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Occupational therapy service

Fife Community Occupational Therapy Service works with *adults with disabilities to maximise independence, and/or enable safer care within a person’s home environment.

* If you require information on Occupational Therapy for Children, this is available on the NHS Fife website.

What can Occupational Therapy do?

We may be able to help if you are having difficulties with everyday activities such as getting out of bed, managing stairs, or getting in and out of a bath.

We will carry out an assessment - usually in your home environment. This involves working with you to identify what is making activities difficult. We would then discuss what may be needed to either help you live more independently, or to make it easier for others to assist you.

Examples of the type of assistance we may recommend:

  • Different and safer ways of doing things. We can also refer you to other services
  • Appropriate equipment to help with activities – for example, a higher toilet seat with arms to make it easier and safer to stand up and sit down, or a hydraulic lift to allow you to get up and down within the bath
  • Minor adaptations to your home – for example, an additional banister rail to make using stairs safer if you have reduced grip strength in one hand, or grab rails in the shower to give support while standing
  • Specialist removable adaptations within your home – for example, a suitable lift to enable you to access essential upstairs rooms in a wheelchair, or a ramp for wheelchair access to the community
  • Structural adaptations to your home – for example, replacing your bath with a wet floor shower area if it is not possible to get in and out of the bath with equipment, or widening doorways to allow wheelchair access
  • Advice about rehousing if your home is not suitable to adapt to your needs

What happens if I ask for an assessment?

If you telephone us or use the ‘contact us’ online form at the bottom of this page, please give us as much information as possible about what it is you want us to assess and why. After we receive your initial enquiry, we will phone you to discuss this further and to make sure that we are likely to be able to help you. We will ask you about any health conditions that affect your ability to carry out everyday tasks.

In some situations, we may be able to make a recommendation for specific equipment or minor adaptation from the information you give us over the phone. This will only be if you agree that a full home visit is not required, and you can give us enough information for us to make a safe recommendation. We might have to ask you for some measurements of rooms, bath, etc. We may also ask about your height and weight. This is just to make sure that anything we recommend will be suitable.

In many situations, we will need to visit you at home to carry out a full assessment. We have a high demand for assessments and operate a waiting list. Our waiting list is prioritised based on the level of risk you are at, taking into account the possibility to reduce that risk (by not carrying out an activity or doing it in a different way) while waiting for assessment.

Prioritisation is based on Fife Council Social Work Eligibility Criteria.

You will receive a letter confirming that you are on our waiting list. This will provide you with a contact number if your situation changes while waiting.

How much does it cost?

Our information and advice are free.

Any equipment we supply is on loan and is free of charge. We require you to return it when no longer needed. Information on how to return equipment can be found on the Fife Equipment Loan Store (FELS) link below:

You can also return equipment via Fife Council recycling centres.

There is no charge for minor adaptations. These are carried out via Fife Council unless you live in a Housing Association Property. In these situations, we will submit a recommendation to the Housing Association.

If you live in a privately owned property and need a structural adaptation, you may have to pay a maximum of 20% of the cost.

The Housing Disability Adaptation Grants Booklet will provide more information.

Other sources of help

Not everyone needs a full Occupational Therapy assessment or wants to wait for one. If you are beginning to have some difficulties managing everyday tasks at home, you might be able to find a solution via Fife’s online self-assessment tool Smart Life in Fife.

The system behind Smart Life in Fife is based on validated scientific research and extensive testing. It focuses on activities of daily living such as bathing, getting around, and housework. It also provides access to a wide range of professional advice and recommendations on home safety, local amenities, and general health information.

The online system allows you to select the area of the home where you or your family members are having difficulties. You are guided through a step-by-step assessment process to identify what solutions might be best for you

You may be given:

  • Advice regarding exercise and ageing well
  • Links to local amenities such as "On Your Doorstep"
  • Links to local and national assistive equipment providers
  • Links to general health information via "NHS Inform"
  • Loan equipment from Fife Community Equipment Store
  • A recommendation that you require a face-to-face assessment

To start your self-assessment, go to:

www.smartlifeinfife.org

You will need an email address and a Fife postcode to sign up and create an account.

This website has some links to other sources of information and help that may help you to resolve issues independently.

Equipment that may be provided by other services – (unless Community Occupational Therapists are already working with you)

Moving and Handling equipment (mobile hoists, stand aids, slings, adjustable hospital bed):

Community Occupational Therapists may be able to order some moving and handling equipment if already working with you. If you have a Care at Home package and carers will be using equipment, then usually the Care at Home service will be the most appropriate service to assess and order these items if required.

If you are in the hospital and this equipment is required for discharge, hospital-based staff will usually order this. Otherwise, it would usually be your GP surgery/district nursing service that will be more appropriate to assist you if a mobile hoist, hospital bed, or mattress is required. In the community, all pressure care mattresses must be ordered by a Community Nurse.

Wheelchairs:

Contact your GP Surgery for assessment by District Nurse / GP. If you need to contact the wheelchair service to ask about an existing referral to them, the number is 01315379177. You can also contact the Red Cross or Shopmobility which may be able to provide a short-term loan.

Commode and incontinence products:

Contact your GP Surgery District Nursing Service.

Mobility equipment (such as walking sticks, zimmer frames, and rollators):

Occupational Therapy staff can issue some mobility equipment if already working with a service user. Otherwise, a referral should be made to physiotherapy. A GP surgery can refer. Direct referrals can be made to ICT SPOA: fife-uhb.icassreferralsfife@nhs.scot or 01592 729555.

Small equipment:

Small kitchen equipment such as:

  • specialised cutlery, plates and cups
  • jar openers and lever taps

and dressing equipment such as:

  • shoe horns
  • easy teachers
  • sock aids
  • grabbers

can be privately purchased from local pharmacies and some larger branches of Supermarkets, or through online suppliers. These are not supplied via the Community Occupational Therapy Service.

Smart Life in Fife may also signpost to where these can be purchased.

If you need to contact us for any further information:

Social Work Enquiries
Tel: 03451 55 15 03
Online: Social Work - Contact Us

Related Publications

Housing Disability Adaptation Grants Booklet