Alert Section

Occupational Therapy


The Occupational Therapy service in Flintshire is available to anyone who has significant ongoing health conditions which affect themselves and their families when carrying out their everyday lives in their homes and communities. As a profession, they have a belief that 'occupation' is fundamental to people's health and wellbeing. Therefore, supporting people to carry out their roles and meaningful activities underpins occupational therapy practice (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2017).

In line with the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014 and the Occupational Therapy Code of Conduct (2016), the service aims to support people to overcome their barriers and build on their strengths, providing the necessary levels of information and advice to support them to meet their outcomes. Where specialist intervention is required, the team are able to provide Moving and handling guidance plans, Housing reports and access routes to equipment and adaptations where these are the optimal solution.

They work in partnership with people in the community and other professionals, to provide their expertise in contributing to person centred solutions being identified. 

How we can help

In Social Services Occupational Therapists and Disability Officers work as part of the First Contact OT Intake team, Reablement and Locality Services, and there is an occupational therapist in Housing Services. (Another leaflet is available for ‘Occupational Therapy Services for Children’).  The Consultant Lead Occupational Therapist can be contacted on 03000 858 858 or e-mail SSDUTY@flintshire.gov.uk for further advice and information.

Referrals
You or someone on your behalf, can contact our First Contact Team if you require support, to discuss what you would like to achieve.  They will support you by having a conversation to find out what matters to you, to identify your strengths but also to discuss what is stopping you achieving your goals.  They may be able to give you the necessary information to enable you and/or your family or community to find a solution yourselves at this point. 

If this is not the case, a referral, known as an enquiry would be recorded and shared with the relevant team.

Triage
Incoming referrals are screened by Team Managers within three working days and advice would be provided regarding signposting should they not be deemed appropriate.  The manager may ask for further information to be obtained to support this decision.  Any actions that can be supported immediately will be done so, such as providing information or advice to reduce risks.

The teams are unable to provide an emergency response so in case of urgent need, please contact your GP, NHS Direct or 999 as you feel appropriate.

In most cases, referrals will be added to our waiting list for allocation as soon asthe team has capacity.

Allocations
The wait for most cases ranges from days up to three months generally following triage, depending on the assessment required.  All teams work as hard as they can to complete their work whilst ensuring that those they work with feel fully listened to and supported.

If you have any worries during this wait or would like to ask any questions, please contact the number above to leave a message or email the address above and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Assessments
You may benefit from an assessment, where a Disability Officer or Occupational Therapist will visit to discuss your outcomes in person.  An assessment is really a conversation which starts with what is important to you and what you would like to achieve.  We are happy to involve your family or carers as appropriate.

This is an opportunity to reflect on what is working well and what things are not going so well.  All options will be considered and discussed before a plan is drawn up.  This may take more than one visit and may require the involvement of others to assist in gathering all the information and making things work.  This information will be recorded on our assessment form on our PARIS electronic system and you will receive a copy along with any other forms we complete.

We are trained and have experience working with people with disabilities so that we can assist you to meet your outcomes whilst considering your individual circumstances and environment.  As well as discussing your situation, we may need to observe how you to do things to form part of the assessment.

Interventions
At this point, we may be able to give you advice to support you, your family or community to find solutions to promote your independence and wellbeing.  We have close links to voluntary services, charities and community groups that you may wish to contact.  We also have information on types of equipment you could buy or changes you could make to your home or routine to make life easier for you.

An assessment by our Reablement Occupational and Physiotherapists may be recommended, particularly following a hospital admission or change in abilities, to show you new ways to manage things and support you to get back to normal.

As well as providing you with information and support, the occupational therapy team are able to request equipment and adaptations. 

To ensure that these are accessed fairly to support all those in need, in line with the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014, the Occupational Therapist and Disability Officer would be required to ensure that these are essential for meeting your outcomes and that they couldn’t be provided in any other way.  A management panel meets each week to ensure that requests made are proportionate and fully considered in order to ensure that resources are used fairly.

Please note, however, that where people are tenants of the council, housing associations or private landlords, the landlords have to consent to any adaptations (building works or fixed equipment being fitted), even if the Occupational Therapist and management panel support these. 

To discuss a referral please contact:
Social Services, Preswylfa, Hendy Road, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1PZ.
Tel:  03000 858 858
Email: spoa@flintshire.gov.uk

If you have any further questions regarding the Occupational Therapy service please contact: The Lead Occupational Therapist on 03000 858 858 or email: SSDUTY@flintshire.gov.uk  

Questions and complaints
If things go wrong - we are aware that despite our best efforts there may be occasions when a service user has a complaint.  Any complaint about services can be made to your Occupational Therapist or Disability Officer or the Team Manager.

If you wish to make a formal complaint this should be made to the Social Services Complaints Officer.

Adaptations to Support Independence

Adaptations to people’s homes aim to support them to remain as independentas possible and to carry out their daily ‘occupations’, such as looking after themselves, getting around in their homes and out into the community to do the things that matter to them.

The Welsh Government’s ‘Enable’ scheme is a way of people finding out more about the support they need irrespective of whether they live in their own home or rent privately or through the council or housing association.

They class the adaptations as small, such as grab rails and stair rails; medium, such as stair lifts and level access bathrooms and larger which may involve planning and building regulations to achieve.

