The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has welcomed the new ten-year plan for the NHS, noting that its provisions fit well with what the body wanted to see and raise the profile of the profession.
RCOT chief executive Julia Scott said the plan was "warmly received" by RCOT as a "sound roadmap for the future of healthcare in England".
She added: "It is reassuring to see the overall direction of the plan, and themes within it, reflect many of the key recommendations the Royal College has been making in recent years - supporting people at home, a focus on prevention, greater integration and use of primary care, and achieving parity of esteem for mental health."
Most importantly, she noted, the NHS plan creates a "key role" for occupational therapy, by creating a blueprint with an emphasis on out-of-hospital treatment at various stages and settings, with all of these offering opportunities for occupational therapists to make a significant difference to the lives of patients.
As a result, Ms Scott said, the plan sits "comfortably" with RCOT's own view of the way the profession should develop and raise its profile. She expressed confidence that members of the body will rise to the challenge of implementing the plan and also give a lead, adding a call for NHS leaders to work with RCOT in developing a more integrated care model suited to the 21st century.
RCOT's positive response is similar to that of physiotherapy bodies, welcoming the emphasis on more preventative care and ensuring that people do not have to go to hospital unless absolutely necessary.
The NHS plan noted that the UK already has many better medical outcomes than in other developed countries, with people less likely to be unnecessarily hospitalised in the UK than in many European countries.
Despite this, it noted that were the system to be started from scratch, there would be far more emphasis on preventative treatment and ensuring that treatment takes place outside hospital as much as possible.
Written by Alex Franklin Stortfort
Find an occupational therapy job at JustOT, a genuine specialist in NHS and private sector recruitment.