Occupational Therapy - Northern services

Occupational therapy provides practical support to empower people to aid their recovery and to overcome barriers preventing them from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to them. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, for example preparing a meal, work or leisure. This support increases people's independence, safety and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

More about us

Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) support patients through a combination of assessment, rehabilitation, education and advice to help people maximise their independence and resume their daily living.

Our OT teams work across inpatient and outpatient areas and provide:

  • Specialist assessments which identify where patients need support to enable them to carry out personal and domestic activities.
  • Equipment and adaptive techniques.
  • Cognitive and perceptual assessment in relation to functional tasks.
  • Rehabilitation programmes including goal setting.
  • Education and support.
  • Signposting and referral onto other services where indicated.

Where to find us

Therapy Department

Level One

North Devon District Hospital

Raleigh Park

Barnstaple

01271 322378

Meet the team

Occupational Therapists work as a key part of the hospital multi-disciplinary team across many specialities.

Each specialist area has a team lead, supported by specialist clinicians, rotational junior staff and support workers to provide the range of interventions patients require. We also support students on placement from university.

We have specialist teams working across the following areas:

Respiratory and acute medicine
We support functional abilities to manage acute, chronic and life-limiting conditions for patients with sudden onset respiratory infections, deterioration with renal or liver disease, patients with cardiac conditions, which affects their ability to manage independently.

Medical Rehabilitation

We provide rehabilitation to patients to patients based at the acute site in Barnstaple as well as our community Hospital in South Molton.

Critical care and Surgery
We provide home assessment and advice on any additional care that might be required following surgical intervention across a number of ward teams.

Trauma and elective orthopaedics
We provide assessment and rehabilitation to a variety of patients, admitted to hospital because of a traumatic accident (for example road traffic accident or a fall) or those undergoing planned surgery (elective). The therapy team works closely with specialists across the hospital to promote independence and early supported discharge.

Neurology and stroke
We support rehabilitation of mobility, upper limb deficits and provide cognitive assessment and therapy to reduce the impact of these difficulties on social participation. These services are based across our acute wards for patients with head injuries, stroke or long-term conditions.  

Hand therapy
We provide specialised assessment and treatment of patients individually or in groups for patients who have had surgery, a traumatic injury (such as a tendon cut by a knife), or who have a chronic rheumatology or a pain condition.

Rheumatology

Community OT

Our Community Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy team is integrated with social care and community nursing.

Frequently asked questions

What happens during my first out-patient appointment?

This will consist of a face to face, telephone or video consultation with a Health and Care Professions registered Occupational Therapist. They will then work with you to help develop the most effective plan.

Everything that you tell the OT will be kept completely confidential. If possible please have available the list of the current medication that you are taking.

How long will my appointment be?

Depending on the nature of your condition the first appointment will usually last between 30 and 60 minutes. If you organise further appointments then the OT can advise you how long these sessions are likely to last.

How will I know if I need a further appointment?

At the end of the appointment you can discuss with your OT as to whether further treatment would be of benefit. Depending on your clinical need there will be the option to self-manage with the advice provided or have a further telephone, video or a face to face appointment.

Can I bring someone with me?

If you require emotional support or there are specific reasons of safety (e.g. dementia or learning disability where anxiety would be increased significantly) please bring a companion or carer with you.

What if I can’t attend my appointment? How do I cancel/rearrange an appointment?

If you are unable to keep an appointment then please telephone the Therapy Department at the North Devon District Hospital on 01271 322378 as soon as possible.

We will do all we can to prevent cancelling your appointment. However, if this is unavoidable then you will be given as much notice as possible. If you do not attend an appointment then in line with Trust policy we reserve the right to discharge you from our care.

Information for healthcare professionals

For hand therapy and rheumatology, out-patient referrals are made via GP’s and consultants using orders on EPIC or via the e-referral system.

Last updated: November 28, 2023.

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