A SURVEY by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has found that 68% of its members in Wales reported an increase in demand for occupational therapy services and that 75% of its members in Wales feel as though they are unable to provide the necessary support to patients. The findings raise questions about the prospects of providing timely rehabilitation support, which is vital to people’s recovery from short term illnesses and the long-term management of health issues.
As the country begins to ‘live with COVID’, already overstretched, rehabilitation services have seen demand rocket over the past two years due to the COVID pandemic and are now seeing a further rapid increase in patients. The findings raise questions about the prospects of providing timely rehabilitation, for people recovering from short- and long-term illnesses, and need urgent support to live independently carry out their daily lives.
The survey, which over 550 occupational therapists working across the UK took part in, found that:
84% are supporting people whose needs have become more complex due to delayed interventions arising from the pandemic
82% of respondents noted increased demand for occupational therapy-led rehabilitation over the previous six months.
71% of respondents felt there were not enough OTs to meet demand.
66% of respondents reported difficulties in delivering rehabilitation services due to reduced access to facilities, suitable space and equipment.
50% are supporting people affected by Long Covid.
Commenting on the survey, RCOT Director of Practice and Innovation, Karin Orman said:
“It’s clear from this survey that rehabilitation services across Wales and the rest of UK are overloaded, with the vast majority of occupational therapists seeing a huge increase in demand and complexity of their caseload over the last six months alone. This simply isn’t sustainable and there isn’t a big enough workforce to currently meet demand.
“Across the UK, health and social care leaders need to invest more in rehabilitation services and drive the recruitment of more occupational therapists as a matter of urgency. Not in a few years but now. As leaders of rehabilitation services, occupational therapists are a vital part of the solution to getting through the backlog of people needing intervention. The maths is simple – the quicker people have access to rehabilitation services, the better their chances at getting back to doing the things they need and love to do.”
Russell George MS, Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee of the Senedd said:
“The Health and Social Care Committee has recently undertaken a detailed inquiry into the impact of waiting times on people in Wales. We firmly believe that effective rehabilitation and reablement are vital to ensure that people can stay healthy after they have received their treatment.
“A key recommendation of the committee to the Welsh Government is that the Minister for Health and Social Services should set out what action is being taken to ensure that health boards are providing suitable venues for the delivery of services such as rehabilitation and occupational therapy both in hospitals, on the primary care estate, and in the community.
“We look forward to receiving the response of the Welsh Government.”
Hywel Dda Health Charities use donations to create a tranquil room for their staff members
Thanks to donations, Hywel Dda Health Charities has bought comfy chairs and coffee tables for the refurbished staff room in Padarn respiratory ward at Glangwili Hospital.
Padarn Ward has moved to a new, permanent location and the staff room has been improved to make it a more relaxing area.
Lynwen Williams, Senior Operational Liaison Officer for Unscheduled Care at Glangwili Hospital, said: “The new furniture will help with staff wellbeing, making it more comfortable and inviting.
“The hospital’s League of Friends has also paid for a mural to decorate the staff room, so it is now a tranquil place.”
Nicola Llewellyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive.”
If you would like to support your local NHS, please visit www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk
Mae Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda yn defnyddio rhoddion i greu ystafell dawel ar gyfer eu haelodau staff
Diolch i roddion, mae Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda wedi prynu cadeiriau cyfforddus a byrddau coffi ar gyfer yr ystafell staff wedi’i hadnewyddu yn ward anadlol Padarn yn Ysbyty Glangwili.
Mae Ward Padarn wedi symud i leoliad newydd, parhaol ac mae’r ystafell staff wedi’i gwella i’w gwneud yn ardal fwy ymlaciol.
Dywedodd Lynwen Williams, Uwch Swyddog Cyswllt Gweithredol ar gyfer Gofal Heb ei Drefnu yn Ysbyty Glangwili: “Bydd y dodrefn newydd yn helpu gyda lles staff, gan ei wneud yn fwy cyfforddus a deniadol.
“Mae Cynghrair Cyfeillion yr ysbyty hefyd wedi talu am furlun i addurno ystafell y staff, felly mae bellach yn lle tawel.”
Ychwanegodd Nicola Llewellyn, Pennaeth Elusennau Iechyd Hywel Dda, elusen swyddogol Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Hywel Dda: “Mae cefnogaeth ein cymunedau lleol yn ein galluogi i ddarparu gwasanaethau y tu hwnt i’r hyn y gall y GIG ei ddarparu yn nhair sir Hywel Dda ac rydym yn hynod ddiolchgar am bob rhodd a dderbyniwn.”
Os hoffech gefnogi eich GIG lleol, ewch i www.elusennauiechydhyweldda.org.uk
Council end contract with Plas Y Bryn Care Home
FOLLOWING significant concerns with its financial position and an inability to pay their staff and creditors, Carmarthenshire County Council has had to give notice on its contract to provide care with Plas Y Bryn Care Home, Cwmgwili.
The residents at Plas Y Bryn are being supported by the council to find new homes by a dedicated team of social workers and managers.
Whilst this has come as a great disappointment to the Council, we have been providing significant financial support to ensure that the care company can meet its financial obligations and that care is not impacted. This has included bringing regular payments in advance to enable the company to pay staff salaries.
As a result, the council has had to take the difficult decision to give notice to the care company. The decision has not been taken lightly and we share the deep concerns that the people living and working in the care home will have.
There have been continued attempts to work with the operators to understand their financial position. A variety of alternative options have been considered but, unfortunately, due to the legal and financial circumstances that surround the care company, there are no viable solutions that can be found at this time.
We would like to recognise and thank the staff within Plas Y Bryn Care Home for their commitment to delivering high-quality care and highlight that the quality of care has at no point been a contributing factor to this difficult decision.
Cllr. Jane Tremlett, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Services, Carmarthenshire County Council, said:
“The welfare of the residents at Plas Y Bryn is of the utmost importance and we have acted quickly to support the care home to continue to provide excellent care of its residents.
“We are supporting residents along with their families and next of kin, during what is a very difficult and distressing situation, to find suitable and adequate accommodation for them to find new homes.
“On behalf of the council, I would like to express my gratitude to the staff at Plas Y Bryn for their invaluable work at the care home. We are also supporting them during this hard period as they continue to provide care to the residents.”
Ahead of the contract coming to an end, the council will be working with people and their families over the coming weeks to find new homes where they can receive the care and support that they require. Wherever possible, we will do our best to ensure that people are supported to move to locations of choice. Residents are also being provided with access to advocacy services to support them through this difficult time.
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