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Good work for good health: the difference occupational therapy makes

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has just published a new report: Good work for good health: the difference occupational therapy makes (available here) which demonstrates the role and impact of occupational therapy in helping people to stay in and return to work.

Evidence shows that good work is good for our health.  It benefits the individual, society and wider economy.  Ill health costs the UK £100 billion each year, but the benefits of work are greater and economic reward, work is recognised as an essential occupation which supports longevity, health and well-being.

In an email from The Royal Collage of Occupational Therapist Karin Orman, Assistant Director of Professional Practice, wrote the following;

The report which is part of the Occupational Therapy: Improving Lives, Saving Money campaign, demonstrates, how occupational therapists can help increase the number of people with long term conditions in work. It also calls for occupational therapists to be embedded in occupational health teams to provide staff, particularly in the NHS, with improved health and wellbeing services.

In relation to Work, specifically, occupational therapists can:

·         Offer advice and early intervention strategies to employers to help create an organisational culture that values their staff’s health and wellbeing.

·         Provide vocational-focused interventions aimed at those already experiencing difficulties at work or getting into paid employment.

·         Work within occupational health departments to support the health and wellbeing of their staff.

·         Provide solutions to help people with disabilities and health conditions in employment.

Occupational Therapists are the only healthcare profession in their undergraduate training to understand occupation (people’s everyday activities) from both physical, psychological and mental health perspectives. As such, we are calling on policy leads, commissioners and employers to ensure policy, legislation and services are designed to give advice and support as early as possible when people experience difficulties. 

 I would value the chance to meet with you and discuss it further, as well as some upcoming reports and projects we are working on that focus on the new theme for this year - #SmallChangeBigImpact (View our members Small Change Big Impact stories here).  If you have any questions about the report or want to get in touch to find out more, please get in contact with our Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Ben Powick by email on Benjamin.powick@rcot.co.uk

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