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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Trusts celebrate Occupational Therapy Week

Trusts celebrate Occupational Therapy Week

Posted on Friday 3rd November 2017

Occupational therapists at the Cumberland Infirmary

Occupational therapists in Cumbria will be spreading the word about the fantastic work they do at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust during Occupational Therapy Week next week.

The week aims to raise the profile of the profession which supports people to ‘live life their way’ despite any health or care needs they may be living with. Occupational therapy provides support to people whose health prevents them doing the activities that matter to them.

Taking place from 6 – 12 November the theme of Occupational Therapy Week this year is “I am an occupational therapist”, building on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) call for its members to be ‘loud and proud’ of the value they add to the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every week.

Occupational therapists have been described as the health and care system’s “secret weapon”. They are the only registered profession qualified to work across mental and physical health and in NHS and social care settings. This means that they are uniquely placed to see a whole person holistically.

Research from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has shown that occupational therapists working on the frontline with ambulance services and in accident and emergency departments can reduce unnecessary admissions by up to 80%. Occupational Therapists on acute medical wards can cut stays from 9.5 days to just one day.

This scheme is being introduced in Carlisle, where therapy teams will work with paramedics to assess patients in their own home. This is particularly important for older people who have suffered a fall, who may need medical attention but not necessarily a stay in hospital.

In the most recent patient feedback 92 per cent of patients rated the service as either good or excellent and comments included –

"I think that the staff in Occupational Therapy are second to none - they are professional in every way."

"Excellent service, friendly, approachable staff. Good advice and empathy shown reassuring that I am improving and still have the abilities."

"The team is absolutely brilliant.  Thank you."

"An important part of the patient's recovery."

"I cannot thank the team enough for helping me."

Lesley Crichton, head of Occupational Therapy at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The work of our team is truly fantastic and we really can make a positive impact in our communities and help patient flow through the hospital, ensuring patients are ready to be discharged more quickly.”

Janet Folland, professional lead for Occupational Therapy at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Occupational therapists are often the unseen heroes of patient care. We work with people in their homes and communities to enable them to do the activities that are important to them. Occupational therapists work with people of all ages, with physical and mental health problems, to develop the skills to look after themselves and reduce the need for hospital treatment”.