Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists work with people of all ages to help them overcome the effects of illness, injury, disability or accident and enable them to lead full and satisfying lives as independently as possible.

We will advise you on the best ways to carry out activities of daily living. These include domestic tasks, personal care, social activities and employment duties, which you may be unable to do due to poor mental or physical health, ageing, disability or illness.

Occupational therapists provide a range of specialist cognitive, perceptual, functional and behavioural assessments. We work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to:

  • Provide rehabilitation, education and advice to patients to enable them to achieve their optimum level of independence;
  • Liaise with relatives, carers and colleagues to identify, plan, evaluate and implement a patient’s goals as part of an overall care plan;
  • Plan, organise and carry out complex home assessment visits, advising on specialist assistive equipment and adaptations within the patient’s home environment which will facilitate safe and timely discharges.
  • Refer to external agencies where appropriate. We work with a variety of community teams, including the Community Stroke Team and social services. We can also refer to voluntary agencies.

We work with people of all ages, from childhood to old age, in a variety of settings in the Trust. These include the Child Development Centre, medical elderly wards, the Orthopaedics Department, the Stroke Unit, the Neurology Department, the Cardiorespiratory Department and General Surgery. We also help patients with long-term conditions and offer pain management support. Patients are treated both as inpatients and in the community.

Occupational therapy services

The Occupational Therapy Team works in many areas and offers a variety of services. These include:

Cardiac and pulmonary:

We aid rehabilitation by providing relaxation, anxiety management and energy conservation in group sessions for patients with a range of cardiorespiratory conditions.


We provide specialist rehabilitation for patients with, for example, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and brain injuries. The service aims to provide patient-centred care with goal-oriented interventions to help people return to their chosen occupations. Our holistic assessments, provided by a multi-disciplinary team, assess independence levels and give us insight into positioning, seating and splinting. We also run groups, including anxiety management and memory rehabilitation.

Stroke rehabilitation:

Occupational therapists address the physical, cognitive and psychological challenges following a stroke. We can help stroke survivors regain their ability to engage in daily activities using specific, evidence-based methods. Our occupational therapists often work with members of the Stroke Rehabilitation Team, which includes physiotherapists and nurses, to provide a holistic, patient-specific treatment plan.

Amputee Rehabilitation:

We offer specialist rehabilitation, working with patients following amputation to enable them to adapt their lifestyle. We carry out specialist wheelchair assessments, implementing modifications to the home environment, and provide specialist equipment such as hoists to facilitate safe discharge home.


We help patients rehabilitate following a variety of surgical procedures.

Orthopaedics and trauma:

We offer pre-surgery education groups prior to elective hip and knee replacements. We help both elective and trauma patients rehabilitate following surgery.


Our community- and hospital-based assessments promote health and wellbeing, empowering patients to manage their condition.


We provide paediatric occupational therapy in Harrogate District Hospital and the local community.

Palliative care:

We supporting family and carers and provide specialist equipment to enable patients to return home.

Medical elderly:

We offer specialist rehabilitation and complex discharge planning for patients with multiple medical problems. These include diabetes, dementia and neurological conditions. We aim to optimise functional and cognitive ability.


Referrals can be made by any healthcare professional, including consultants, members of the multi-disciplinary team and GPs.  Occupational therapists screen all patients admitted onto our hospital wards.

Key staff

Professional Lead and Advanced Occupational Therapist for Neurology: Emma Havercroft

Advanced Occupational Therapists for Neurology: Sally Gilmour

Advanced Occupational Therapist for Stroke Rehabilitation: Sally O’Connell

Advanced Occupational Therapist for Paediatrics: Eleanor Jones

Advanced Occupational Therapist for ARCH: Stephanie Robinson and Caroline Watkins

Chronic Pain and Fatigue Team Lead Occupational Therapist: Julie Robinson

Advanced Occupational Therapist for Long COVID: Hannah Davies

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