Patient Experience

Patient Experience

Occupational therapy (OT) is a healthcare profession in which people with physical, psychological and social problems are supported to help live their life to the fullest.  Occupational therapists (OTs) help people to do the everyday activities that they want and need to do when faced with illness, injury, disability or challenging life events (Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland, 2020).

Occupational Therapy is part of the SCOPe Directorate

  • We provide services to:

    • All acute inpatient areas
    • Emergency Department (ED)
    • Home First Team within the ED
    • Medicine for the elderly – acute wards and rehabilitation in Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA)
    • Robert Mayne Day Hospital
    • Hollybrook Lodge Residential Unit
    • Specialised memory and attention rehabilitation therapy (SMART)
    • Burns and plastic surgery outpatient clinics
    • Plastics therapy-led clinics
    • Orthopaedics outpatients/hand therapy clinics
    • Neurology outpatient clinic
    • Oncology and haematology inpatients and outpatients
    • Rheumatology outpatient service
  • Referrals are only accepted for patients who are currently under the care of a consultant at St James’s Hospital. We operate a waiting list system and all patients are prioritised in order of clinical need.

    We do not accept referrals from GPs.

  • Medicine for the Elderly
    The OT medicine for the elderly (MedEl) team provides therapy in both one-to-one and group sessions.

    Traditional OT groups include:

    • Lunch group – preparing, cooking and eating lunch together
    • Homeward Bound group – a joint group with physiotherapy where patients practice housework activities in preparation for returning home
    • Upper limb group – a group for people who have difficulties with hand and arm movement after a stroke or neurological illness
    • Reminiscence group – a group where long-term residential patients recall and discuss past events
    • Falls group – a joint OT/physiotherapy group aimed at minimising patient’s risk of having a fall in the community and while in hospital
    • Specialised memory and attention rehabilitation training (SMART) – a cognitive rehabilitation group.

    Rehabilitation also involves:

    • Tailored programmes aimed at increasing independence with activities of daily living (ADL) including functional bed/ chair/ toilet/ car transfers, personal care routines and meal preparation
    • Cognitive rehabilitation
    • Provision of adaptive equipment
    • Functional home assessments
    • Upper limb rehabilitation
    • Provision of wheelchairs and specialised seating systems
    • Education and advice to patients and families/ caregivers.
  • This OT team works closely with the multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive assessment, rehabilitation and discharge planning for patients. The team covers all medical and surgical inpatient wards and specialties include:

    • Acute stroke
    • AMAU (Acute Medical Admissions Unit)
    • Oncology and haematology
    • Vascular medicine
    • Orthopaedics
    • Cardiac and respiratory medicine.

    If required, a home assessment is completed to identify specific environmental modifications and care needs in preparation for discharge. Adaptive equipment can be provided to patients to facilitate a safe and sustainable discharge home such as stair rails, toilet aids, bed levers, and/or orthopaedic chairs.

    Patients have access to specialised seating and pressure care systems which can be issued by an OT following a comprehensive seating assessment.

    Our Emergency Department OTs focus on admission avoidance, hand therapy (for closed hand injuries) and concussion.

    We have a dedicated neurology outpatient service. Our multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease service is both preventative and rehabilitative, aiming to minimise the impact of the condition on daily living, maximise independence and reduce the likelihood of hospital admission.

    Our oncology and haematology OT team provides individual interventions to inpatients and outpatients as well as collaborating with an occupational therapy physician in coordinating the delivery of the National Cancer Control Programme  Cancer Survivorship Programme.

    Our burns/ plastic surgery and hand therapy OT teams work closely with surgeons to implement the appropriate post-operative care for patients.

    The OT Orthopaedic Service is led by a clinical specialist OT who assesses and treats patients and refers them for consultant review if required.

    Our Rheumatology Outpatient Service is delivered by a senior OT  treating inflammatory and osteoarthritis diagnoses.

  • SMART Programme
    The Specialised Memory and Attention Rehabilitation Therapy Programme (SMART) is an outpatient cognitive rehabilitation programme, supporting patients with mild dementia and their families/carers. SMART enables people with early-stage memory difficulties to remain as independent as possible in everyday activities in their home environment.

    Concussion service:
    The OT Department provides a follow-up service for those who present to the Emergency Department with a concussion. Treatment varies according to the individual needs of each person and can include education regarding symptom management, cognitive assessments, fatigue management, sleep hygiene and strategies to support returning to work and meaningful occupations.

  • The Occupational Therapy Department is dedicated to the development of future practitioners and facilitates approximately twelve undergraduate student placements each academic year.

    A practice tutor works as part of the OT Practice Education team in Trinity College Dublin. Practice tutors educate students and coordinate all undergraduate students’ clinical placements in collaboration with OTs, who provide practice education. 

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

How to find us

Opposite the Irish Blood Transfusion Board, behind Hospitals 1 and 2.

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