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Specialist Occupational Therapist

Devon Partnership NHS Trust
Depending on experience
Closing date
3 Dec 2023

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Occupational therapist
Band 6
Contract Type
Part Time
We are looking for a Specialist Occupational Therapist to join the adult Learning Disability Intensive Assessment and Treatment Team (IATT) community team based at Follaton House, in West Devon.

Occupational Therapy is a large and well respected profession within IATT teams, our work is integral to the Learning Disability evidence based care pathways to include Behaviours that Challenge, Dementia, Mental Health and Complex Health. Occupational Therapy contribute to the formulation and planning of Positive Behaviour Support Plans, memory clinics, STOMP and much more. We have a strong role in supporting the development of capable environments around the needs of our client group. Our core business as Occupational Therapists is specialist assessment and intervention to ensure people are meaningfully engaged in their lives to maximise health and wellbeing promoting engagement in meaningful occupations.

The post holder will provide management and clinical support to junior Occupational Therapy staff based within the team alongside Occupational Therapy students and apprentices. Therapists are encouraged to be innovative and motivated in contributing to the leadership and development of the Learning Disability Occupational Therapy service.

Due to the large geographical area of work suitable access to transport will be required.

Working as part of Devon Partnership NHS Trust, you will make a difference to peoples lives from the moment you start.

Main duties of the job

We are looking for an imaginative, creative and enthusiastic Occupational Therapist to work with people with learning disabilities displaying distressed behaviour who have complex needs. The post holder will focus on assessing and providing specialist Occupational Therapy interventions and/or consultation and advice to support people to be an active member of their home and community, promoting engagement in meaningful occupations.

The post holder will have experience of managing a specialist caseload of adults with severe and complex learning disabilities who have additional health needs in a variety of settings in the community.

The post holder will have experience in utilising specialist evidence based assessment and outcome measurement.

We welcome applicants looking to develop their skills in this field or therapists who are considering a change and who will bring transferable skills and new solutions from different areas of expertise.

The Occupational Therapy post is based within the West Intensive Assessment and Team (IATT) at Follaton House, Totnes. The clinical work undertaken will be across West and South Devon area. There are also some team-wide functions that the therapist will contribute to.

About us

About Devon Partnership Trust

We provide mental health, learning disability and neurodiversity services, as well as a range of specialist & secure services for the wider south west region & nationally. We are passionate about promoting good mental health & wellbeing. We strive to use the expertise & resources within our organisation, and through our partnerships, to deliver high quality services that are safe & focused on people's recovery.

We are committed to developing a culture of coproduction, involving patients, families & carers in everything we do

Our values

We not only recruit based on qualifications & experience - we recruit individuals who possess & demonstrate the behaviours which underpin our Trusts core values. These include such attributes as showing a commitment to quality of care, improving lives of others, giving respect, dignity & compassion. We can bring those values to life in our everyday tasks by giving a smile making time for people challenging ourselves & others, & being open to new ideas.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer & applications are encouraged & welcomed from all sections of the community, regardless of any protected characteristics as governed by the Equality Act 2010. Part time & flexible working applications will be considered & supported, where possible. We particularly encourage applicants with lived experience of mental health conditions, neurodiversity or learning disabilities. We are a Disability Confident Leader.

Job description

Job responsibilities

As a senior practitioner working the post holder will:

Provide specialist occupational therapy for people whose primary reason for referral relates to the effect of their learning disability and complex distressed behaviour / dual diagnosis upon their occupational engagement and performance

Work autonomously to develop and provide a specialist occupational therapy service within the team

Work within the multi-disciplinary team, with carers, other services and agencies to promote mental health and wellbeing, independence, community inclusion and competence for those referred, via assessment, care planning, individual interventions and training

Be regularly involved in supporting and consulting on complex transitions e.g. to new home environments leaving school admission and discharge from inpatient services

Work in peoples own homes, day service and work settings as well as a variety of other community locations including inpatient services

Communication and Working Relationship Skills

Provide the first point of contact and advice for Occupational Therapy for adults with a learning disabilityand additional mental health issues and complex distressed behaviour in the team

Relay complex, sensitive information to people with learning disabilities and their carers with empathy and in a way that they can understand

Contribute to and lead (as agreed) meetings and represent Occupational Therapy or the team when required

Build and maintain effective working relationships with team colleagues and with relevant community partners

Keep written and electronic records according to Trust policy

Provide professional advice and consultancy to the clinical team lead, multidisciplinary team members, carers and other services

Understand the diverse communication skills of people with learning disabilities and use Total Communication strategies to promote the best possible communication with them

