#OTalk – 23rd November 2021 – Occupational Therapy and Intermediate Care.

This weeks chat will be hosted by  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94 who is a rotational occupational therapist currently working for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. 

It is evident that hospitals across the country are experiencing heightened demands and challenges during these unprecedented times. Whilst the National Health Service across the United Kingdom continues to strive to meet individual patient needs, it also continues to do battle and cope with the pressures from COVID-19, staff shortages, and increased hospital admissions. Consequently, the above factors mean hospital beds are in more of a demand than arguably ever before. 

Nationally it is recognised that the longer individuals remain in hospital the greater the risk of deconditioning and being diagnosed with hospital acquired infections can occur particular among the elderly and vulnerable. As occupational therapists we recognise that individuals thrive and recover often more effectively within their own environments. However, during a time of uncertainty it could be argued we are forced to consider discharge planning from the acute settings earlier than ever before, meaning often individuals are medically optimised but not fully from a therapy perspective. 

It seems to make hospital beds more accessible intermediate care settings and wider community settings are being utilised to bridge the clinical pathway for older individuals transitioning from the hospital to home more than ever before. According to The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (2018) intermediate care services provide support for a short time to help individuals recover and increase independence. The service is often provided by a combination of health and social care professionals including occupational therapists. The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2016) suggest occupational therapists working within intermediate care settings can help ensure smooth transition into the community.  

In April this year I was fortunate enough to rotate into an intermediate care setting based in the Northeast of England. Several months later working as an occupational therapist within this setting it became clear to myself through interaction with service users, relatives, and wider professionals the understanding of the role and purpose of an intermediate care setting and how occupational therapy fits into this setting was blurred and limited. This led me to further want to extend my understanding and gain insight amongst the occupational therapy community through #OTalk with the following questions:

  1. How would you best describe the purpose of an intermediate care setting? 
  2. Why do you think the purpose and understanding of intermediate care if often misunderstood? 
  3. What challenges do you think present to an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  4. What do you think are the benefits of an occupational therapist working within an intermediate care setting? 
  5. How do you think the role and purpose of an intermate care setting could be made clearer?  


Host:  Paul Wilkinson @Paulwilkinson94

Support on OTalk Account: @kirstieot

Evidence your CPD. If you joined in this chat you can download the below transcript as evidence for your CPD, but remember the HCPC are interested in what you have learnt.  So why not complete one of our reflection logs to evidence your learning?

HCPC Standards for CPD.

  • Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities.
  • Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery.
  • Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user.
  • Upon request, present a written profile (which must be their own work and supported by evidence) explaining how they have met the Standards for CPD.

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