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Reflections from Occupational Therapy

Update from NHS Lanarkshire

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About: NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Janice McClymont

The start of a New Year is always a good time for reflection on our past achievements, and an opportunity to set fresh goals for the forthcoming year ahead. As the first month of 2015 comes to an end, I find myself considering the impact on the Occupational Therapy teams of one relatively new initiative – Patient Opinion feedback.

So far, I am pleased to say that the specific feedback received has been entirely positive in nature. This is important to me as a Professional Head of Service, because although we can learn just as much from negative feedback, recent research evidence confirms that enhanced patient experience is proven to link to better clinical outcomes.

It has been a pleasure to hear first hand from patients about the things that have been important to them, but more importantly to learn that occupational therapy has really made a noticeable difference to their lives. We will use this feedback to further inform service delivery, and to help others regain independence in everyday activities or work skills, and to actively engage in their communities. It has definitely been inspiring for the individual staff and teams involved to hear directly from patients that they felt fully involved in their care; that treatment was designed to meet their specific circumstances; and that they were treated with empathy, compassion, and respect.

It is really important to Occupational Therapists that we achieve effective, person centred relationships, as one of the key elements of our professional approach is providing understandable information and support to enable individuals to make decisions that take account of their personal goals and the things that are important to them. After all, the daily activities or “occupations” that many of us take for granted, such as looking after ourselves and our families, going to work, and enjoying leisure pursuits, give meaning and purpose to our lives. It is only when something interferes with these activities that our health, wellbeing and ability to participate in our family or community may suffer.

Staff were heartened to learn that the information they provided to patients equipped them to self manage their long term conditions, and that through their treatment they had helped to reduce pain or fatigue, and optimise patients’ abilities and strengths. However, they were overwhelmed that patients considered their actions to be beyond the call of duty.

But for me, what better accolade could a therapist ever receive? I am very proud of the commitment of the teams involved, and hope that they will encourage others to challenge complacency and strive to be the very best.

Finally, I would like to thank the patients who took the time to share their positive experiences. This will not only be invaluable in shaping future improvements in Occupational Therapy service provision, but will be of great help to other patients who find themselves in similar circumstances.

I look forward to further Patient Opinion feedback in the year ahead.

If you have an experience of the Occupational Therapy Service you would like to share, please speak to a member of staff, respond on Patient Opinion, or visit the “Your Feedback” Section of the NHS Lanarkshire website to see the other ways to get in touch

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