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ARRS Roles - Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists are playing an increasing role in primary care. They enable people living with a range of health problems and chronic conditions to overcome the barriers so they can participate in everyday life and improve their health and wellbeing.

Occupational therapists assess the needs of people to do what they need and want to do (occupations). They develop plans with patients, so they can re-engage in everyday life, despite their health and social difficulties.

Through intervening early and taking a collaborative approach occupational therapists are able to address what matters to people. This can minimise crisis situations, prevent further deterioration and promote independence and social inclusion. HEE

Occupational Therapists can help GPs to support patients with a range of needs:

Frail older adults

People with mental health problems

Working age adults with employment difficulties

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists provide monthly drop- in sessions for Occupational Therapy students, clinicians, managers and education leads to find out more about the role and to support the role in primary care, there is a timetable of sessions available throughout 2023, click here for more information and to register.

To join the Occupational therapy in primary care network to receive newsletters, relevant information/resources and have access to the Network Hub, click here.

Training and Development

A BSc degree in occupational therapy is required to work as an occupational therapist in any setting.

· HEE Primary care FCP training must be completed as the minimum threshold for entry to primary care and be supported by appropriate governance and indemnity.

· HEE primary care FCP training can begin 3-5 years after the completion of the postgraduate degree. HEE

This occupational therapy version of the educational pathway and framework is applicable across the life span dependent on the scope of practice, appropriate knowledge and skills that may apply to specific patient groups, and the job description that the FCP Occupational Therapist is working under. Health Education England provide regular updates about the roadmaps here.


Example of a job description


Useful Links

First Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Occupational Therapy) A Roadmap to PracticeFirst Contact Practitioners and Advanced Practitioners in Primary Care: (Musculoskeletal) A Roadmap to Practice (

Occupational therapy in primary care - RCOT

How PCNs can benefit from using occupational therapists - Pulse Intelligence (

Occupational Therapists in primary care | Health Education England (


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Updated on Monday, 21 August 2023 985 views