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Ross-shire occupational therapist helps achieve positive outcomes for NHS Highland patients

By Gregor White

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Lynsey Brown (centre) with other members of her team.
Lynsey Brown (centre) with other members of her team.

An occupational therapist with NHS Highland has been talking about her role in getting patoents back into their own homes.

Lynsey Brown is a team lead in the discharge to assess team for the Mid Ross area within NHS Highland.

"I am an advanced practice occupational therapist," she said.

"I lead a small team of four assistant practitioners and we jointly assess patients’ functional abilities, identify ongoing rehabilitation and we provide care and assistance in the patient’s own home.

"We assess patients in a timely manner after discharge and we identify achievable and meaningful goals to enable each patient to return to live as independently and safely as possible.

"The team assess patients over a period of up to seven days and our aim is to help minimise the time patients spend in hospital and maximise their independence at home."

On why her job matters she said: "We understand that patients are more comfortable and confident in their home and they often improve in familiar surroundings.

"This can lead to more positive outcomes for our patients.

"It also helps to improve the flow in and out of hospital and this can help reduce the length of stay and the pressures on our hospitals, especially in winter."

Working with patients she said: "Our assessment includes all functional activities of daily living and can also include self-management techniques, sign posting, equipment and minor adaptations.

"The team will support patients to identify achievable goals to enable them to live as independently and safely as possible.

"We have a close working relationship with the Reablement team and we refer patients who have ongoing rehabilitation needs to them for up to six weeks of input.

"We regularly refer on to other professionals including physiotherapy, social work and nursing colleagues for support.

"As part of our full assessment we can refer on to third sector agencies including befrienders."

Lynsey qualified as an occupational therapist (OT) in 2010, working in acute care before moving to community nursing in 2012 and working in a rapid response team in both Edinburgh and Lanarkshire.

She moved to the Highlands in 2021, first as a community OT in Inverness before moving to her current post in 2022.

"I really enjoy my job," she said. "I have great job satisfaction supporting patients to return home and enabling them to return to their previous level of independence.

"The team support a huge number of hospital discharges often in quite challenging environments and circumstances.

"I feel very fortunate to work as part of a very supportive wider integrated multidisciplinary team."

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