Assessment by an occupational therapist

Assessment by an occupational therapist

What do occupational therapists do?

Occupational therapists work with people who have a physical disability, a medical condition, a mental health difficulty or a learning disability. They help individuals who have difficulties with everyday tasks, such as preparing a meal, taking a bath, going up stairs or lifting their legs into bed.

The aim of occupational therapy is to enable individuals to live as independently as possible, whether at home, at work or at school/college. The occupational therapist can help individuals to adapt to changes in their everyday life and to overcome practical problems. They may do this by providing advice, recommending ways an everyday task can be done differently or recommending equipment or alterations for an individuals home. Occupational therapists work in health, social care or private practice and work closely with health, housing and educational services. There are over 26,000 qualified occupational therapists in the UK.

If you qualify for a Disabled Facilities Grant towards the cost of adapting your home then an occupational therapist is involved in the assessment process.

Obtaining an assessment with an occupational therapist.

To enquire about an assessment with an occupational therapist contact your local social services. You can obtain their contact details by entering your postcode on the directgov website.

Alternatively, if you wish to obtain private assessment or advice then you can search for a private occupational therapist on the occupational therapist in independent practice directory.

How do I know if an occupational therapist is properly registered?

All occupational therapists are required to register with the Health Professions Council (HPC) regulatory body. The HPC is responsible for the conduct, performance and ethical behaviour of its registrants. Occupational therapists who do not meet the standards of practice, conduct and behaviour required by the HPC are removed ('struck off') from the HPC register. Visit the HPC website to check the registration status of an occupational therapist.


Watch a short film from the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) explaining how occupational therapists help people carry out the activities they need or want to do:

Other health care professionals

Occupational therapists are not the only therapists who may be involved in your care.

Physiotherapists have specialist skills in the physical treatment and rehabilitation of people and offer a range of therapies including exercise, electrotherapy and manual therapy. The role of the physiotherapist is to improve and maintain a person's mobility and independence. For more information on physiotherapists visit the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP).

Trusted assessors are employed by some local authorities' social services. They may assess for and fit basic daily living equipment such as chair and bed accessories, rails, toilet equipment, household items and bathing equipment.