Specialist Occupational Therapist

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust
£35,392 to £42,618 per annum pro rata
Closing date
22 Sep 2023

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Mental health
Band 6
Contract Type
Full Time
We are looking for a creative and forward thinking Occupational Therapist to work in the Rehabilitation and Step down Unit based in Newhaven. The Unit is part of the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Trust and we have 34 beds for patients transferred to us for further rehabilitation to improve function, promote independence and prevent the risk of further deconditioning as a result of their hospital stay.

Our inpatients often have complex presentations and may be frail elderly, with medical, surgical or orthopaedic co-morbidities. They may have had traumatic experiences such as falls with a long lie, and may have issues with fear of further falls and loss of confidence. They may also have cognitive decline and reduced capacity, and require thorough assessment of this and their home and social circumstances to inform the discharge plan and process.

The Newhaven Team consists of Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Rehabilitation Assistants as well as the Medics, Nurses, Health Care Assistants, and a Flow Coordinator. All the team work closely together with an integrated approach to deliver high standard of care and to facilitate our patients' assessment, treatment and discharge planning.

We are keen to expand our inpatient rehab program at the Unit and so there will be an opportunity to work both one to one with individual patients and also develop group programmes as needed.

Main duties of the job

To work independently as an autonomous practitioner by providing specialist assessment and intervention to individuals presenting with a range of physical, cognitive, social or perceptual deficits which impact on functional ability and safety within their home environment, using an evidence based and person-centred approach.

To ensure a proactive approach to rehabilitation to maintain and improve function and to facilitate timely discharges always thinking 'Home First'

To work closely with Physiotherapy colleagues, as well as the wider multi-disciplinary team. This will involve providing both formal and informal clinical support where necessary.

To provide supervision and leadership for relevant junior and senior members of staff and students on practice placement.

To participate in the planning, development and evaluation of Occupational Therapy Services within a designated specialist team.

This role requires you to liaise with many different teams, external agencies, families and NOK so excellent communication skills are essential. You should be highly motivated to work with this patient group, and be able to work sensitively and flexibly, and treat people with the respect and dignity they deserve.

To participate in a 7-day rota including bank holiday and weekend cover as required.

We would be prepared to consider a Band 5 to 6 development post, if at interview, you are the best candidate but it is agreed you need a period of time to sign off your Band 6 competencies

About us

Mission and values

The mission of University Hospitals Sussex - what we are striving to achieve - is to provide:

' excellent care every time'

All our efforts to do this put the interests of our patients first and foremost, and are underpinned by our values:
  • Compassion
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Respect
  • Professionalism
  • Inclusion

Job description

Job responsibilities

  • To work closely with the Head of Occupational Therapy and other Occupational Therapy Team Leads to ensure a professional and co-ordinated Occupational Therapy service.
  • To work closed with the MDT to ensure a professional and co-ordinated discharge.
  • To ensure that the team maintains up to date written and electronic activity data in accordance with professional and Trust standards.
  • To establish and maintain robust communication networks with clients, carers, colleagues, and other agencies, communicating with them in a way that respects their abilities, views, autonomy, and culture.
  • To communicate effectively with patients, carers, colleagues and other agencies, demonstrating developed verbal and non- verbal skills to communicate often complex concepts, managing barriers to communications such as dysphasia, learning difficulties, cognitive or sensory issues and different languages.
  • To establish and maintain communication with various individuals and groups on complex, potentially stressful topics in a range of situations.
  • To develop and maintain effective professional communication structures.
  • To promote awareness of the role of Occupational Therapy within the multidisciplinary team, negotiating priorities where appropriate.
  • To provide accurate and up to date documentation of all interventions, complying with Trust, departmental and professional standards and provide Occupational Therapy reports as appropriate and relevant to your clinical specialty.
  • To provide specialist Occupational Therapy reports, relevant to the practice setting.

Service Delivery and Improvement
  • To support and assist the Team leader in planning and delivery of Occupational Therapy service developments and policy in line with departmental development strategies, Trust objectives and current government agenda, and in consultation with the Head of Occupational Therapy.
  • To be actively involved in the Multidisciplinary Team service developments, in consultation with your Team Lead, leading on projects where appropriate.
  • To assess risk and manage it effectively within designated team, clinical and community settings used for occupational therapy.
  • To take responsibility for risk management and health and safety in the workplace by adhering to and promoting Health and Safety regulations, UHS and departmental policies.
  • To ensure the safe use, maintenance, and storage of equipment and to report faulty equipment in accordance with local policy and national procedures.
  • To regularly attend and contribute to Occupational Therapy staff meetings and other meetings as required.
  • To identify unmet needs and gaps in service provision and highlight to Team leader
  • To have good working knowledge of good resource management and budgetary constraints.
  • To be familiar with all project developments/initiatives and cascade to team members.
  • To participate in quality assurance service audit and outcome measures.
  • To participate in a 7-day rota as required.
  • To be willing to work cross-site and in other Teams on a short-term basis in times of service need.

