NICE publish new care guidelines for Occupational Therapists
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), have published new guidelines to support medical professionals in helping their patients live independently following a hospital stay.
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The guidelines advise occupational therapists and healthcare workers on how to effectively support patients in performing everyday activities after being discharged from hospital. These include activities such as climbing stairs and dressing themselves.
The focus of the new intermediate care guidelines is primarily based on safety. However, attention has also been given to a patient’s strengths. NICE have stated that health care workers should be open with their patients regarding the risks they may face. However, in order not to unnecessarily frighten or discourage individuals, the main emphasis of their conversations should be on the positives.
The chair of the NICE guideline committee, Dee Christie, believes that OT’s play an important part in helping patients ‘realise their potential’ after returning home from hospital. When patients are having to significantly adapt their lives due to illness or injury or are facing long-term recovery, this importance increases.
The guidelines are also set to benefit the NHS as a whole as there will be more intermediary care specialists on hand. It will mean more patients can be discharged from hospital sooner. A recent article written by the Guardian has claimed that ‘the sharp rise in the death rate in recent years could be down to the number of people being kept too long in hospital’. This shows that these types of guidelines are in demand and will be beneficial.
Christie explains: ‘Providing high-quality intermediate care has the potential to ease the pressures facing the NHS and social care sector.’