Occupational Therapy

Group of people

What is occupational therapy?

The Royal College of Occupational Therapy defines our work like this…

“Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home, at work – and everywhere else. It’s about being able to do the things you want and have to do. That could mean helping you overcome challenges learning at school, going to work, playing sport or simply doing the dishes. Everything is focused on your wellbeing and your ability to participate in activities.

“It’s also a science-based, health and social care profession that’s regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council.”

What does an occupational therapist do?

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists helpfully describes our work as helping “people of all ages overcome challenges completing everyday tasks or activities – what we call ‘occupations’.

“Occupational therapists see beyond diagnoses and limitations to hopes and aspirations. They look at relationships between the activities you do every day – your occupations – alongside the challenges you face and your environment.

“Then, they create a plan of goals and adjustments targeted at achieving a specific set of activities. The plan is practical, realistic and personal to you as an individual, to help you achieve the breakthroughs you need to elevate your everyday life.

“This support can give people a renewed sense of purpose. It can also open up new opportunities and change the way people feel about the future.”

Cardiff and Vale’s University Health Board Occupational Therapists work with a wide range of individuals, from children to older adults, and across many services that are hospital and community-based. 

You can find out more about our different Occupational Therapy teams by clicking below. 

In Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Occupational Therapists work with older people living in the community and in hospital. Click on the links below to find out more: 

We see children and young people aged 0 to 18-years old, who are having difficulty developing occupational tasks.

We think about why something might not be developing, and we look for the things and ways that help an individual make progress. 

You can learn more about our service in Cardiff and Vale, watch our educational videos and browse our information for parents here. 

The Community Resource Team is a joint service provided by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Cardiff Council. We can help you to remain independent after a stay in hospital, an accident or illness, or even a change in your social circumstances.

Read more about how we help in the link below:

In Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Occupational Therapists work alongside a physiotherapist and four Consultant Hand Surgeons to help individuals who have undergone hand surgery or a hand injury to return to work, leisure and the activities of daily living. 

Read more, and watch our videos, about how we help in the links below:

The Occupational Therapy team works in various medical wards within the hospitals of Cardiff and the Vale.

On these wards we work with individuals with diverse medical conditions including chronic conditions, acute physical changes and those who require end-of-life care.

We assess people to help prevent a decline in health and people’s ability to conduct everyday living activities to increase independence and to reintroduce daily routines and roles.

Click on the links below for more information about the services at the following locations.

Occupations are the everyday things that you want, need or are expected to do. When we struggle with our mental health this can make occupations difficult. 

In Cardiff and Vale we have Occupational Therapists who work with those who experience a range of mental health difficulties. Read about our work by clicking these links. 

Neurology is the branch of science and medicine dealing with the body’s nervous system. The nervous system is made up of our brain, our spinal cord and our nerves.

Neurological disorders and conditions result from changes, disease or injury to the brain, spinal cord or nerves.

Occupational Therapists work closely with the individual with the neurological condition to understand their strengths, what has meaning to them, and the barriers and challenges that living with such a condition brings.

Occupational Therapists work with the individual, their support networks and other members of the Neurological Specialist Team, to look at ways to maintain ability, adapt environments and tasks, teach new strategies and skills, and help learn more about the condition and its effect on the person.

Within the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Occupational Therapists work as part of multi-disciplinary teams within areas such as:

Rheumatology is the part of Health Care that helps people with muscle, joint and bone issues.  Occupational Therapy working in Rheumatology work alongside people to help them manage their daily activities whether that is for work, home, personal care or leisure. We can help you adapt to changes in your life, to prevent loss of function and improve or maintain your wellbeing. You can find out more at the links below: 

In Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Occupational Therapists work within a number of specialist teams. You can read more about these in links below:

When you have planned surgery such as a hip or knee replacement, or an emergency operation following an injury, Occupational Therapists will help assess how you are managing with everyday tasks and what adaptations may need to be made in your home.

Cardiff and Vale Community Occupational Therapy Service:

There are also occupational therapists who work within the local councils.

The role of Occupational Therapists within these services is to complete assessments in your homes when you have a long-term health condition that affects how you are able to manage at home.

Following the assessment they may be able to provide equipment or carry out adaptations to your home that would enable you to stay living there safely, or to maintain your independence.

Referral to Occupational Therapy in Cardiff and the Vale

If you feel you or your loved one would benefit from Occupational Therapy input, please speak with your responsible clinical team or GP. A referral is normally made through a specific multi-disciplinary team or service, and there is no direct self-referral process.

All our occupational therapists are professionally registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Further UK National information on Occupational Therapy can be found on the Royal College of Occupational Therapy’s website and social media pages: www.rcot.co.uk

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