Maintain professional links and share skills with other Occupational Therapists in Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Liaise, where appropriate, with other Occupational Therapists in the locality by participating in staff meetings, discussions and planning

Analytical and Judgemental Skills
  • Complex facts or situations requiring analysis, interpretation, comparison of a range of options
  • Skills for assessing and interpreting client conditions, appropriate diagnosis and therapy
  • Ability to reflect and critically appraise own and others performance
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to understand causes of distressed behaviour and adapt responses appropriately

Planning and Organisational Skills

Plan, prioritise and organise own workload as well as the workload of any staff supervised by the post holder, monitoring and adjusting activities and programmes as necessary

Contribute to the development, implementation and delivery of service development projects and policies for adults with learning disabilities

Responsibility for Patient/Client Care, Treatment and Therapy

Assess, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate specialist Occupational Therapy programmes as part of an overall team care plan

Manage own caseload of clients referred to the team - prioritising referrals and applying highly specialist skills and knowledge in meeting the needs of people with complex distressed behaviour, additional mental health issues, sensory or physical impairments and profound and complex needs

Use graded activity and client centred approaches to achieve therapeutic goals, considering the holistic needs of the individual and relevant environmental factors

Assess and review levels of risk as part of the assessment process enabling individuals with complex distressed behaviour and additional mental health issues to engage in purposeful and meaningful activities and occupation, wherever possible accessing ordinary community facilities

Communicate with clients and carers appropriate to the individuals level of communication, emotional needs and mental state, responding appropriately in difficult and stressful situations

Joint work with colleagues, as well as other relevant partner agencies, in a flexible, co-operative way as part of an overall treatment/care plan, supporting mainstream health services to make reasonable adjustments where needed

Clearly and succinctly represent the role of Occupational Therapy and share skills and knowledge with a range of other agencies (e.g. health and social care colleagues, specialist workers in learning disabilities and Occupational Therapy colleagues in Adult Community Services, hospital teams and mental health services) to enable access to mainstream services wherever relevant

Plan and lead training specific to the Occupational Therapists specialist role within this field

Liaise and work closely with carers, relevant agencies and colleagues to promote occupational performance of individuals referred, providing on-going consultancy, mentoring and advice to meet the clients needs

Support complex clients and staff teams during transitions which may include staff training as necessary

Contribute/lead relevant service user planning and review meetings including CPA where required

Plan and lead groups when this is deemed a suitable method of service delivery

Comply with the College of Occupational Therapists Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, and practice in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council Standards, and Trust policies

Ensure all treatment records are completed according to Trust policy, service protocols and professional standards

Adhere to the principles of clinical governance. This will include participating in a range of quality standards and activities, including contributing to the Trusts and professions clinical governance initiatives

Undertake such duties as required to ensure maintenance of a quality Occupational Therapy service to people with learning disabilities in the locality as agreed with the clinical team and professional leads

Responsibility for Policy and Service Development Implementation

Contribute to service improvement and development

Ensure own continuing professional development is on-going and relevant to the post and is recorded according to professional and local protocols

Participate in research and audit activity

Contribute to the planning, organisation, maintenance and leadership of professional projects and interest groups

Keep up to date on relevant government and local policy and guidance in relation to best practice for learning disability and complex distressed behaviour

Represent the occupational therapy service as required

Responsibility for Finance, Equipment and Other Resources

Be responsible for ordering and maintaining equipment and consumables

Ensure an up to date inventory is kept of all specialist Occupational Therapy equipment held in the team

Responsibility for Human Resources, e.g. Supervision, Training, HR Advice and Management

Participate in regular management and clinical supervision

Undertake annual Performance Development Review with the Clinical Team Lead and Professional Lead

Provide supervision and support to designated junior staff as agreed with clinical team lead & Lead OT

Act as an OT practice placement educator and contribute towards practice placements

Ensure efficient management of time and resources

Participate in training of self and others as relevant to the post

Responsibility for Information Resources and Administrative Duties

Ensure all records are up to date and compliant with Trust policies

Responsibility for Research and Development
  • Undertake surveys/audit as necessary to own work
  • Regularly undertake research and development activity
  • Participate in clinical audit

Freedom to Act
  • Clearly defined occupational policies, work is managed rather than supervised
  • Autonomous practitioner working within codes of practice/guidelines
  • Responsible for a caseload in the community

Person Specification



  • At least 2 years post qualification experience
  • Experience of working with people with communication difficulties
  • Experience in managing a diverse workload including those exhibiting distress and with complex disabilities
  • Previous experience of working in a multi-disciplinary team including those within the wider support network of service users


  • Student supervision
  • Administration of standardised assessments



  • Diploma/degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Good stan
    Any attachments will be accessible after you click to apply.


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