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Are OTs the Answer to the NHS and Social Care Crisis?

As General Election manifestos emerge, many undecided voters will be looking to each party to see if they can demonstrate how they will save our ailing healthcare service.

With the NHS in crisis and social care in decline, this is no mean feat, but one group of medical professionals believes they have the answer – if they’re only given the chance.

Self-Reliance, Not Dependence

That group is Occupational Therapists, members of the newest Royal College, who believe that their profession provides the essential link missing between the NHS and social care, which could benefit both and allow them to work seamlessly together.

Through rehabilitation, reablement and providing assessment for care and support packages, occupational therapy helps to ensure patients don’t need to keep revisiting the healthcare system.

Occupational Therapists have a proven track record of cutting A&E admissions by 80%, cutting delayed discharges by up to eight days, and significantly lowering readmission rates.

In helping people to overcome problems at home, achieving self-reliance instead of dependence on the health service, occupational therapy could well be crucial to relieving pressure one NHS.

2% of the Workforce

Despite this track record, and the fact that Occupational Therapists currently take on 40% of social care referrals, OTs still only make up 2% of the workforce when it comes to healthcare.

Occupational Therapists are rarely, if ever, championed despite the huge difference their work can make.

Whatever happens at the General Election, it’s indisputable that any new policies and funding promises made by the newly-elected government will take time to implement and set in motion. In contrast, Occupational Therapists could make a huge difference to the NHS and social care right away, so perhaps it’s time our healthcare leaders started listening to them.

If you’re interested in becoming an Occupational Therapist or are an OT looking for work, check out our latest vacancies, speak to one of specialist recruitment consultants or upload your CV to register with us.

Carry on reading