Careers in occupational therapy

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We are looking for innovative occupational therapists who are passionate about making a difference.

About us

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Join us and you will get:

  • 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
  • development - work towards your own progression through Continuing Professional Development and clear career paths.

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 moves 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. 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

Beautiful West Sussex is located on the south coast of England and is one of the most diverse counties in the UK.  

Our county boasts the picturesque rolling hills of the South Downs to the north and stunning beaches to the south. There are many market towns, the cathedral city of Chichester and the internationally renowned Goodwood estate, known for its horse racing and motorsport. We have so much to see and do for the young, old and everyone in-between!

Not only is our county home to Gatwick airport, we also have good transportation links to areas such as London, Brighton and Portsmouth, making visits and commutes within easy reach. 

West Sussex truly has so much to offer and is a wonderful place to live, work and play. If you want to find out more, visit Experience West Sussex.

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August 2021

August 2021

Leah Dawson has been nominated for the Genuinely Valued Award

"The Regaining Independence Service has undergone a lot of change in recent months. Leah always responds positively to this change; she listens, asks questions and offers helpful feedback to senior team members and her colleagues. This week she was told that she would need to pick up some additional work: Leah responded by re-prioritising her caseload and making space in her diary to accommodate these additional cases. She also volunteered to take out some students on visits, despite the extra time that this would require of her.

"Leah, you work so hard and you are such an inspiration to your colleagues. You maintain positivity and enthusiasm for your work, even when faced with adversity. You contribute positive feedback during team calls and meetings and encourage constructive discussion among your peers."

May 2021

May 2021

Elizabeth Heater has been nominated for the Customer Centred Award

"Always putting the person at the centre of what she does and excellent person centred skills through her assessments and treatment planning. Lizzie always puts the customer at the centre of everything she does and passionately advocates on their behalf to ensure they get the service they deserve.

"In a recent case, Lizzie was especially good at listening to what the customer wished to achieve, keeping everyone involved regularly updated with excellent communication skills."

December 2020

December 2020

Congratulations to Helena McNamee, one of our team managers, who has been awarded a Trust and Support Award

Picture of Helena McNamee
Helena McNamee

The following statement explains why Helena won the award:

"Helena is our manager and a great one at that. She encompasses all a manager should be by leading us well and supporting us when we need it. She is always open and honest which encourages others to do the same creating a high level of respect amongst us all and clarity.

"A quality I find great in Helena, is that she would never ask you to do something she wouldn't do herself. She always gets stuck in and shares her knowledge with us which is always so valuable.

"A kind considerate person who we are lucky to have as our manager. You can trust that if you go to Helena with a problem, issue or worry she will go above and beyond to help you solve this. You know that she'll be honest with you which aids understanding and learning which then in turn benefits our customers.

"With her expansive knowledge of occupational therapy, we as a team have greatly benefitted from this and she encourages us to develop our knowledge which betters us as individuals and as a team. We feel lucky and grateful to have Helena as our manager and she makes us wants to always strive to achieve the best."

Meet our teams

Locality teams

Locality teams

Our locality occupational therapy teams undertake assessments to establish need, using a strengths-based approach.

They work in partnership with several agencies and use a variety of solutions to enhance independence, including advice and information, daily living equipment, moving and handling skills and recommendations for home adaptations.

Expert Assessors (Blue Badge) Assessment Team

Expert Assessors (Blue Badge) Assessment Team

West Sussex County Council's highways department employs occupational therapists to undertake mobility assessment for residents with physical and non-physical disability who are requesting a Blue Badge.

Our occupational therapists assess and identify a person's eligibility for a Blue Badge and provide people with advice and information for maintaining wellbeing.



Lifelong Services

Lifelong Services

Our Lifelong Services teams have a unique focus, supporting people with lifelong physical disabilities, learning disabilities and autism (acquired before the age of 25).

We know that a dedicated and strengths-based approach to disability, working in partnership with individuals and their families, can make a positive difference, enabling individuals to live a good life, as defined by them.

Our occupational therapy team is unique in working across the lifespan of disability, helping children, young people and adults to live independent, productive lives.

We believe the best staff get the best outcomes. As an occupational therapist in Lifelong Services 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 solutions and recommendations for home adaptation
  • undertake assessments of need (against relevant child or adult legislation).

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 small team who work countywide.

The team:

  • deliver 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 (ACP2)

Adult Care Point 2 (ACP2)

Adult Care Point 2 provides the main front door for adults requiring support from social care.

The team consists of occupational therapists, social workers and assessment officers who complete a strengths-based Care Act (2014) phone assessment and work with the person to identify solutions.

Following assessment, the occupational therapist at ACP2 provides advice, information and, for example, equipment, minor works or adaptations such as stairlifts/level access showers.

Where required, signposting onto statutory and non-statutory services is also undertaken.

Regaining Independence Service (RIS)

Regaining Independence Service (RIS)

The Regaining Independence Service is a countywide team comprising of occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and a physiotherapist.

It provides short-term intensive reablement to people living at home. Following a Care Act 2014 assessment, the occupational therapist will work with the person to identify reablement goals and wellbeing outcomes.

The occupational therapist will then provide a reablement intervention plan to the reablement provider to support the person to achieve their goals. They will also provide advice, information, equipment, adaptation and care to support the person to remain well and at home.

Why work for us

Professional development

Professional development

We are committed to developing all our occupational therapists’ professional development and career opportunities. Unlike many other organisations, our senior management positions are held by occupational therapists, which shows just how dedicated we are to development and progression.

Your continual professional development is supported with a range of learning opportunities to support your career. When you join our service, we offer a robust and thorough induction. You are also supported to learn community practice and process through a variety of learning opportunities, including weekly professional supervision with a senior occupational therapist.

Thereafter, you can expect professional supervision every four weeks and informal support from the occupational therapy team throughout your career with us.

Career progression

Career progression

Formal appraisal supports an ongoing dialogue between you and your occupational therapist supervisor/line manager to support your career aspirations.

We have a firmly embedded progression framework which you are fully supported to achieve, offering early practice framework growth and development for newly qualified staff, and occupational therapy Masters' module opportunities for our senior occupational therapists.

We are committed to developing leaders for tomorrow and to achieve this we have access to management apprenticeship opportunities and Value-Centred Leadership modules for senior occupational therapy clinicians.

Diverse opportunities

Diverse opportunities

We have a variety of different teams you can join, including:

  • locality adult occupational therapy with acquired physical disabilities
  • Lifelong Services occupational therapy (working with children, young people and adults with physical, learning disability or autism acquired before the age of 25)
  • moving and handling advisors
  • Regaining Independence short-term reablement occupational therapy
  • duty occupational therapy at the County Council's adults’ access point
  • expert assessor, occupational therapy (Blue Badge).

We are also keen to support secondment opportunities as they arise. Examples of this include an occupational therapist undertaking a secondment to work on a falls project and occupational therapists supporting the hospital discharge reviews due to the impact of COVID-19.

Occupational therapists also sit within our Learning and Development Team and Learning and Development Steering Group, ensuring that occupational therapy training needs are embedded in the County Council’s training plans.

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


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.

All roles will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Should you want to find out more about our teams and the opportunities available, the relevant manager would be more than happy to speak to you:

Find out more or register interest

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