Occupational therapy involvement

  • Birch occupational therapy staff work with patients across all stages from admission in terms of assessment and treatment, and discharge in terms of discharge planning and liaising with community teams and resources to help the patient return to their home environment.
  • The team is made up of two full-time staff, one specialist occupational therapist and one occupational therapy support worker. Both are integrated members of the multidisciplinary team who use several shared activity areas on the unit, including therapy gardens, a purpose-built activity room, recreational lounges, an activities for daily living kitchen and dining room.
  • Activities and developments that promote occupational balance, independent living skills, and social inclusion are seen as a priority.

Aims of occupational therapy 

  • Contribute to multi-disciplinary team assessment and formulation, to reconcile and promote improved mental and physical health.
  • Minimise and address any debilitating effects of hospitalisation.
  • Promote wellness.
  • Promote meaningful and cultural appropriate occupation.
  • Use activities during assessment and treatment in order to bring about positive change.
  • Promote discussion around personal reasons, choice and strategies for change.
  • Promote the skills and attributes necessary for emotional self maintenance.
  • Provide opportunities for creative expression, to develop alternative ways of expression and accomplishment.

Occupational therapy in practice

Occupational therapy introduces practical activities into the daily routine of patients on the unit.

Problem solving and solution focused approaches are used to handle real life, day to day anxiety induced situations. Patients with eating disorders tend to immerse themselves in the condition. This leaves little time or energy for more creative and constructive pursuits. Occupational therapy time on the unit offers the opportunity to explore the individual patient's interests and help them set practical, healthy goals.

The team promote and encourage positive change; working together with patients to identify issues or problems that prevent them from getting on with living their lives and helping them to reduce the impact of any issues or problems.

Occupational balance, the use of well chosen 'graded activity' and 'activity-based assessment' form the corner stones of the approach. The aim is develop improved levels of balance, volition and functioning as applied to engaging in significant roles, routines and responsibilities.

Find out more occupational therapy here.