Occupational Therapists in Copeland support OT week!

Nicola and Carl, form the Occupational Therapy (OT) service on The Copeland Unit within the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven which is a 20 bed GP/nurse led step up step down unit and provides medical, nursing, rehabilitation and end of life care (adapted from the Trust website) They work as part of the therapy team which provides intensive rehabilitation (Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy) and help make sure that patients are supported up to and following discharge. They work closely with each client to identify their individual goals and to design a tailor made support package. To ensure that this support package meets their needs they work closely with Health and Social Care colleagues.

Nicola explained: “Carl and I work with a wide range of clients from aged 18 upwards and these can be clients can be experiencing a wide range of health conditions (For example; amputee’s, those who have suffered a stroke, the elderly and those at risk of falls).

“Whilst on the Copeland Unit, the our role is to establish what a client’s level of ability was before they were admitted, compare this to their current level and then work with the client to establish joint goals to regain as much independence as possible.

“This is achieved through gaining an understanding of each person, their individual circumstances and the challenges they are experiencing. We then work with the person on practical activities such as activities of daily living ie; mobility, washing and dressing and kitchen activities to help them reach their goals. If a client is having difficulty with these activities we work closely with them alongside the physiotherapy and nursing staff to find out the best way to overcome the problem. This may involve teaching an alternative way to complete the task or use of adaptive equipment to empower the client to be as independent as possible with their life. “

Carl added: “As OT’s we take a lead in home visits where a client is taken to their own home to trial tasks before they are to discharged, this gives them confidence in their own abilities and also help identify any further needs which will increase safety and independence. This can include prescribing equipment (eg, perching stool, dressing aids, and toilet equipment), organising minor adaptations (eg; stair rails/grab rails/step alternations) or recommending support workers to assist with tasks.

“Group work is also ran jointly by the therapists on the Copeland Unit this incudes exercise, craft, baking and social events to help bring a sense of enjoyment to the client whilst practicing everyday skills and preparing for returning to community and enhancing health and wellbeing.”

As part of OT week (2/11/15 – 06/11/15), Nicola and Carl set up an information board at the entrance to Copeland Unit to champion the OT role by promoting awareness and being on hand to answer any questions.

Pictures show: Carl Hughes, Rotational Occupational Therapist and Nicola Shylan, Specialist Occupational Therapist