Sharing good practice

Date added: 18 May 2018

The Vocational Rehabilitation team from Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust has been highlighted in a report published by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) this week. ‘Getting My Life Back: Occupational therapy promoting mental health and wellbeing’ reveals a range of innovative occupational therapy service that focus on prevention and early intervention in mental health services.

Representatives from the Occupational Therapy led Vocational Rehabilitation Service, along with two ex-service users, were invited to a prestigious launch event at the Houses of Parliament on 16 May.

Commenting on the report, Occupational Therapist and Vocational Rehabilitation Lead, Jeanette Freeman said: “We are delighted that the team’s work has been highlighted as an example of excellent and innovative practice which the RCOT believes should be replicated across the country.   One key aspect of the service recognised was the hugely successful Job Taster Programme which offers some service users the opportunity of undertaking work experience within the trust for twelve weeks of which over fifty percent have returned to paid employment.  The report demonstrates the value of Occupational Therapy within a Vocational Rehabilitation Service and how it drastically improves lives and saves money. We have already worked with hundreds of people to help them return to work from unemployment and to return to existing work. The trust itself recognises the benefits of employing people with lived experience as they have also gone on to employ some of our service users in many roles including peer support workers, Occupational Therapy and administration.  There are huge benefits to employing someone with lived experience, for both the employer and the service user.

However it’s important to recognise it’s not just working with service users. Jeanette added: “We’ve also worked alongside our service user’s employers and by providing individualised, early intervention job retention support many people have successfully returned to work and retained their work.”

View a copy of the report.