage anxiety or depression
  • require advice to return or remain in work
  • need rehabilitation so they can continue with previous occupations (activities of daily living).

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Full details available in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service Contract specification.

In summary:

  • Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate treatment plans, with an aim to increase patients' productivity and self-care;
  • Work with patients through a shared-decision making approach to plan realistic, outcomes-focused goals;
  • Undertake both verbal and non-verbal communication methods to address the needs of patients that have communication difficulties;
  • Work in partnership with multi-disciplinary team colleagues.
  • Where appropriate, support the development of discharge.
  • Periodically review, evaluate and change rehabilitation programmes to rebuild lost skills and restore confidence;
  • As required, advise on home, school, and workplace environmental alterations.
  • Advise patients, and their families or carers, on specialist equipment and organisations that can help with daily activities;
  • Help patients to adapt to and manage their physical and mental health long-term conditions, through the teaching of coping strategies;
  • Develop, implement and evaluate a seamless occupational therapy support service across the PCN, working with community and secondary care where appropriate, and aimed at continuously improving standards of patient care and wider multi-disciplinary team working

Education and Training Requirements

  • Has a BSc in or pre-reg MSc in Occupational Therapy under a training programme approved by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists
  • Is a registered member of the Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC); c. is able to operate at an advanced level of practice;
  • Has access to appropriate clinical supervision and an appropriate named individual in the PCN to provide general advice and support on a day to day basis, in order to deliver the key roles and responsibilities.
  • Occupational therapists working as a FCP are required to completed the FCP Roadmap to Practice for Occupational Therapists

Additional Resources