02 May 2022

The Occupational Therapy Pillar

Welcome to the Occupational Therapy Pillar of the Allied Health Professionals (AHP) Critical Care Professional Development Framework (CCPDF) . This pillar has been written to complement the existing AHP CCPDF published by the Intensive Care Society and should not be used in isolation. You should familiarise yourself with; and benchmark yourself against the CCPDF before you move on to using the occupational therapy specific pillar.

The expectation during the development of the CCPDF was that each AHP discipline would create their own pillars, focusing first on four professions – dietetics, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy. The intention is that AHPs have a common language and a consistent approach but also develop our own discipline specific skills.

These frameworks should be used alongside existing occupational therapy specific frameworks, such as RCOT Professional Standards for occupational therapy practice, conduct and ethics  and the RCOT Career Development Framework   to ensure all occupational therapists continue to meet the standards of practice and continue to develop within the field of occupational therapy.

The Occupational Therapy Pillar is a guide to the development and progression of occupational therapists within the field of critical care clinically, managerially, educationally and from a research perspective. The descriptors are broad due to the variability of critical care units nationally and the descriptors can be interpreted within the relevant setting. This allows for an element of flexibility in utilisation and can be used to meet the needs of different types of critical care services.

There is a wide range of experience in this area of practice, and there has been a recent expansion of critical care occupational therapy posts nationally. As such, the occupational therapy pillar will focus both on critical care occupational therapists new to critical care as well as promoting progression for occupational therapists already at specialist or advanced level within this field.

Occupational therapy is still an emerging area in many critical care units across the United Kingdom. Therefore, role promotion, as well as best practice service provision, are key focus areas for critical care occupational therapy.