Posted by: ayrshirehealth | October 23, 2013

Let’s get back to our roots…. by @joannepayneOT

Regaining independence

I am presently involved in establishing a new Occupational Therapy service in Ayrshire and Arran, which is essentially looking at Reshaping the way Occupational Therapy services are provided.   We recognise that individuals don’t always get the opportunity to reach their maximum occupational performance when discharged from hospital.  Now individuals can access to further Occupational Therapy rehab to support them to regain their maximum level of independence.  Having written a blog about our new service a couple of months ago, I wasn’t sure what to write about this time round!  I could bore you with statistics and measurement plans (although these are important!! This is not where my passion lies!). Hospital to home

Although it’s very early in my journey in the new post, I thought I’d write about some of things that I have gotten out of my new post so far.  Since moving posts, friends and colleagues have been asking, ‘how’s it going? Are you enjoying it?’ etc…  Of course I answer yes, but more concerning is the feeling that I am enjoying it because I’m doing “pure OT.”   How is it that I’ve come to feel that way?  It is of course always a risk when working closely with a multi-disciplinary team that you begin to work in a generic way, or that your input is about getting individuals home from hospital constrained by demands of other professions.  My new post has afforded me the opportunity to get back to the Occupational Therapy I planned on doing as a naive 17 year old!  I stumbled across a quote this week,

“it is not health itself that people value, it’s freedom, independence, autonomy and control over lives that comes with being healthy, for which people have the most fundamental need and desire.”  (Seigal and Doner, 1998)

My new post has given me the opportunity to break out of traditional boundaries.  We will see individuals regardless of their diagnosis, essentially enabling us see the person first rather than the diagnosis.  However something even more important is that post has afforded me the opportunity to really sit down with clients to determine what their individual outcome is.  Although this may be deemed as being time consuming the new Community Occupational Therapy Team is working with clients to determine what their outcome is and then working backwards to determine which interventions can get us there.  This may be anxiety management (one of the most common reasons for unnecessary readmissions), confidence building, or going back to a club or group.  We have been afforded the luxury to work in this way with individual.  However with an increasing emphasis on person centred care, is this not the way that we should be working with people?  I think that we are all guilty of being under pressure, running the risk of assuming what an individual needs based on their condition.

I ask you to look at the photograph below, beautiful isn’t it?  Imagine this is the view from your holiday cottage.  Imagine which activities you might be inspired to do if you were holidaying here……………………………………….. walking, lying by the beach, swimming, fishing, maybe even just sitting with a glass of wine admiring the view?

Landscape wall

Now take a second look….

The lake in front of you is actually a wall, and goes to show that your initial impressions about something aren’t always correct.  I think this is an important exercise to remember when considering clients outcomes; very often our first impressions aren’t correct.   My new post has developed my skills as a practitioner, especially embedding the importance of seeing the person before the condition and working with people to establish exactly what their individual outcome is.  I say let’s get back to the reason we became OTs!!

This week’s blog was by @joannepayneOT who is an Community Occupational Therapist in NHS Ayrshire & Arran


  1. […] Let’s get back to our roots….  by Joanne Payne on the Ayrshirehealth blog. […]

  2. […] clearly and without prejudice is the best start to understanding their needs. Joanne Payne in Let’s get back to our roots….  on the Ayrshirehealth blog wrote about being involved with establishing a new Occupational […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: