Category: College of Occupational Therapy and Education

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An open letter to Jeremy Hunt

As a leader of a membership organisation representing 34,000 professionals who work in both health and social care . . .

As CEO of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists I represent a unique health professional, one that works across all aspects of health and social care. Occupational therapists working across the lifespan, from neo-natal to end-of-life care, support those with mental and physical health issues and work with people both at home and in hospital.

Therefore, I think we can say we are uniquely positioned to identify some of the challenges that you and your team will need to overcome to align health and social care.


Julia Scott, CEO, The Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

31st January 2018

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. . . we need to widen the use of allied health professionals (AHP’s) across both care systems and achieve parity of esteem for all health and social care staff. . . . The evidence we are collecting as occupational therapists consistently demonstrates the value of using AHP’s like us in primary, acute and mental health services,

. . . we need to start celebrating our health and social care system . . . We have occupational therapists working in GP practices to identify high-risk patients and help them reduce the risk of hospital admission through home and lifestyle adaptations; we have occupational therapists working with people with dementia to maintain good quality of life and to prevent the development of further health problems from inactivity and anxiety; in Norfolk, we discovered the case of one 80-year-old lady who called 999 twenty times in one year, yet since occupational therapy intervention, she has needed to call only twice and has not been admitted to hospital on either occasion.

. . . my advice is to create the conditions in the NHS where collaboration and sharing is nurtured and celebrated, if you create this, then the answer to health and social care integration will naturally follow.

Julia Scott, CEO, The Royal College of Occupational Therapists.