Occupational therapy must be at the forefront of the new Scottish government’s commitment to healthcare, as the nation recovers from COVID-19, leaders in the sector have said.
Writing in its manifesto for the 2021 Scottish Election, the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) argued that OTs play a “unique and valuable role” in working across the NHS, social services, in care homes and the community, enabling people to live fulfilled lives, as well as relieving pressure on health and care services.
Alison Keir, Professional Practice Lead Scotland, said: “We are calling on the new Scottish government to support access to occupational therapy services aid the nation’s recovery from COVID-19 and support individuals to be happy and productive citizens.
“By supporting candidates that have committed to our key asks, occupational therapists will be best placed to assist their service users and support heath, social care, and the third sector in Scotland.”
RCOT has urged the next government to provide citizens with direct access to occupational therapy services that will enable people to live fulfilled lives; increase occupational therapy services for children and young people; ensure the right to community rehabilitation by investing in these services; and deliver parity between health and social care.
The manifesto was sent to parties at the end of last year to encourage them to consider its key asks when writing their manifestos.
RCOT has urged its Scottish members to engage with this year’s elections, and petition their candidates to commit to supporting the key asks should they be elected.