Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with people who have physical, mental and/or social problems, either from birth or as a result of accident, illness or ageing.  Their aim is to enable people to achieve as much as they can for themselves, so they get the most out of life.  When people cannot do things which are important to them – such as getting dressed, having a shower, going to work, socialising or doing a favorite hobby – an OT can help them in many ways, based on each person’s needs and lifestyle.

All OTs work very closely with physiotherapists and other members of the team involved in a patient’s care.  An OT can work with a patient on a number of issues, which may include:

Rehabilitation – this could include re-learning skills or tasks around the home

Planning for discharge from hospital – this could include recommending equipment or adaptations to the home to help a person to be more independent and safe or to help carers care for their patients more effectively

Advice and information on how to manage a disability, illness or injury.

Occupational Therapy Teams

Medical Occupational Therapy Team – Our medical occupational therapy team covers the medical wards in the hospital and is responsible for:

  • Carrying out patient assessments
  • Offering acute rehabilitation
  • Planning patient discharge programmes to enable people to maintain their independence once they return home from hospital

Acute Stroke Occupational Therapy Team – The acute stroke occupational therapy team works on the acute stroke unit and provides an intensive, specialised service to patients who have neurological problems following a stroke.

Rheumatology Occupational Therapy Team – Patients with rheumatological or musculoskeletal conditions can be referred to this team who mainly work with outpatients but also work with inpatients following surgery.  All patients referred to our team will be given a full assessment and an individual programme of treatment to suit their needs.

Assessment and Rehabilitation Occupational Therapy Team – The assessment and rehabilitation unit (ARU) is where most of our elderly day patients go to when they come to hospital.  The ARU occupational therapy team assesses all our day patients and is able to refer them to other services, such as the memory team, for further support if required.  The occupational therapist works with the patient in helping them to understand their condition and provide tailored support.

Orthopaedic Occupational Therapy Team – Patients who need occupational therapy after orthopaedic surgery or an accident, which may have resulted in various fractures and total hip or knee replacements, will see this team.  The team carries out patient assessments to ensure patients can maintain and increase their independence in all areas of daily living and ensure a safe discharge home from hospital.

We also provide a pre-operative service to patients due to be admitted to surgery, helping the patient prepare and consider how they might need to adapt their lifestyle following the operation.

Surgical Occupational Therapy Team – The surgical occupational therapy team works with a wide range of patients with surgical conditions including amputations and different types of vascular, bowel and urology surgery extending to women’s health and gynaecology surgery.  Similarly to our other teams, the emphasis is on helping patients to maintain and improve independence once home from hospital and recommending aids and adaptations where required.

Referral to Occupational Therapy

If Occupational Therapy is required during your in-patient stay, your doctor or nursing team will make the referral for you.

For out-patient Rheumatology Occupational Therapy intervention, you will need to be under the care of a Consultant Rheumatologist.  This can either be here at Barnsley Hospital or at another Hospital.  Referrals can be made by any member of the Rheumatology Multi Disciplinary Team that you are seeing i.e. Nurse Practitioner, Physiotherapist or Doctor.