Occupational Therapists: Supporting patients to be at home

Posted: November 4, 2019

Celebrating Occupational Therapy Week, 4-8 November

This week is Occupational Therapy Week, 4-8 November, and the Occupational Therapy team at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust want to champion the impact of Occupational Therapy on the lives of patients and the communities they live in.

The Trust has various specialist services with skilled occupational therapists and assistant staff who help to prepare many patients every day to go home, getting them ready and able to carry out normal life tasks, as independently as possible. 

The occupational therapists work closely with other health and social care colleagues to offer practical solutions to patients, carers and families, to help them overcome the difficulties that can come with both acute and long-term conditions.

This work ensures a patient's on-going health and social care needs are always met.

The teams cover all the medical, surgical, orthopaedic, stroke and rehabilitation wards within the hospital and work closely with the Swindon Community Rehabilitation Team and Community Stroke Team to support with timely discharges for patients.

The work of community services mean that patients are discharged to the most appropriate destination for their immediate and long-term needs.

The theme of this year's Occupational Therapy Week campaign looks to promote small changes that have had a big impact.

Often, a lot of the Trust's OTs' work consists of helping patients get better at those important everyday life skills they will need when they return home.

This can be from simply making a cup of tea, to getting to the toilet or getting washed and dressed independently.

For a patient who has spent a period of time in hospital, these small skills make all the difference.

Practical healthcare empowers patients to aid their own recovery and overcome barriers which prevent them from living independent and satisfying lives.

Sarah Kirwan, occupational therapist, said: "This week we will provide a good insight into who we are and what we do at the Great Western Hospital and sites in the local community.

"We also want to use this week to encourage anyone thinking about occupational therapy as a career to get in touch. There are lots of routes into the profession and we are always looking for OTs and assistant staff to join our services."

Patients being treated at one of the Trust's rehabilitation facilities have praised staff for dedicated therapy which is directly aiding their recovery, through more private and dignified treatment.

Bob Witts, 84, is a patient receiving rehabilitation. "The occupational therapists are absolutely brilliant," he said.

"I couldn't ask to be in a better environment helped by better people. They help me walk up and down, get out of my chair, wash and dress."

Become an occupational therapist

If you are interested to find out more about the possible routes into occupational therapy, or as another Allied Health Professional, please see Working for us or contact the Trust's recruitment team on 01793 607970.

Occupational Therapy Week 2019

Please see the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website: Occupational Therapy Week 2019 (www.rcot.co.uk/promoting-occupational-therapy/otweek)

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