New training programme developed for perinatal occupational therapists

RCOT has been commissioned to produce training to support perinatal occupational therapists

Published on 29th April 2019

Occupational therapists working in perinatal mental health are to benefit from profession-specific training programme.

Health Education England has commissioned the Royal College of Occupational Therapists to produce a 'blended learning programme' for occupational therapists working in perinatal mental health.

Dr Sally Payne, RCOT professional adviser for children and young people who will lead on the programme’s development, said: "The expansion of perinatal mental health services has seen a rapid increase in the occupational therapy workforce, but we know that profession-specific training has not kept up with that growth. We are delighted to receive this funding and look forward to helping meet the burgeoning need of new and experienced professionals alike."

Perinatal mental healthcare provides support to mothers throughout pregnancy and in the first year after the birth of their child, when they are at high risk of developing a serious mental illness or exacerbating existing conditions.

The project will begin with a survey to understand therapists’ education and training needs and the survey findings will inform the development of a blended training programme.

The new training forms part of RCOT's growing support for perinatal occupational therapists. The RCOT held a networking day with 55 perinatal occupational therapists in March and a new clinical forum is being developed as part of the Specialist Section – Mental Health.

The training package will include e-learning resources and a series of regional events in the autumn.

For more information, email:


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