Careers in occupational therapy

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About us

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

At West Sussex County Council we are working to transform Adults’ Services by embracing a strengths-based approach and working towards a model that supports local communities and economies.

Our focus is on prevention and reablement, supporting family and friend carers, and supporting people to maintain their independence and autonomy. Our approach will move away from traditional types of support, towards solutions that work with people to keep them independent for longer and living in their own home and community.

It is important that people have a life, not just a service, and that they value the support they receive. We want to promote wellbeing and ensure people are safe and will work alongside our partners to achieve this.

Being an occupational therapist is rewarding, but it can be a challenging job and we recognise that to achieve excellent outcomes for our residents our staff need to feel supported and have opportunities to develop. We work hard to make sure occupational therapists have what they need to be the best they can be and make the most of their experience with us.

We provide a working environment that values professional supervision and support, as well as professional and clinical leadership through experienced senior practitioners and team managers. This provides our workforce with what they need to deliver the best possible outcomes for our residents. We work to ensure that innovation and evidence-based practice underpins what we do and that we maintain an environment within which our occupational therapists can develop and progress in their careers.

We have invested in continuing professional development and have clear career progression pathways, with many opportunities for training and learning.

We recognise the inspirational work our occupational therapists undertake on a daily basis to support our residents. So we invite you to come and find out more about us. If you have the talent and ambition to achieve the best for the people we serve, then we will support you to progress and develop throughout your occupational therapy career.

West Sussex

West Sussex

West Sussex is a beautiful county located on the south coast of England. Within easy reach of sandy beaches and rolling hills, West Sussex also boasts a perfect balance of cosmopolitan towns, such as Crawley and Horsham, and flourishing market towns like Chichester.

West Sussex has so much to offer and is a wonderful place to live, work and play.

If you want to find further information about one of the UK’s most diverse counties, visit Experience West Sussex.


Meet our teams

Locality teams

Locality teams

Locality teams:

  • undertake assessments of need (including Care Act and mental capacity assessments)
  • provide interventions which enable individuals to regain and/or maintain independence
  • offer a range of support solutions including advice and information, daily living equipment and recommendations for home adaptation
  • provide moving and handling expertise to facilitate care and support needs
  • work in partnership with partner agencies including health and housing (including environmental health)
  • undertake joint work with social work colleagues.

Blue Badge Assessment team

Blue Badge Assessment team

Blue Badge Assessment teams:

  • carry out Blue Badge eligibility assessments in line with Department for Transport’s local authority guidelines
  • undertake high standard assessments for people with physical and non-physical disabilities
  • signpost or provide person-centred therapeutic intervention and advice to people
  • include occupational therapists and physiotherapists who work in partnership with highways, health and social care colleagues.

 

 

Lifelong Services teams

Lifelong Services teams

Lifelong Services teams bring together a number of adult and children teams under one service to provide better outcomes for children, young people and adults with lifelong disabilities (learning, physical disability or autism acquired before the age of 25).

Our vision is to:

  • provide a consistent approach to working in partnership with people with lifelong disabilities, autism and their families
  • make the best use of community resources to provide a more joined up and coherent experience for the people we work with, enabling individuals to live a good life, as defined by them.

As an occupational therapist you would:

  • support children, young people and adults with lifelong disabilities to be as independent as possible across their whole life pathway
  • work in partnership with colleagues, including children’s and adults’ social workers, nurses, psychiatrists and special educational needs teams
  • provide equipment solution and recommendations for home adaptation
  • undertake assessments of need (including Care Act and mental capacity assessments).

The Moving and Handling team

The Moving and Handling team

The protection of staff and disabled people from manual handling and musculoskeletal injuries is a key priority for this team of six who work countywide.

The team:

  • delivers comprehensive training programmes to council employees and other organisations involved in moving and handling people, including:
    • occupational therapy staff
    • providers
    • education
  • provide advice and guidance, including risk assessment regarding the moving and handling of people with disabilities and/or complex health needs, for those involved in their care
  • take a lead role in/or contribute to safeguarding enquiries where there is a moving and handling component
  • embrace the most up-to date techniques and equipment in moving and handling to ensure best practice in this area
  • work in partnership with other services including education, health, commissioning and the Care Quality Commission.

