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Occupational Therapy celebrated

01 November 2019

Two smiling people sitting on a couch

Jersey’s occupational therapy department is taking part in a national event aimed at celebrating the work the profession does to improve people’s lives.

The 60-strong staff who work across Health and Community Services are taking part in Occupational Therapy Week which runs from Monday 4 November until Friday 10 November. The aim of the week is to highlight the positive impact that occupational therapy has on people’s lives.

Jersey’s HCS’s occupational therapy department offers both mental and physical support to islanders of all ages through a variety of methods. Last year, the department received 4,400 referrals – an average of 300 a month. It also conducted 6,400 home visits and 9,200 inpatient visits at the General Hospital as well as offering technical support in the form of equipment and wheelchairs to 4,700 islanders.

This year, the theme of the awareness week is "Small Change, Big Impact" which aims to celebrate the little things that occupational therapists do which can have a dramatic impact on a person’s independence and wellbeing. Throughout the week, the Government of Jersey will be championing the work of Jersey’s team across its social media channels using the hashtag: #SmallChangeBigImpact.

One such example is the department’s technical services team which has helped a young islander with cerebral palsy, who was unable to use the swipe function on their smart phone due to limited hand function. By creating a stand – which cost about £2 to make – that attaches to the young person’s wheelchair the islander now has full use of their phone.

Agnetta Nerac, deputy head of occupational therapy for Health and Community Services, said: "Occupational Therapy Week is a lovely opportunity to demonstrate the work we do and the impact we can have on islanders’ lives.

"Occupational therapy is one of those professions that people don’t necessarily know a lot about. It is a very rewarding career as we do make a big difference to people’s lives by enabling their independence, maintaining their skills and improving their quality of life."

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