Central Scotland MSP, Margaret Mitchell, recently met with Occupational Therapists at Burnbank Medical Centre who are participating in a pilot scheme which aims promote earlier intervention and preventative care.
Occupational Therapists can play a vital role in a variety of aspects of daily life and under the new scheme, patients would have access to a therapist directly through their local GP surgery.
The ethos of the scheme is to allow GPs and Occupational Therapists to be proactive in their approach, striving to prevent people from reaching crisis-point. By including therapists as part of the Practice primary care team, patients will have greater, faster, access to the services they need.
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has found that early intervention by Occupational Therapy can help to reduce GP visits by 72%, which allows GP expertise to be diverted to those most in need.
After meeting with Occupational Therapists, Shonaid McCabe and Lisa Greer, at Burnbank Medical Practice, Margaret Mitchell asked the Scottish Government whether they would consider recruiting more occupational therapists.
Commenting Central Scotland and Scottish Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell, said:
“Occupational Therapists play a pivotal part in health and social care for both mental and physical health, but too often a person must reach crisis-point before they are brought under the care of occupational therapy.
“The pilot scheme at Burnbank and Newarthill Medical Centres are a step in the right direction to bringing Occupational Therapy into primary care.
“By placing a permanent occupational therapy presence in local GP surgeries, patients are seen immediately by the OT and referred to the appropriate service if their problem is not dealt with there and then.
“This new approach, is more efficient, gives a better outcome for patients, and could save money for the NHS and social care by encouraging early intervention, preventing subsequent hospital stays or social work involvement.
“More importantly, it frees up GPs as general specialist to deal with the other cases.
“I was very pleased to hear of the pilot scheme from Shonaid, Lisa, and Jacqueline, along with the Policy Officer Alison Kier, who spoke passionately about the benefits of Occupational Therapy.