Occupational Therapists - A Vital Component in Hospital Emergency Rooms
A campaign run by The College of Occupational Therapists found that the presence of Occupational Therapists in A&E and front line emergency services could reduce hospital admissions by 70-80%.
Allowing patients who have been admitted to emergency services the chance to be assessed by an Occupational Therapist can seriously cut the amount of time spent in hospital before being discharged.
Data from NHS England showed that an urgent increase in the use of Occupational Therapists is needed as discharge delays in hospitals are often caused by patients waiting for an assessment for care.
Julia Scott, Chief Executive at the College of Occupational Therapists said “Patients are getting to occupational therapists too late and risk being admitted into hospital unnecessarily. We want to see more occupational therapists in A&E and in acute teams so that medically fit patients can get home, stay independent and continue with daily activities.”
An example to show the benefit of having OTs in an emergency services department is the 83% of admissions that were prevented across 7 services in North London because of the integration. Having the presence of the therapists working within the Rapid Response unit, meant that more than 96% of people were able to return to their own home.
Another example, has seen a south eastern hospital achieve significant financial savings, £169,304 in total, due to having Occupational therapists present in their A&E department. The Occupational Therapists have prevented 70% of patients being admitted to hospital from A&E, and have ensured 58% of patients have been able to return home.