Some small adaptations, such as grab rails, can be obtained directly by contact with your landlord through this scheme (information on the Welsh Government website


Assessment
Occupational Therapists and Disability Officers employed by Flintshire Social Services are skilled in carrying out assessments and making recommendations about the type of changes that would support you, your family or carers to be involved in daily life.

In some cases, recommendations may be for simple grab rails that give people peace of mind and confidence, and may be something that people are happy to fund themselves with the right advice and information.

In line with the Social Services and Wellbeing Act (Wales) 2014, as part of the assessment, other aspects will be discussed which could lead to achieving outcomes, including possible changes to lifestyle, use of different techniques and/or equipment or when works would be considerable, consideration of the benefits to moving to somewhere more suitable.

Grants available
For larger scale adaptations, there is a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) which is normally for those living in their own homes or renting in the private sector.

It is a means tested grant mainly for work over £1000 (Contact 01352 703434 for further information) and needs a recommendation from the Occupational Therapist.

A DFG is up to £36,000 dependent on the request being made and for any request over this amount, a discretionary loan could be applied for.  In the case of children, they are not means tested for the DFG but would still need to meet the criteria following assessment.  It cannot support works already undertaken by those with a disability.

Those living in housing associations are able to apply for grants, again needing an occupational therapy recommendation, through their housing association (Physical Adaptation Grant, PAG) which sometimes affects rent payments to cover maintenance costs.  In council properties, there is a budget assigned to carrying out this work.

It is important to remember, however, whatever the occupational therapy recommendation, it is up to the landlord to agree to carry out adaptations and they will consider requests in line with the best use of their housing stock for all residents.

Private works
For those wishing to carry out private works, please contact Care and Repair, a charity for the elderly and disabled (01352 758700) who have a range of approved contractors and their own team who can support.

Even in these circumstances, it is possible to contact social services for guidance and assessment to ensure costly mistakes are avoided.

Maintenance and Servicing
It is important to note that some equipment fitted through these grants require regular servicing and maintenance to keep them in good working order.  If you live in your own property, it is likely that you will take responsibility for this once warranties run out, so please discuss prior to the work being carried out so that a plan can be put in place.

In council or housing association accommodation, you will need to be aware of the systems in place.  Please contact your housing team if you have any queries.

For help and advice contact if considering an adaptation:

Equipment to support independence

Equipment can be used to support people in their everyday lives to continue to do the things that are important to them.  It is often available online, in local disability shops and national chains as well as via specialist organisations.  A list of places can be found at the end of this information, although this is not exhaustive.

Often people can access the right solution themselves by contacting our services for impartial advice and information.  The Welsh Government are encouraging people, their families and friends to find solutions wherever possible with the introduction of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Act 2014.

This allows our services to focus on those that needs us most.  If someone has ongoing needs and even with this information, don’t feel confident to follow this through, we can offer a proportionate assessment, and in some cases a trial of equipment to ensure it is likely to work for you before you purchase something.

This offers the opportunity to think about what is important to you and discuss ideas of how it can be achieved.

For those with more specialist needs, a more detailed assessment is carried out focusing on the ‘occupations’ or day to day activities you want to carry out and the support that you and/or your carers need.  Specialist equipment is trialled alongside other solutions, such as examining routines and techniques that may help and in some cases adaptations.  A plan is drawn up with yourselves and/or carers and families to establish who is responsible for what elements of the plan.  This may involve specialist moving and handling or telecare equipment which may need regular servicing.

For help and advice contact:
Single Point of Access on 03000 858 858
Social Services, Preswylfa, Hendy Road, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1PZ
Email: spoa@flintshire.gov.uk 

Community Resources
You can find out your nearest chemist by calling NHS Direct Wales on 0845 46 47 or on the web at www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk

There are also special shops selling equipment - see Yellow Pages under “Mobility & Access” or on the web at www.yell.com

Some local providers include:

  • Disability Resource Centre, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Sarn Lane, Bodelwyddan, LL18 5UJ.  Tel: 01745 341967 or visit www.disabilityresourcecentre.uk
  • DSL Mobility Ltd, 141 Holt Road, Wrexham, LL13 9DY.  Tel: 01978 253520 opr visit www.dslmobility.co.uk
  • Ableworld, 17 Georges Crescent, Wrexham, LL13 8DA.  Tel: 01978 358588.  St David’s Retail Park, High Street, Saltney, CH4 8SN.  Tel: 01244 675608 or visit www.ableworld.co.uk
  • Vision Support Unit 1&2, The Ropeworks, Whipcord Lane, Chester, CH1 4DZ.  Tel: 01244 381515 or visit www.visionsupport.org.uk
  • North Wales Deaf Association 77 Conway Road, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL29 7LN. Tel: 01492 530013 Fax: 01492 532615 SMS: 07719 410355 or visit www.deafassociation.co.uk
  • The Disabled Living Foundation is a charity offering free, impartial advice about all types of equipment for older and disabled people.  Their helpline is on 0300 999 0004 or go online to www.dlf.org.uk.

Note:  All information is correct at time of print (November 2019) but may require checking.

Flintshire County Council do not take any responsibility for actions of individual companies.