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Occupational therapists receive award for skill-sharing project

Monday 5th November 2018
The role of occupational therapists in helping people get home from hospital sooner has been highlighted in the NHS Wales awards.
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Cwm Taf University Health Board’s Stay Well @ Home project has won an award for the best service in Wales for working seamlessly across organisations. 

The award was presented at the NHS Wales Awards last month, with the team including occupational therapists alongside social workers and therapy technicians.

Thanks to the work of the team, more patients are able to get home sooner and have treatment at home, enjoying familiar comforts instead of having a longer hospital stay. 

Clare Jones, the team physiotherapist, explained her role in training occupational therapists at the two sites where she works, the the Royal Glamorgan Hospital in Llantrisant, and the Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil.

She told the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists' (CSP) magazine: "Part of my role is training occupational therapists and technicians in physiotherapy competencies.

"This means they can do mobility assessments, provide mobility aids and make rehabilitation plans.

"I see patients too. Because I’m trained in occupational therapy competencies, I can provide equipment, such as commodes and bed loops."

Stay Well @ Home was established in April 2017 to improve the flow of patients through A&E departments. Prior to its establishment, patients aged over 65 could not be discharged from hospital due to a lack of care services at home. 

While the health board data is still being assessed, the CSP notes that the early indications suggest the new body has helped greatly improve the levels of care being received by older patients, with the occupational therapy available to them making significant progress in helping them spend more time back at home. 

The Stay Well @ Home service operates seven days a week from 08:00 to 20:00, with the greater speed and efficiency on offer to patients being brought about through giving each of them a one-stop assessment. 

Assessments can take place out of core hours, 365 days a year. 

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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