World Occupational Therapy Day taking place today

Friday 27th October 2017
Friday October 27th marks World Occupational Therapy Day. Image: Mapoula via iStock
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Today (Friday October 27th) marks World Occupational Therapy Day across the globe, which is an opportunity to raise awareness of the profession and the valuable role that occupational therapists play in supporting patients every day.

This year marks the seventh annual World Occupational Therapy Day, led by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. The theme for the 2017 event is 'Inform, Inspire, Influence', with events planned across the world to fit with this today.

The event falls at a particularly apt time this year, as research has just been released by the Stroke Association that shows NHS patients are in desperate need of more occupational therapist support.

Figures from the charity show that almost half (45 per cent) of stroke patients feel abandoned by the healthcare system after being discharged from hospital, while 50 per cent of people who suffer a hip fracture do not have any form of rehabilitation treatment after discharge.

In many cases, this is due to a lack of available staff, so it is hoped that activities on World Occupational Therapy Day will help to boost awareness of how varied and valuable a role in the field can be, attracting more people towards it in the future.

Meanwhile, 55 per cent of mix-ups and delays with discharges are attributed to issues with arranging access to community care services by the NHS. Again, this is something that more staff would help to iron out.

Professor Karen Middleton, chief executive of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, commented: "The NHS does truly extraordinary things to keep people alive, but then too often drops the ball when a person leaves hospital.

"This is grossly unfair on the patient, who has survived a traumatic ordeal only to discover that they face considerable barriers to making the fullest recovery possible.

"Too many people are left facing a distressing future dependent on health and social care when access to high-quality rehab could have made an enormous difference."

Written by Alex Franklin Stortford

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