Health specialists pledge to ensure residents live independently

This story was published 11 November 2022

Work to ensure people with care and support needs in North Yorkshire can continue living in their own homes for as long as possible is being stepped up through closer working between organisations.

Five people cutting a cake

As the county’s existing eight local authorities merge into the new North Yorkshire Council in April 2023, it is hoped new opportunities will emerge for liaising closer with housing services and the NHS to help with adapting homes and providing equipment, as well as other practical support for people to live as independently as possible.

We have a team of 60 occupational therapists who work across the county to help ensure those who need assistance to live safely in their own homes get the support needed.

The team has used the national Occupational Therapy Week, which runs until Sunday (13 November), to make personal commitments to improving the way the service operates, as well as cataloguing simple tips that people can use to support them in their everyday lives.

These range from using simple techniques to help move legs when getting in and out of bed, to making food and drink preparation easier in the kitchen and to help with vehicle access. See details about Occupational Therapy on our website.

This year’s Occupational Therapy Week has focused on the importance of collaboration in North Yorkshire, to help ensure all those involved in assisting people with care and support needs work towards the best outcomes.

Executive lead for health and adult services, Cllr Michael Harrison, said: “The work done by occupational therapists in North Yorkshire is vital, helping people maintain the independent lifestyles they want to enjoy.

“This has the added effect of taking pressure away from the care system and it is encouraging to know our therapists are constantly looking for new and better ways to work.

“Like so much in public life, the best results can be achieved through joint-working and I am pleased to see this being fully explored.

“Occupational therapy can also be good for those who do the work. It is a satisfying career, but also provides a pathway for other opportunities for those who wish to advance into other areas.

“The fact therapists, and others within health and adult services at the council, have been willing to make both personal and professional pledges to help do their jobs to maximum effect speaks volumes of their commitment and we should all be proud of the efforts they make.”

Principal occupational therapist, Jill Ellerton, added: “Occupational therapy is a broad and rewarding career choice, with lots of opportunities to help people make a difference in their lives. We are always keen to welcome new people to the profession and we are looking at how we can develop apprenticeships and training posts in the new future, so that more people will come and join us.”