Special School Occupational Therapists

The Occupational Therapists (OT) based in Sheffield's special schools work with children and young people with profound and multiple learning and physical disabilities and their families, helping them to achieve their potential.

They assess for and provide specialist equipment such as beds, chairs and manual handling equipment. They also help children and young people develop everyday life skills such as dressing and feeding. Demand for this specialist input has significantly increased leading to delays in some requests being met.

The team met regularly with a Microsystem Improvement Coach to review their processes and make changes to reduce the time from receiving a request to it being met. Changing how they manage requests has reduced the average number of weeks to complete tasks from:


What changes have we made?

  • Introduced a job tracker form
  • Track and manage waits within complex multi stage jobs
  • Standardised letters and templates
  • Produced advice leaflets e.g car seats and home safety
  • Sensory workshops for groups of parents and patients
  • Regular meetings to share information and practice
  • Tracking forms to monitor equipment assessment and provision
  • Recruitment of therapy assistants with dedicated time to assist the OTs
  • Recruitment of a new OT so that each school has a dedicated OT


How have we done it?

  • Regular Quality Improvement meetings, using the Clinical Microsystems
    methodology, supported by an Improvement Coach
  • Small iterative changes using Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles
  • Regular measurement to show how processes are improving over time

It's been great to work together as a team to proactively tackle things head on that affect the quality of our service.

Clare Lawson
Occupational Therapist


Each small change has cumulatively led to a more efficient and effective service. Without the dedication of a Microsystems coach and the fortnightly meetings, we would never have made this much progress.

Jenny Featherstone
Team Leader for Community
Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy

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