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RCOT identifies key components of personalised care

Royal College of Occupational Therapists urges a 'can do' culture to enable people to feel productive and valuable

Published on 14th February 2019

Focusing on a person’s strengths and balancing choice and risk is one of the key components to personalised care, the Royal College of Occupational Therapy has stated.

A new report from the RCOT has identified three key factors to enable personalised care and states that enabling people to take part in daily activities that are important to them and ensuring people stay connected to family, friends and communities are also vital.

Julia Scott, Chief Executive of RCOT, says: “Personalised care is about placing what matters to the individual at the heart of their health and social care. For occupational therapists, personalised care is about focusing on people’s strengths and enabling individuals to carry out the activities they need and want to do in their lives. It is intrinsic to our profession and always has been."

The report highlights that the current approach to health and social care focuses on what people can’t or shouldn’t do – often for fear of aggravating or exacerbating existing conditions and placing further burden on services for treatment.  Yet effective personalised care embraces risk taking so people focus on what they need and would like to be doing.

Furthermore, a ‘can do’ culture enables people with health conditions to feel productive and valuable both to themselves and the community.

When people can’t or shouldn’t do things, they end up isolated, lonely and disconnected from family, friends and the community. However, the RCOT warns that social connections are vital for a person’s wellbeing and enabling participation in the daily activities that are important to them often facilitates social connections.

"With around 50% of disabled people and 1.2 million people reporting being ‘chronically lonely’, there is a vast need to support wellbeing through social connections," the report adds.

Caroline Speirs, head of the organisation Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) said: “TLAP welcomes this timely report from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. Using occupational therapists wisely as a key component in the workforce to deliver personalised care will make a real difference."

"The breadth of their impact can be considerable from leading the training of other health and care staff, to advising on guidance and support services as well as working one to one with people with complex conditions. The Royal College has clearly stated how to make personalisation a reality and the focus on people’s strengths, balancing choice and risk is a keystone to personalised care to enable people to do what they need and want to do," Ms Speirs adds.

Ms Scott concludes by urging health and social care leaders, commissioners and managers to look to their occupational therapy workforce to enable personalised care across their services.

Making personalised care a reality: The role of occupational therapy

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