NHS staff ask Pontefract: Do you know what an OT does?


A group of South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust occupational therapists (OTs) are out and about in Pontefract raising awareness of their profession during National Occupational Therapy Week 5-11 November 2007.

The OTs will be chatting to the general public at a special information stand at Pontefract Library on Wednesday 7th November between 10am and 2pm.

Occupational therapists work in hospitals, community settings and peoples’ own homes. They work with people of all ages to help them overcome the effects of disability caused by physical or psychological illness, ageing or accident. Occupational therapists at South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust work with both inpatients and people in the community in adult, older peoples, forensic and learning disability services.

Jane Sayner, senior clinical practitioner with adult community services explained, "Nearly nine in ten (88%) Brits admit they don’t know what an OT is or does, we’re trying to change that this week! People often think that occupational therapy is just to do with equipment, but we get involved in so many different things to help people achieve meaningful activity and build their self-worth."

Jackie Aspin, clinical practitioner, continued, "We work with people with mental health problems to help them rebuild their lives. For example, some people may have stopped going out of the house so we work with them to help them go shopping, go into their local community or return to work. We also help people with day-today activities. They may be struggling with depression or anxiety, but whatever their condition, we help them with their daily skills and put some structure back into their day."

Carol Langfield, an OT student from York Saint John University, is on a placement with the team and said, "There are over 26,000 registered OTs in the UK, helping more than a million people every year. I hope Pontefract people will come and talk to us whilst we’re at the Library to learn about how we can help. OT is all about enabling people – looking at the whole person and not just their diagnosis or problem."

People wanting to find out more about occupational therapy are encouraged to speak to their GP or other medical professionals or visit www.cot.org.uk. For information on a career in OT visit http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/

NHS staff ask Pontefract: Do you know what an OT does?

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