What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists work with people who have a physical disability, a medical condition, a mental health difficulty or a learning disability. They help individuals who have difficulties with everyday tasks, such as preparing a meal, taking a bath, going up stairs or lifting their legs into bed.

The aim of occupational therapy is to enable individuals to live as independently as possible, whether at home, at work or school/college. The occupational therapist can help individuals to adapt to changes in their everyday life and to overcome practical problems. They may do this by providing advice, recommending ways an everyday task can be done differently or recommending equipment or alterations for an individual's home. Occupational therapists work in health, social care or private practice and work closely with health, housing and educational services. There are over 26,000 qualified occupational therapists in the UK.

If you apply for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of adapting your home an occupational therapist is involved in the assessment process. For more information on Disabled Facilities Grants visit the Directgov Disabled Facilities Grants page.

Obtaining an assessment with an occupational therapist.

To enquire about an assessment with an occupational therapist contact your local social services. You can obtain their contact details by entering your postcode on the directgov website

Alternatively, if you wish to obtain private assessment or advice then you can search for a private occupational therapist on the occupational therapist in independent practice database

How do I know if an occupational therapist is properly registered?

All occupational therapists are required to register with the Health Professions Council (HPC). The HPC is responsible for the conduct, performance and ethical behaviour of its registrants. Occupational therapists who do not meet the standards of practice, conduct and behaviour required by the HPC are removed ('struck off') from the HPC register. Visit the HPC website to check the registration status of an occupational therapist