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Occupational Therapy

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group rehab ot class

As Occupational Therapists our concern is returning patients to their previous level of function following an injury or condition which has led to their physical impairment. 

Please visit the ‘How to refer’ page for an overview of the conditions commonly treated by our service. 

The goal of treatment is to re-engage patients with activities that they found meaningful and return them to a productive and fulfilling routine. 

A patient’s functional goals are what then guide and focus our intervention. 

  • Participation in domestic tasks such as cooking and cleaning
  • Re-engagement in leisure activities and social integration
  • Safe and sustainable return to work
  • Improved access to local facilities and supermarkets
  • Driving or use of public transport
  • Improved stamina and tolerance to activities of daily living
  • Caring for a family member 
  • Improve mood, motivation and fulfilment 


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group rehab ot class 1

         Examples of conditions that we treat

  • Musculo-skeletal injuries and conditions (Upper limb and lower limb)
  • Chronic pain
  • Chronic fatigue 
  • Deconditioned following illness 
  • Reduced mobility affecting functional engagement 
  • Neurological conditions 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Lower back pain
  • Spinal surgery

       Criteria for OT Rehab

  • Have sufficient attention to complete a prescribed treatment programme within a busy group environment, with therapy supervision
  • Socially/emotionally able to cope with a loud and often busy environment
  • Sufficient higher cognitive ability to engage in goal setting and maintain focus upon an agreed treatment plan
  • Patients that do not require a normal movement or neuro specific approach to treatment
  • Have sufficient language and visual skills to follow a written treatment programme with minimal assistance
  • To have sufficient memory to recall demonstrated exercises using written prompts under therapist supervision
  • To be able to safely transfer on/off equipment
  • Have realistic functional goals
  • Please also note that if major adaptations are likely to be required to the patient’s home a social services referral would be more appropriate.


Please follow the link to download the Occupational Therapy Referral Form 

If you are a patient and feel that Group Rehabilitation would support you in your recovery from a physical injury or condition then speak to your GP. 

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group rehab ot class 2

The Vocational Rehabilitation service is for those individuals hoping to return to work following an injury or condition which has resulted in physical impairment. 

Each patient undergoes an initial assessment to determine the requirements of their role and their current capacity. The assessment also acknowledges the psychological effect of being off or out of work. 

Aim of the Service

  • Facilitate a return that instils confidence and reassurance 
  • Facilitate a return that is safe and sustainable 
  • Facilitate a return which will maximise productivity and reduce presenteeism   
  • Encourage a positive working relationship between the patient and their employer
  • Support employers and offer advice where appropriate 
  • Equip patients with effective techniques to prevent further harm and avoid aggravation of symptoms




  • Regular attendance to the therapy gym: Allowing the patient to build strength and stamina as well as simulate work related tasks 
  • Functional capacity assessment: An assessment which will inform a patient’s employer or potential employer of their current capacity. For patients who are unemployed  the assessment would identify the nature of work which may or may not be appropriate 
  • Work place assessment: The Occupational Therapist can visit the patient’s place of work and assess them undertaking the tasks required of them. The therapist may consider how the patient could perform the task more effectively  but also how the environment and nature of the task could be adjusted to meet the patient’s needs 
  • Correspondence: The therapist will liaise with the patient’s employer where necessary to update on progress. Both the employer and patient would be supported to ensure for a safe and sustainable return to work. Should it be required the therapist will also correspond with the GP to inform towards fit notes and progress.


Once the referral has been accepted by the department the administrative team will contact the patient and invite them for an initial assessment. Please visit the ‘How to Refer’ tab for guidance on how to refer.

All patients undergo a comprehensive assessment by an Occupational Therapist. 

Subjective Narrative: Patient understanding of the condition/ injury, experience of pain and fatigue, effect on functional tasks, psychological impact, plans for the future, level of motivation to engage in the rehabilitation process, avoidance behaviours and coping strategies

Isolated objective assessments: Range of joint movement, grip strength, gait pattern, scar or wound healing, swelling etc.

Functional assessments: The therapist will assess a patient completing a functional task which is relevant and meaningful, ascending and descending the stairs for example. The task will be broken down and each component will be addressed within the programme of treatment. Task-analysis will be completed to breakdown the requirements of patients job and assess their capacity in fulfilling their role at work- please see ‘Vocational Rehabilitation’ tab for more information.

The initial assessment should take approximately 30 minutes. At the end of the assessment the therapist will establish measurable and meaningful treatment goals with the patient.

group rehab ot class 3

Group attendance to the Therapy Gym: Patients will be provided with a programme of exercises to follow in the gym which are designed to improve their physical capacity and meet functional goals. 

The patient will be assigned to the most appropriate group. Group allocation is based on a patient’s injury/condition, the level of support that a patient requires and the size of existing groups. Patients will follow an individualised treatment programme but will complete it alongside other patients. 

Progress will be reviewed by an Occupational Therapist during group attendance. Not all patients will be appropriate for the group and the frequency that the patient will attend is decided on the initial assessment. 

Please see Facilities and Group Information for more details.

  • Graded and supported introduction to an increase in physical activity
  • Monitor and encourage effective movement
  • Monitor ineffective and compensatory movement patterns, and discourage avoidance behaviours
  • Test balance and proprioception in a controlled environment
  • Simulate work tasks e.g. ladders or heavy lifting
  • Build on stamina and tolerance to activity
  • Improve strength and global conditioning 
  • Improve gait pattern


Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Work simulated tasks
  • Functional Capacity assessment
  • Advice on a sustainable return to work
  • Work place assessment


Advice and Education

  • Effective strategies for pacing tasks
  • Pain and fatigue management
  • Community facilities and resources
  • Individualised programme for scar management and hypersensitivity
  • Education group on the management of osteoarthritis 


Compensatory Approach 

  • Provision of basic ADL assistive equipment 
  • Assessment for rails 
  • Advice on small aids to manage long term conditions e.g. adaptive cutlery
  • Investigating how a task can me modified to ensure completion


Splinting and Insoles (existing patients only)

  • Temporary insoles 
  • Wrist supports
  • Lower limb splints


Should the patient require intervention which is not within our remit, referrals to external services are regularly made with patient consent

  • The patient has met all functional goals and is able to maintain their functional capacity independently
  • The patient does not make significant progress
  • The patient does make progress but reaches a plateau
  • Insufficient or non-attendance 
  • Group Rehabilitation is deemed to be an inappropriate service for patients needs
  • The patient self-discharges or is unable to attend for social/medical reasons