An occupational therapy unit in Liverpool has offered a local MP an insight into the importance of this area of healthcare.
Luciana Berger, the member for Liverpool Wavertree, requested to see the unit in action to improve her own understanding of occupational therapy, following the launch of an Improving Lives Saving Money report. She was one of its sponsors.
Ms Berger, a member of the Health and Social Care Select Committee in the House of Commons, spent time with the Walton Centre’s Pain Management Programme (PMP) occupational therapy team.
The tour was arranged by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), with the organisation's Pain Clinical Forum Lead John Tetlow, who is also the lead occupational therapist at the trust, showing the MP the work undertaken at the centre, particularly in helping young people to deal with chronic pain through the PMP.
In addition to physical treatment, this includes psychological help and encouragement that includes prompting patients to take up new hobbies or undertake voluntary work as a prelude to getting into employment.
Mr Tetlow said: “It is encouraging to have a local MP show an interest in our profession and the work we are doing with people who experience chronic pain."
RCOT Lead Practice Manager Karin Orman welcomed the visit, commenting: "We feel Luciana will have gained insight into how occupational therapists can support young people with the transition into adulthood and get people returning to work, despite the psychological and emotional demands of living with chronic pain."
The MP herself described her visit as "really insightful" and one that showed the importance of the role occupational therapy plays in the NHS. It will enable her to take a lot of "learning" back with her to Westminster, which she can bring to her role on the committee.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortford
Find an occupational therapy job at JustOT, a genuine specialist in NHS and private sector recruitment.