People Management and Development
  • To support the Band 7 OT, Therapy Lead and Head of OT with providing leadership within your designated team.
  • To ensure that you and team members adhere to Health and Safety guidelines and maintain safe working environments and practices.
  • To represent Occupational Therapy at all appropriate service meetings.
  • To deputise for the Team Lead in their absence in the prioritisation of referrals and caseload allocation, balancing patient related and professional demands, discuss staffing implications with the Head of Occupational Therapy when appropriate.
  • To review and reflect upon own practice and performance through effective use of professional and operational supervision in line with Service and Trust policies.
  • To contribute to an effective supervision framework for Occupational Therapy staff and participate in the Trusts appraisal process.
  • To support your Team Lead with the induction, training, development, and appraisal of the other members of staff.
  • To contribute to the recruitment and induction of Occupational Therapy staff and other staff as appropriate.
  • To provide training to staff and students on specialist topics as agreed with the Team Lead
  • To initiate, plan and implement the induction, training and education of students on placement and any other new staff as delegated by Team lead.
  • To provide clinical supervision to other members of the Occupational Therapy Team as agreed with Team Lead.
  • To carry out staff appraisal in the capacity as supervisor as agreed with the Team Lead.
  • To be a student practice educator and to provide student practice placements.

Patient Care Delivery
  • To independently manage a caseload of patients with complex and variable needs using evidence-based principles to plan and implement effective assessments and treatment programmes.
  • To undertake comprehensive and timely assessments of patients utilising advanced clinical reasoning and analytical skills, responding rapidly to changes in patients clinical needs, functional needs and mental health status including assessing their ability to give informed consent for therapy.
  • To interpret and analyse clinical and non-clinical facts to inform accurate diagnoses and prognoses.
  • To carry out a wide range of interventions and treatment approaches.
  • To monitor, evaluate and modify treatment to measure progress and ensure effectiveness of interventions.
  • To use specialist activity analysis techniques in conjunction with patient centred practice to select and grade activities to achieve therapeutic goals.
  • To take the lead in recommending and carrying out the best course of action to develop goals and discharge plans.
  • To delegate appropriate tasks to more junior staff taking into account their skills and competencies.
  • To use persuasive skills to empower patients to engage with self-management through advice, education, coping strategies and therapy.
  • To use advanced analytical skills and flexibility to monitor, evaluate and modify treatment in order to measure progress and identify changes in patients medical status which is liable to change /deteriorate rapidly in both hospital and community settings.
  • To demonstrate a robust understanding of the implications of manual handling legislation and current best practice, applying this knowledge to the practice of therapeutic manual handling.
  • To develop effective therapeutic relationships with patients who may have complex cognitive, perceptual and behavioural needs demonstrating empathy and sensitivity to issues which may arise in hostile and emotive situations.
  • To apply specialist knowledge of the effect of disability and provide education and advice on lifestyle changes and any adaptations to patient environments to reduce recurrence of admissions.
  • To seek advice from MDT to inform analysis and reasoning where appropriate
  • To provide specialist advice within own field of expertise to colleagues working within other clinical areas.
  • To arrange for the rapid provision of appropriate standard and non- standard specialist equipment in order to facilitate discharges.
  • To conduct access visits and home visits to facilitate safe discharge and prevent readmissions, including the rapid provision and fitting of necessary equipment and frequent lone working.
  • To represent the OT Department participating in relevant meetings/ward rounds, to contribute to the planning of patient care and maintain a strong OT profile within UHS.
  • To provide advice and demonstration to patients and carers in the use of equipment and other techniques to optimise patients functional ability, independence and safety.
  • To identify and justify when a patient does not require OT intervention but needs other multi-disciplinary input or referrals to other services.
  • To refer to Community Services as appropriate, to provide short-term inpatient and community rehabilitation/carer input to address ongoing needs on discharge and manage risks at home.
  • To refer to third sector services as appropriate.
  • To be able to handover clearly and accurately the patients current needs.

Person Specification



  • oDiploma/degree in Occupational Therapy
  • oCurrent registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as an Occupational Therapist


  • oMember of The Royal College of Occupational Therapists
  • oMember of relevant RCOT Specialist Groups
  • oClinical educators course



  • oKnowledge of the role of an acute OT including the use of assessment, treatment and rehab interventions for Frail patients
  • oKnowledge of an integrated therapy model
  • oVaried post-graduate experience in a range of settings, including medical, surgical, older person's rehabilitation or a closely related field
  • oPrevious NHS, Social Care or equivalent experience
  • oExperience in the assessment of patients who have complex physical, psychological, emotional, sensory and social needs
  • oExperience in formulating treatment plans for older people with a variety of complex physical, psychological, emotional, sensory and social needs
  • oExperience in formulating SMART goals to aid rehabilitation, wellbeing and discharge planning
  • oExperience of using appropriate 'listening/counselling' skills when working with patient/family/carers to e
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