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Occupational therapy

What is occupational therapy?

Occupational therapy helps people with physical impairments, medical conditions, learning disabilities and mental health conditions to live more independently. An occupational therapist (OT) can work with you on everyday tasks you may be struggling with, such as getting dressed, making food or getting around, and suggest ways to make the task safer and more manageable, for example, by doing it in a different way or using a piece of equipment. As a key part of West Sussex County Council's Independent Living Service (ILS), occupational therapists can help you make the most of your abilities and reduce your reliance on others.

How could an occupational therapist help me?

An occupational therapist will usually assess you in your home to see what your strengths and difficulties are. Following your assessment they may:

  • provide advice and information or demonstrate techniques to help you manage everyday tasks
  • loan you equipment free of charge for as long as you require it– (the Independent Living Service does not provide wheelchairs or walking aids as these are supplied by the NHS)
  • organise minor adaptations like rails if your disability prevents you getting around your home safely
  • help you plan and organise major building works to your home if it is very difficult for you to live independently or the layout prevents you getting around
  • discuss options if building work is impractical or you might be better moving to different accommodation
  • help those offering you care, for example, if you have trouble with mobility or movement, they may advise about handling techniques or special equipment.

Request an occupational therapy assessment

If you think some advice or equipment from an occupational therapist would help you, speak to your GP, or ask West Sussex County Council’s Adults' CarePoint for an occupational therapy assessment. You can also ask for a reassessment if your condition has changed and the equipment you have is no longer meeting your needs.

Contact Adults' CarePoint
Online: online enquiry form
Phone: 01243 642121
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 9.00am-5.00pm (excluding bank holidays)

Community Equipment Service

NRS Healthcare has been commissioned to run an equipment service on behalf of West Sussex County Council and Sussex Community NHS Trust.

Following an assessment by an occupational therapist, community nurse or physiotherapist, the service can provide items such as:

  • bath seats, toilet frames and grab rails
  • hoists and manual handling equipment
  • nursing equipment, such as special beds and pressure prevention mattresses
  • equipment for people with sight or hearing impairments
  • specialist equipment for children with physical disabilities.

The equipment is loaned to you and there are no financial assessments or charges. The service will deliver it, make sure that it is safely fitted, if necessary, and show you how to look after it.

Returning equipment

Each year up to £250,000 worth of loaned equipment is not returned, so please return anything you no longer need. NRS Healthcare will collect your unwanted equipment free of charge if it has a barcode. It will then be thoroughly cleaned and loaned to someone else who needs it.

Please contact NRS Healthcare direct if you have equipment to return.

NRS Healthcare Collections
Phone: 0845 127 2933

Further Information

Have a look the Equipment House to see what equipment is available to help you around your home.


AskSARA provides guided advice about daily living equipment. You can find solutions to a wide range of activities in the home that might present you with problems.

Visit the Reablement and recovery and Housing matters pages for more information.

If you are looking to hire a wheelchair for a short period of time the Red Cross may be able to help.

Hire a wheelchair from the Red Cross

If you want to pay for an assessment by a private occupational therapist the following website can assist you in locating a private practitioner.

College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section -Independent Practice

Last reviewed: 14/03/2019

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