Our professional body the College of Occupational Therapists has insisted that the new Care Act Guidance in England, must increase the commissioning of OT services.
The New Statutory Guidance for the Care Act in England has been published recently by the Department of Health. It is crucial in supporting local authorities to meet their obligations under social care law, when it comes into force in April 2015.
Occupational Therapists have always been a key part of the social care workforce. We have the skills and knowledge to deliver these new changes in care and support, including in assessment, rehabilitation, reablement, and vocational rehabilitation.
Going forward, occupational therapists will be a key asset as they already cover health and social care agendas working holistically to be the benefit of their communities. So by ensuring increased commissioning of OT services, this skilled set of workers can help local authorities meet the wider needs of the changing populations and locality work.
The Care Act will overhaul social care legislation that has remained unchanged for 40 years, introducing a care and support system that is clearer, fairer and fit for the future. COT has lobbied extensively throughout the Act’s development, meeting policy makers and politicians to champion OTs’ skills across social care.
Key successes have included actively lobbying that OTs are equally able to assess under the Care Act and for more overt recognition of provision of equipment and adaptations.
Julia Skelton, COT’s head of professional operations said: ‘We welcome this supporting guidance for the Care Act in England, which will improve the daily lives of people using care and support services. The Act marks a sea change in social care, giving the individual choice, control and ensuring their needs and wellbeing are central to everything we do. ‘