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Occupational Therapy week (4-10 November) - A day in the life of an OT

4 November 2019

It is the start of Occupational Therapy (OT) week. We'll will be sharing a day in the life stories of Occupational Therapists working in our Trust.

Occupational Therapists (OTs) assist individuals across the lifespan, therefore it comes as no surprise that you may find OTs in a variety of settings working amongst several teams. One example of this is Tim Sole who works in our memory clinic in Hillingdon.

Tim works as a sole OT working amongst a team of nurses that specialise in an assessment and diagnosis of people with cognitive impairment. Tim and his team receive referrals from the GP, and then they invite people into the outpatient clinic for a memory assessment.

Part of the OT role can involve assessing for equipment, functional assessments of activities of daily living, signposting and onward referrals. One of the unique aspects of the memory clinic is group service delivery. Tim and his team have developed a Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) group for service users with Dementia, along with their carers. The group is held in Uxbridge library and runs for ten weeks. The group is a program designed to stimulate memory through a range of activities and using technology - projecting games on a large table – creating an interactive experience among service users. Having an occupational therapist such as Tim in a memory service clinic provides a unique way of looking at a service users’ function and to offer alternatives and strategies for supporting their memory and having a meaningful life. 

Another role worth highlighting is Shamsha Khan, working among a team at CNWL’s Chronic Fatigue/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis outpatient clinic which covers Hillingdon and seven surrounding Boroughs, as well as a satellite clinic at St Pancras Hospital. Shamsha and the team made up of a physiotherapist and psychologists offer two programs to their service users. This includes an individualised program or group programmes which both span across ten sessions and covers the following: Information about the condition, Mindfulness, activity management and pacing, sleep hygiene, graded exercise therapy, CBT and thought diaries, anxiety and stress management and managing setbacks and goal setting. 

Specifically, Shamsha’s role focuses on activity management. She emphasises that it is not about changing personality or the condition, but rather managing the condition while maximising function and optimising capacity whether that is in work, home or relationships. Having an OT such as Shamsha among a team of healthcare professionals provides someone with a great deal of knowledge about exploring various services, knowledge about legislation, an advocate for patient rights, and a professional who appreciates the impact and complexity of the condition and how its presentation varies among individuals.

You may find occupational therapists among various teams across CNWL assisting individuals across the lifespan with various conditions. It is OTs like Tim and Shamsha with highly specialised and versatile skills that are supporting service users and encouraging engagement in meaningful activities to promote well-being for life.

Follow us on Twitter for live updates @CNWLNHS and the hashtag #HillingdonOTs