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Occupational and vocational rehabilitation

Occupational Therapists at Group Rehabilitation proudly offer a specialist musculoskeletal vocational rehabilitation service.

We welcome any patient whose condition has a physical origin, and over 18 months this has included those with Long COVID. Occupational Therapists have been supporting patients in the workplace for over 20 years; offering a unique perspective to employee health and wellbeing by combining environmental adaptations with physical rehabilitation.

We understand that people with physical health conditions and injuries need to overcome many obstacles to remain in, and return-to- work. However, research shows that work is generally good for health and wellbeing; providing the work is ‘good’. To date there is no definition for ‘good work’. However, therapists at Group Rehabilitation believe that good work will mean different things to different people, depending largely on your ability, interests and skills base.


About the Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation Service

The following leaflet provides an overview of the Occupational Therapy service at Group Rehab. It might be helpful to share this information with your manager whilst you attend rehabilitation, or ahead of arranged assessments.

The BTE Primus RS allows us to assess and simulate work-related tasks. The following leaflet provides more information on how the BTE is used as part of the rehabilitation process, and might also be helpful to share with your manager alongside any evaluations completed

Patient Resources

What to do during sickness absence- Information sheet

For some people, this might be their first period of sickness absence which extends beyond the self-certified period of 28 days. This information sheet provides guidance on fit notes, relevant employment benefits, and welfare services in Derby. 


Activity diary information sheet and template pages

Completing an activity diary can be a helpful way to gain control of symptoms. This information sheet provides guidance on how to get started, along with some template sheets to fill-in. It also includes some examples and tips on how to make the most out of the information you gather. If you are under the care of an Occupational Therapist, it might be helpful to share the results of your activity diary during one to one reviews.


Tracking work ability- Information sheet and template sheets

Understanding the demands of your job role will ensure that your rehabilitation is preparing you for work specific tasks. This information sheet provides a list of demands which are likely to be relevant to your own role. Use these as a starting point and use the template sheets to track progress over time. Your Occupational Therapist can support you throughout this process and help you to make sense of the information you gather.


Manager review crib sheet- information sheet

As you progress through your phased return, it is recommended that you keep in regular contact with your manager. Setting aside time to review how things are progressing can be a great way of keeping on track and ensuring that you remain as well as possible in, and out, of the workplace. It can help to consider the points in this crib sheet before you meet with your manager.

Resources for Healthcare Professionals

Occupational Therapists have been supporting patients in the workplace for over 20 years; offering a unique perspective to employee health and wellbeing by combining environmental adaptations with physical rehabilitation.

Research shows that after only six weeks of sickness absence, a person’s ability to return to work falls away rapidly. Almost one in five people who reach this point will stay off work sick and eventually leave paid employment. Occupational Therapists at Group Rehab receive referrals from inpatient settings, outpatient clinics and primary care. However, referrals are often considered too late and outside the optimum window of opportunity. We hope that the promotion of services will lead to more timely and appropriate referrals.

Research shows that work is generally good for health and wellbeing, providing the work is ‘good’. To date there is insufficient research to define ‘good work’. Therapists at Group Rehabilitation believe that good work will mean different things to different people, depending largely on their capacity, interests and skills base.


Services at Group Rehabilitation

The service provided by Occupational Therapists at Group Rehabilitation aims to address the multiple factors which impact on a successful and timely return-to-work. The referral does not need to specify which of the interventions is required as this will be determined on their initial assessment with an Occupational Therapist. Interventions can include one of more of the following:

  • Assessment of functional capacity: if the patient is already employed, the assessment will be job specific and will be completed to inform towards the most appropriate work-related duties and adjustments. If the patient is unemployed, the assessment will be generic and will identify which roles will suit their current physical capacity. Patients will be re-assessed at regular intervals if attending for rehabilitation.
     
  • Rehabilitation attendance: Based on assessments of physical capacity and the patients’ description of work-related tasks, patients will be set a programme of exercise and work simulation. The BTE Primus RS allows for the simulation and objective measure of most work-related tasks e.g. hand tools, lifting and machine operations. Find out more about how we use the BTE Primus here: download BTE referrer form [pdf] 539KB (opens in new window) >
     
  • Facilitate communication between the patient and employee: this can be face-to-face during workplace assessments or written correspondence. Typically this will be providing advice on reasonable adjustments, phased returns and condition management.
     
  • Workplace assessments: are undertaken if work-related tasks cannot be simulated in the gym environment or face-to-face contact with the employer is required. Workplace assessments also identify environmental barriers in returning to work.
     
  • Communication with stakeholders: as an essential stakeholder, all reports and letters will be sent to the GP to inform towards fit note certification
     
  • Long-term management: therapists will explore options for self-management with patients ahead of discharge. This will include access to local facilities and community groups, but also on how they can increase their own activity levels in day to day living.

How to refer

If you would like to refer your patient to Occupational Therapy, please fill out the referral and send to:

Occupational Therapy
Group Rehabilitation
Florence Nightingale Communicate Hospital
London Road
Derby
DE1 2QY

Or

Email: Dhft.grouprehab@nhs.net