This helps to increase people’s independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life. Occupational therapists play a critical role in helping people of all ages to overcome the effects of disability caused by illness, ageing or accident so that they can carry out everyday tasks or occupations.
Occupational therapists are skilled professionals who find solutions to everyday problems. For example; advising you on approaching a task differently, using equipment or assistive technology, adapting your living or working environment, and finding strategies to reach your chosen goals.
An occupational therapist will consider all your needs – physical, psychological, social and environmental. This support can make a real difference to your life, giving you a renewed sense of purpose, opening up new horizons, and changing the way you feel about the future.
(BAOT and COT 2014)
What happens when you see an occupational therapist?
We begin by finding out why people are unable to carry out every day activities, which most people take for granted, for example bathing, getting on or off the toilet, eating and being able to go out and about.
We will discuss the problems you are having, and we may ask you to show us what you mean. To find the most suitable solution for you we may involve others, such as your family or other people involved in your care, but we only do this if you give permission.
Your occupational therapist may then carry out further specific assessments, provide a rehabilitation programme for you, prescribe adaptive equipment, adaptations or splints. We can also work with your relatives or carers to enable them to understand your condition, fully assist in your care or help to promote your recovery.
How can I be referred to an occupational therapist?
There are a number of ways you can be referred:
- If you are an inpatient, ask your doctor or nurse to refer you to an occupational therapist
- You may be referred to an occupational therapist by your consultant to continue your intervention on an outpatient basis.
- If you are in your own home ask your GP, consultant or specialist nurse to refer you to an occupational therapist
- You can refer yourself to occupational therapy in social services – see links below.
Meet the team
OT at South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is part of an integrated OT service (IOTS) which includes Middlesbrough Social Services and Redcar and Cleveland Social Services.
There are approximately 200 staff working across the many clinical specialties listed below. The OT team consists of occupational therapists, OT assistants, discharge facilitators and progress coordinators, with shared management
- Care of the elderly – acute and rehabilitation
- Community rehabilitation
- General surgery
- Neurosciences – acute and rehabilitation
- Oncology and palliative care
- Pain management
- Prevention of admission – emergency department, rapid response (Middlesbrough and Redcar), FAST (Hambleton and Richmondshire)
- Spinal injuries – regional unit
- Stroke – acute and rehabilitation
- Trauma – orthopaedics, hand injuries, burns and plastics
- Vascular surgery
- Wheelchair services
The James Cook University Hospital
Tel: 01642 854791