Adult Care Point 2

Adult Care Point 2

The Adult Care Point team is office based and has approximately 35 staff. The team is made up of occupational therapists, social workers and assessment officers.

The team:

  • provides a first point of contact for customers requiring support from adult social care
  • provides an access point for children who require occupational therapy and sensory service support
  • completes strengths-based Care Act (2014) assessments by telephone, achieving many of the initial desired outcomes identified, without the need to make an onward referral
  • provides a reabling focus to support and give advice to support prevention
  • provides comprehensive knowledge of resources available throughout the county to connect people to their local communities and support networks.

Regaining Independence Service (RIS)

Regaining Independence Service (RIS)

The RIS is a countywide team comprising of occupational therapists and assistant occupational therapists.

The team:

  • undertakes assessment of need under the Care Act 2014
  • provides reablement for people:
    • leaving hospital
    • in the community who have experienced a recent loss of functional ability
    • who wish to return home from a care home setting
  • undertakes goal setting with people and implementation of these goals, working closely with care providers
  • provides equipment and minor adaptations
  • undertakes moving and handling assessments/risk assessments
  • works in partnership with other Adults’ Services teams, health and other partner agencies.

Why work for us

Becoming an occupational therapist

Becoming an occupational therapist

The title of ‘occupational therapist’ is protected in law by those who have qualified and are currently registered with the Health and Professions Council. 

To become an occupational therapist you will need to study an approved pre-registration degree programme accredited by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

The occupational therapy degree may be a three year full-time or four year part-time BSc course, or a two year pre-registration, post-graduate diploma or Masters.

All pre-registration degree courses combine both academic study and practical learning. The academic course components include theories and models relating to occupation and occupational science, the relationship between occupation and health and wellbeing and therapeutic interventions.

Practical learning involves a minimum of 1,000 hours spent on practice placements in a variety of settings, where you put into practice all the theory and knowledge you have learnt at university.

Information about occupational therapy as a career can be found on the Royal College of Occupational Therapists website.

Progression

Progression

As an occupational therapist, you will be expected to engage in a range of learning and development activities throughout your career to improve your practice and outcomes for service users, as well as maintain your registration with the Health and Professions Council.

These activities include:

  • reflective practice
  • workshops
  • conferences
  • project work
  • best practice forums, such as journal clubs.

You will be supported in your everyday practice and career development through a highly valued supervision structure. As a newly registered occupational therapist you will be guided through an early practice framework to build the knowledge, skills and behaviours associated with the role.

The progression pathway provides the opportunity for all occupational therapists to progress from newly registered Occupational Therapist to Senior Occupational Therapist. This is achieved through a portfolio route, supported by supervision and learning activities in order to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required at a senior level.

Our progression pathways will allow you to choose your own career path, so that you can make the most of your experience while working in West Sussex. Whether you want to carry on working on the frontline or move into management, we will support your career progression choice and aspirations.

We value our occupational therapy staff and have a track record of supporting further progression to senior practitioner and management roles, and West Sussex provides a management development programme to support this.

Pay and benefits

Pay and benefits

  • Annual leave of up to 29 days, plus the ability to buy additional annual leave
  • Excellent local government pension scheme
  • Flexible and mobile working opportunities supported by our technology
  • Access to our high-quality essential training and continuous professional development opportunities which can be tailored to your needs
  • Health & Care Professions Council fees paid for all occupational therapists up to Grade 12
  • Fantastic support for you and your family, including Tax-Free Childcare scheme (GOV.UK), career breaks and access to health and financial wellbeing schemes and benefits
  • Range of commuting and business travel discounts and initiatives

Supporting information


Apply

Use the link below to apply for one of our occupational therapy vacancies. We are always happy to speak with:

  • occupational therapy assistants
  • occupational therapists
  • senior occupational therapists
  • senior occupational therapy practitioners.
View and apply for occupational therapy jobs (external link) (external link)

Support - Be part of a strong, well-trained team which is both supported and supportive.
Balance - Opportunities for flexible working, with the right help, to achieve a good work-life balance.
Develop - Work towards your own progression through Continuing Professional Development and clear career paths.

Find out more or register interest

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