At the Trust, the rehabilitation services that we provide aim to help people live as independently as possible, develop their lives as they choose and participate in the wider community. This couldn’t be done without our incredible staff, and our Multi-Disciplinary Teams who are made up of experts in different disciplines, such as our Occupational Therapists.

Paul Richardson is a Senior Specialist Occupational Therapists and has worked at York House for almost 14 years. He spoke to us about what his job entails, and the impact his work has on the people we support.

1. What does the work of an Occupational Therapist involve?
Working with people to help them increase their independence. This might be in any area of their lives, activities of daily living, work or leisure etc.

2. How did you qualify to become an Occupational Therapist?
I worked for many years as an OT assistant for the NHS in Glasgow, who funded me to do a two-year part time access course in ‘OT support’. At the time, this qualification allowed me to enter university directly into the 2nd year of the three year Occupational Therapy course, the completion of which gave me a BSc in OT.

3. What does a typical day involve for you?
It is very varied and may differ a lot depending on the needs of the person we are working with. For example, you might spend a full day doing a home visit with someone, and the next day do a few shorter sessions with different people. There are also various meetings to attend, such as the MDT team meetings or people’s CPA review meetings. No two days are ever the same.

4. What is the best part of being an Occupational Therapist?
Knowing that you have helped make a difference in a person’s life, and even small, subtle changes can make a big difference over time.

5. How does the work you do impact the lives of the people we support?
The main goal in rehab is to increase independence and help a person maximise their potential. This may manifest in many ways: for example, less support needed for personal care, being able to make meals independently, moving from escorted to unescorted community access, regaining skills for vocational activities. But the list is endless, it all depends on each person’s situation and the things they find meaningful.