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Occupational Therapy Services

The Occupational Therapy (OT) service offers person centred, holistic and functional assessments of need.

After the initial assessment an Occupational Therapy Plan is agreed with the adult and their family. The plan outlines the type of interventions which would help them regain or maintain their independence and safety.  

Occupational Therapy Interventions may include:

  • recommendations and provisions of equipment and adaptations to the home environment
  • moving and handling risk assessments
  • information and advice on how to make best use of community resources
  • signposting to other health and social care services
  • setting up rehabilitation plans for improving mobility and maximising participation in day-to-day life


The Occupational Therapy service is available to:

  • any Stockton Borough Council resident aged 18 and above who appears to have a need arising from a health condition, which has a significant impact on their day-to-day life
  • carers and young carers


Requesting an Occupational Therapy Assessment

You can request an Occupational Therapy Assessment for yourself or a request can be made by another person on your behalf such as:

  • a health or social care professional
  • GP
  • friends 
  • family

Contact The First Contact team to make a request:

The First Contact Team will then determine if the Occupational Therapy team is required.  

If required, a referral will be generated to the Team Manager of Occupational Therapy Team. The referral will then be allocated to an Occupational Therapy Practitioner.  

An 'appropriate person' can assist or represent an adult who has difficulty with being involved in the assessment process. They can help them with the decision making process. This person can act as their representative if the adult consents and the Local Authority deem them appropriate. Where there is no suitable person to act as their representative, an 'independent advocate' will be appointed. Visit the independent advocates page for more information.

The Occupational Therapy practitioner will contact the adult or their appropriate person as soon as they receive the referral and discuss their needs over the telephone. The adult and their family or appropriate person may be invited for a functional assessment.


Initial Functional Assessment

The functional assessment involves a discussion about the adult's priorities and expectations from the Occupational Therapy service, then an activity analysis of how they perform day-to-day tasks at home. 

The activity analysis may include:

  • walking indoors and outdoors  
  • accessing the property
  • use of stairs
  • sitting and rising to or from a chair, bed or sofa 
  • getting in or out of a car
  • accessing bathroom facilities
  • performing some personal care tasks
  • participating in kitchen activities
  • participating in gardening and accessing garden facilities
  • participation of domestic tasks
  • use of moving and handling techniques and equipment during transfers to and from bed, chair or wheelchairs
  • discussion around participation in employment, education, training, leisure, and community life
  • social inclusion and integration in community life


Occupational Therapy Plan and Interventions

Following the initial assessment, an occupational therapy plan will be completed with the aim of maximising participation in day-to-day life, improving independence and improving mobility and self-confidence. This can include:

  • recommendations and advice on using equipment or adaptations 
  • rehabilitation plans containing activities and exercises
  • signposting and referrals to other relevant services such as health and social care or community care services


Equipment and adaptations provided by the Occupational Therapy Service

Equipment and adaptations can be provided as a solution to problems around the home. Examples of equipment are:

  • rails 
  • transfer aids
  • internal and or external ramps to the property to provide wheelchair access
  • bathing equipment
  • equipment for safe use of the toilet
  • equipment to help transfer in and out of bed
  • moving and handling equipment

Sometimes equipment or minor adaptations will not provide a solution to the problem and more major adaptations to the home are needed. 

Adults who have been assessed as needing major adaptations to their homes may apply for the Disabled Facilities Grant, which is subject to a financial assessment.  Occupational Therapy staff will support the adult with the grant application process. Some housing associations may offer financial help towards major adaptations.  

The Occupational Therapy practitioner will work with other services to make sure the adults' needs are being met. Referrals to other services may be recommended, such as:

  • housing 
  • physiotherapy
  • community nurse 
  • GP
  • mental health services



The Occupational Therapy Plan will be reviewed before the case is closed. Occupational therapy will continue for as long as necessary or until the goals and outcomes set out during the initial assessment have been achieved.


Outcomes measure

We aim to:

  • complete initial OT assessments within 28 days from receipt of referral or 0 to 6 days for urgent cases
  • initiate the OT assessment within 7 days of referral
  • review all cases every 12 months where complex and or electrical equipment us put in place and where high levels of care and support is being provided


Children's Occupational Therapy Services

The Occupational Therapy Team supports children and young people aged 0 to 18 years with a permanent and substantial disability that significantly affects daily living tasks and offers help with the transition into Occupational Therapy adult services.

For more information visit the Children's Occupational Therapy Services page.