Disabled people
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Who is responsible for referrals to Occupational therapy?

dawnpardoedawnpardoe Member Posts: 3 Listener
edited September 2017 in Disabled people
Hi there my name is dawn and I'm trying to find out who is responsible for a referral to occupational therapy?? I have tried school , school nurse ,  gp,  consultant from hospital, and they all passengers the buck saying they cannot help x


  • dawnpardoedawnpardoe Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Sorry that was pass the buck 
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dawnpardoe

    A very big welcome to you to our online community and site.

    I'm very sorry that they are all passing the buck.

    I had worked within the NHS "10yrs" 

    Your GP is the 1st place too go to for your referral.

    l have got some info for you from the "NHS Choices Website"


  • dawnpardoedawnpardoe Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Steve thankyou I have been to my gp and he is telling me it's community?? Asked the school nurse and she said she will look into it.... this has been going on over 12 months now.
  • steve51steve51 Member Posts: 7,175 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @dawnpardoe

    No problem, do you want me to look into it for you ????

    I'm so sorry to hear that you have had this problem for so long !!!!
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Have you tried asking OT who has to make the referal ?

    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    @Jean_Scope do you know about this?
    Senior online community officer
  • StayceStayce Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    edited September 2017
    Hi @dawnpardoe
    Not sure this is helpful or not. I know exactly what you are describing- GP told me I could not access occupational therapy in the 'community' because this service is for housebound only. A consultant referral is the only way to get OT from my experience 

  • NystagmiteNystagmite Member Posts: 609 Pioneering
    Can you self refer?
  • StayceStayce Member Posts: 396 Pioneering
    Only if you go private.

    The problem is that OT is considered an 'expensive' service, therefore it becomes difficult to get someone to refer when you need it, due to costs involved to NHS (hence the passing the buck between different clinicians)
  • Jean_OTJean_OT Member Posts: 528 Pioneering
    edited September 2017

    Hi @dawnpardoe

    OT departments will normally accept referrals from a range of health and social care professionals: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/occupational-therapy/Pages/accessing-occupational-therapy.aspx

    Often the GP will be centrally positioned in supporting a person's health care needs, co-ordinating referrals, but other professionals can make referrals if they can see there is a clinical need.

    As @stayce has already pointed out OT can be perceived as an expensive service (despite the fact that research shows that OT interventions actually save the NHS money overall). Also there is a national shortage of OT's. It appears that because of the perceived cost implications and sometimes limited availability there can be gatekeeping that goes on, in effect, to ration the service.

    If you are still struggling to get a referral, despite asking the school nurse etc to support you, I would suggest that you make a double appointment to see the GP so that you have time to talk. Explain the situation to the GP, explain how you feel your child is being denied a service that you feel is essential, due to a reluctance of professionals to take responsibility for a referral. Ask the GP to make a referral, if they refuse, ask them to explain precisely why. Is it because they don't feel your child meets their referral threshold? or is it because they think another individual/department should be making the referral? If it is the latter, ask the GP to write to that person/department saying that in his/her opinion your child would benefit from them making a referral to OT.

    Unfortunately, chances are that even when you child eventually gets a referral there may be a wait of several months before an appointment is received.

    Are there any pressing issues that you are hoping the OT might be able to address that in the meantime you could get support for from another source? 

    It would be interesting to hear if you manage to get this problem resolved

    Best Wishes


    Jean Merrilees BSc MRCOT

    You can read more of my posts at: https://community.scope.org.uk/categories/ask-an-occupational-therapist

  • Sam_AlumniSam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,731 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks a lot @Jean_Scope :)
    Senior online community officer
Sign in or join us to comment.