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Occupational therapy

What the service does
How to access the service
Location of service
Useful links


What the service does

Occupational therapy is practical support to help people overcome challenges that stop them doing activities or occupations. They work with patients to identify strengths, skills and needs in carrying out day-to-day activities.

Occupational therapists take into account the environment, for example home, school or work. They then work with the patient to overcome the barriers that are stopping them doing what they want to do.

Further information on occupational therapy is available here.

Who the service is for

People of all ages who are experiencing difficulties through injury, illness, disability or major life change. This includes physical disability, learning disability and mental health problems.

Occupational therapy for children and young people

Occupational therapists can help children and young people who are not able to do daily activities due to:

  • illness
  • disability
  • family circumstances
  • changes as they get older

Support is offered to the child or young person, their family and others such as teachers. This help is provided across a number of the child’s natural environments such as home, school or other relevant community settings. Specialist assessments and interventions will also take place in our local clinics.

Occupational therapy activities for children or young people may include:

  • self-care, for example dressing, eating a meal, using the toilet, making a simple meal
  • being productive, for example participating in activities at school or volunteering
  • leisure, for example playing with friends, enjoying sports or hobbies

How to access the service

In hospital: patients are referred to the service by medical, nursing, social work or allied health professions staff.

In the community: referrals are made through call centres.

  • For people living in South or East Belfast, telephone 028 9615 8200
  • For people living in North or West Belfast, telephone 028 9615 8100

If you have a query about the occupational therapy service, please contact 028 9504 0311 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Location of service

Occupational therapy staff work on acute medical and surgical wards in the Belfast City, Mater and Royal Victoria Hospitals.
Occupational therapy is also provided in Wellbeing and Treatment Centres, Day Centres, Special Schools and in people’s homes.

Useful links

Royal College of Occupational Therapists


Locations where this service is delivered