Grisbrooke, Jani and Scott, Saffron
Moving into housing: experiences of developing specialist occupational therapy posts in local authority housing departments
British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72, (1), .
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The pathways for the delivery of adaptations to the homes of people with disabilities are complex, incorporating social care expertise together with funding and building experience from housing professionals. Integrating the housing and social care departments does not necessarily lead to smoother working. A number of authorities have taken the option of moving or seconding occupational therapists from social care into housing to have better coordination of the delivery of adaptations and improvement of working practice between the disparate professionals involved.
This qualitative study aimed to explore, through semi-structured interviews, the experiences of nine occupational therapists establishing and developing these new posts. Background information about the establishment of these posts was collated. The thematic analysis of data by two researchers taking an interpretive phenomenological perspective identified five themes: practitioner freedom versus isolation, strategic versus operational roles, professional cultural differences, learning and development, and evaluation and aspiration.
For managers founding such posts and for practitioners moving into them, the findings of this study offer insights into what helped and hindered these practitioners, what surprised them and how their development needs were identified, which informed their intentions for the future of their posts.
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