Southwark adopts virtual approach to accelerate timely support for daily living

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Use of virtual technology by the social care team at Southwark Council is empowering them to more efficiently prescribe feasible outcomes to support activities of daily living and enable people to remain in their homes. 

The Authority’s Children & Adult Services department is one of the first to utilise remote video conferencing as a platform to provide training on the practicalities and technicalities of stairclimbers as a realistic intervention. 

Organised with Britain’s #1 stairclimber provider AAT, the virtual meeting enabled the occupational therapy team to explore the range of devices, consider how these can be accessorised, in order to gain insight into the practical considerations in prescribing a stairclimber.

“If someone has impaired mobility, the perception on the whole is that they need a fairly major adaptation to their home to enable them to get up and down stairs,” explains Gareth Brown AAT Technical Director. “With COVID impacting so much on the practicality of occupational therapy teams across the country to undertake home assessments and expediate adaptations, there is growing need for alternative strategies that are realistic, practical interventions. 

“Virtual conferencing is becoming an accepted methodology for meetings, home assessments and CPD sessions. It made logical sense to Southwark and us to extend its application for technical  training, in situations where the healthcare professionals need to actually see how the function and scope of a device can be appropriate, and how it integrates with the  PEOP model for a positive outcome. “

Added Clare Weale, Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist at Southwark, whose brainchild the session was, “ We need to have practical sessions to develop a technical framework as to what is feasible and therefore realistic as an intervention. With current working practices because of COVID, a virtual session was the closest we could come. Adoption of such new practice is essential for our team to continue to build on our professional skills, and deliver outcomes to improve people’s wellbeing, where stairs or steps present as environmental barriers to participation in daily living. 

“The AAT virtual workshop was interesting and informative. It gave our clinicians the necessary knowledge of what may be a technically feasible option with more complex equipment prescription, that may not otherwise have been considered.”

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