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Occupational Therapy

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational Therapy is an exciting and varied career, offering you the chance to make a difference.

  • An occupational therapist is a health and social care professional who works in a range of settings with a huge variety of patients, helping them with many different issues.
  • We carry out upper limb rehabilitation, assessments of cognition and vision and review complex seating and equipment needs to promote independence.
  • We assess someone’s functional ability to carry out tasks that they need or want to do but are limited by physical or mental illness, disability or being socially excluded. This can range from coping with basic daily activities to more complex tasks including feeding, washing and dressing and meal preparation. The aim is to improve their independence. 
  • In the acute setting the focus is on admission avoidance and preventing deconditioning while promoting patients to stay as independent as possible after illness. We assess and set rehab focused goals, often referring to our OT colleagues in the community to continue input.
  • We provide a holistic assessment of function, cognition and environment within the community setting, either in their own home setting or care homes.
  • Treatment needs identified and implemented including rehabilitation and/or adaptive equipment with the aim of facilitating independence and ability to remain in residence of choice while preventing unnecessary admissions to hospital beds.

Areas you might work in:

We work in many places including hospitals, clinics, people’s own homes, schools, social services, prisons and day centres.

Some of the opportunities we offer are:

Acute Hospital

  • Hand therapy- outpatient service covering plastics trauma clinics, orthopaedic and rheumatology service and booked patients
  • Medical – respiratory, endocrinology, cardiac, gastro, renal, acute medical unit, older persons short stay unit,
  • A&E – Emergency Department, Acute assessment unit, Medical and surgical short stay units
  • Neuro - Hyperactue stroke unit, Acute stroke unit, traumatic brain injury, outpatient spasticity clinic
  • Orthopaedics – trauma, elective
  • Palliative care- includes covering community and hospice
  • Elderly care – including the frailty unit
  • Surgical – vascular, amputee rehabilitation


  • Community beds/rehabilitation wards
  • Rapid response Intermediate Care Teams/Early Supported Rehab at home (including falls assessment, complex manual handling, seating and wheelchair assessment, pressure care equipment)
  • Neuro Integrated Care System team
  • Palliative care team including the Hospice
  • Community mental health teams
  • Paediatrics
  • Community teams for people with a learning disability

Some of the people we may work with as part of the multidisciplinary team:

  • Occupational therapy assistants/technicians
  • Physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants
  • Speech and Language therapists
  • Nursing staff (including clinical specialist nurses)
  • Care workers
  • Social Workers
  • Psychiatrists/ Psychologists
  • Safeguarding leads
  • Administrative staff
  • Dieticians
  • Doctors (GPs/consultants)
  • Health care assistants
  • Family members and carers
  • Discharge team
  • Counsellors
  • Pastoral care team
  • Learning disability nurses
  • District nurses
  • Police and fire service
  • Adult social care and emergency services- paramedics
  • Mental health practitioners
  • Care homes and care agencies
  • Teachers

Entry requirements and training

Degree - BSc Hons – 3-4 year course. Part time available.

Entry requirements:

  • 2 – 3 A-levels
  • 5 GCSEs grade A-C (including English Maths and Science)

Alternative qualifications:

  • BTEC, HND or HNC which includes biological science
  • relevant vocational qualifications
  • science-based access course
  • equivalent Scottish or Irish qualifications


Masters – MSc Hons - 2 year course. Part time available

Entry Requirements:

  • Each institution sets its own entry requirements - whether you are applying for an undergraduate or postgraduate (accelerated, graduate-entry) programme, so it’s important to check carefully.


Degree apprenticeship (Offered in Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and BHFT)

Entry Requirements:

Pay, working hours and conditions:

Full-time and Part-time roles available

Regular weekday working hours (37.5 hours per week) 8am-4pm Monday-Friday

Some hours can be adapted to suit life-style depending on service need

May include 7day working rota in some areas.

Shift working in A&E to cover extended hours

Weekend working

Starting salary is band 5 from £24,412 and following the NHS pay scales.

What career opportunities do we offer locally?


Junior Level:

  • We offer 6 month rotations at entry level (band 5) in the acute hospitals in Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust allowing you to gain experience in different areas and understand more about your areas of interest.
  • We offer 12month rotations between Early Rehab Support at Home and Calthorpe ward
  • Although Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust do not offer a formal rotation currently we will work with each individual to support their career development within the diverse range of services


Senior Level:

  • Band 6 Rotations offered in the acute hospital allowing you to gain experience in different areas: A&E, Medicine, Care of the Elderly, Orthopaedics, Neurology, Hand Therapy, Palliative Care
  • Static Band 6 Posts in the acute setting: Elective Orthopaedics, hand therapy, Neurology
  • Band 7 Clinical Specialist Roles– palliative care, neurology, hand therapy, surgical amputees
  • Band 7 Team leader Roles
  • Band 8 Managerial roles
  • Band 8 operational leadership roles