Posted by: ayrshirehealth | July 24, 2013

A whole new adventure by @joannepayneOT

 Impact on mental and physical health

Just before Christmas I volunteered to work a bank shift at in a busy General Hospital.  Although many of my colleagues may have thought I was a little mad,  as an Occupational Therapist with 15 years experience of working in Mental Health Service I felt it was time to experience a more acute environment.  In the course of my morning, and still now, I was struck by a 67 year old lady who had experienced a right sided CVA.  She wasn’t an old lady, she would be described as the ‘young old’, she didn’t have any children and she was widowed.  I watched as the lady struggled through to the bathroom to complete her transfers practise.  I couldn’t help but be struck by her high anxiety levels, and the impact these were having on her mental and physical health.  I wondered who would support this lady psychologically once she was deemed ‘medically fit’ for discharge.  (You can take the OT out of mental health, but you can’t take the mental health out of the OT!). OTs within busy acute general hospitals can make sure that the basics are being met to enable someone to return home, however who would support her to return to her hobbies, or re-engage in her community or advice on her on anxiety management techniques once she returned home?

Standing on the edge

After having 15 years of experience in various settings within Mental Health, I think back to this lady now that I stand on the edge of a new chapter in my career.  I’m nervous and excited Changeabout the prospects of establishing a new service in Ayrshire and Arran. OT services in Ayrshire & Arran have been fortunate to access Change Fund money for this.  The Change Fund was established to support ‘Reshaping Care For Older People’ agenda and enable staff to carry out tests of change that will hopefully inform models for future service delivery.  In my case I will attempt to establish a service that will go some way to bridge the gap between acute and community care.  At present individuals like the lady above are not always getting to opportunity to reach they’re optimum level of occupational performance.  Sadly this can mean that individuals are often being readmitted to hospital, long term care or have a poor quality of life.

Goal orientated

At the moment I am only 16 hours into my new post, but my hope is that the next 9 months will see the development of an older people’s service that will help to improve individual’s quality of life.   I am sure that it will be in 9 months time that the service begins to operate as we hope it will, and that there will be a number of cycles of change over the next 9 months.  But ultimately individuals, regardless of their diagnosis, will be able to assess ongoing Occupational Therapy post discharge from hospital.   This input will be goal orientated rather than time orientated; it will see individual’s given the opportunity to identify what is important in their life and to have support to achieve their goals.  No small task!  Thankfully I have a really motivated, enthusiastic team who are embracing change and this will go a long way to support me in my project.  I will blog again to update on the progress of the project, hopefully by then the nerves may have died down a little!

Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future”   John F. Kennedy

This weeks blog was by @joannepayneOT who is an Occupational Therapist in NHS Ayrshire and Arran

Next week sees @billymcclean round off our month of AHP blogs on Ayrshirehealth

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  1. […] A whole new adventure by Joanne Payne on the Ayrshire Healthblog. […]


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