Understanding people's experience of using occupational therapy services

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Leeds worked with the Pan Leeds Occupational Therapy board to bring the voices of people who use the service to inform the development ofthe city wide occupational therapy service. Healthwatch Leeds received 127 responses to the survey. The feedback has offered some insights into clients’ experience of occupational therapy services provided by four organisations: Leeds City Council (LCC); Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT); Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust (LTHT) and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH). It is worth noting that almost half responses (60) were from clients of LTHT, the results are therefore more representative of LTHT’s service. This report outlines what has worked well in occupational therapy services across the four organisations and the areas that could be improved. The key findings within the report are: 1. Healthwatch Leeds received positive comments about the occupational therapists from the vast majority of respondents. The clients described their occupational therapist as friendly and competent professionals who listened to their views. 2. A significant majority (118) of people Healthwatch Leeds spoke to were aware they were being seen by occupational therapists. 3. The most common reasons reported for seeing occupational therapists are long term conditions, followed by physical injury. 4. From analysing all responses, on average respondents received 3 different types of help from their occupational therapists. 5. The practice between occupational therapists of different organisations has been relatively consistent. There are small differences between occupational therapists from LCC and LTHT in terms of quantities and type of support offered to their clients with long term conditions. The variation was slightly higher regarding support for physical injuries between LCC, LTHT and LCH. (We were not able to include LYPFT in these comparisons due to low response to these conditions) 6. The respondents praised good communication during assessments; with the vast majority being treated with respect and feeling that their views have been listened to. The assessments have often been described as a thorough process. The solutions put in place as a result have made a real difference in people’s lives. 7. Less than one third of the client’s issues/difficulties had been resolved at the time of interviews. However, most clients whose issues have not yet been resolved said there was a plan for future resolution. 8. Areas highlighted for improvement are cross department communication; provision of information about other services; referral process and updates for clients on equipment orders. The responses to the survey were highly positive. Four recommendations have been identified to address those areas outlined in number eight of key findings; i.e communication; referral and information sharing.

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General details

Report title 
Understanding people's experience of using occupational therapy services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Leeds
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Pan Leeds Occupational Therapy board
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Occupational therapy

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.