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In-Patient Occupational Therapy

The Spinal unit has a team of Occupational Therapists covering the ward. The Occupational Therapists work closely with the  doctors, nursing staff and other allied health professionals in order to maximise the functional independence of our patients both during their admission and at the point of discharge. Occupational therapy is concerned with enabling engagement in activities of daily living through facilitating recovery of function and offering strategies and/or equipment to promote safety and maximise independent living.

Role of the Occupational Therapist

Within the acute, ward setting the main role of the Occupational Therapist is to assess patients functional ability and make recommendations to improve safety, independence and ,subsequently, quality of life.

Routinely the Occupational Therapists will assess and advise patients on the following:

  • How to transfer on and off furniture e.g. bed, chair, toilet including recommendations and provision of equipment to assist
  • Ability to wash and dress independently
  • Upper limb function i.e. Eating and drinking, use of everyday objects
  • Managing domestic tasks such as cooking in the home environment
  • Requirement for care or additional community based services such as adult social care or community based rehabilitation
  • Fatigue management
  • Postural and seating assessments including provision of wheelchairs
  • Advice on resuming work and social activity including signposting on to supporting services
  • Education on managing disability for both patients, carers and/or family
  • Management of altered sensation and strategies to enable recovery
  • Splinting of affected upper and lower limbs
  • Advice and referral on for longer term adaptation of the home environment

Occasionally patients on the unit may require a longer or more intensive period of rehabilitation prior to returning home. In this instance the assessments completed by the Occupational Therapists will support decision making around where that rehabilitation is best delivered. This may be within a local rehabilitation unit or within a more specialist, regional rehabilitation setting.


Ward D8 Occupational Therapy Team

Fiona Mcloughlin - Spinal Occupational Therapy Team Leader

Helen Bunker- Senior Occupational Therapist

Sophie Laker- Senior Occupational Therapist

Annette Seedhouse – Occupational Therapy Assistant