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Essential services in the community

Our key objective for our OT’s working in the community is to focus our efforts on supporting the response to COVID-19. In line with the latest guidance from the Government and our regulatory/membership bodies, we have established a responsible and practical approach to working practices. In this statement we provide guidance on the criteria and approach for providing essential face to face OT services in the community.


We must establish a balance between the need for social distancing and the importance of working alongside other key workers in the community to alleviate pressure on healthcare system. Our criteria for requiring and accessing essential face to face services in the community are:

  1. Preventing hospital admission
  2. Supporting hospital discharge
  3. Mitigating situations of significant risk

How we define essential services

We can deliver any services that we currently offer across any of our specialisms, however, the goals for intervention will primarily be focused on the essential needs of the client in order to support the three core criteria listed above for delivering services in the community at this time.

Risk assessment

In order to determine whether a client falls into the criteria and we are able to deliver essential services, we will complete a risk assessment. There are two key areas we are assessing during this process:

  1. Does the client meet the criteria for essential services (defined above)?
  2. What is the risk of contributing to the spread of COVID-19?

Who can access our services?

Our essential services are open to any referrerals where the client meets the criteria above. Whilst we are anticipating the majority of referrals in this category to come from CCG’s, NHS trusts and social care, our goal is to support all clients and referrers in need of essential services including case managers, charities and private referrals from families.

Outside of essential services criteria

Following the risk assessment process there will be clients that do not meet the criteria for essential services at this time. In this scenario, once the referral is made, we will establish if it is possible to assist the client through our OT Practice Online service and offer this as an alternative, until such a time as it is deemed safe to visit in person.

If it is not practical to deliver care remotely, we will establish an active case file and liaise with the referrer or client to explain the situation. We will provide clear instructions to the referrer or client to monitor their situation and inform us should their needs change, which may move them into the essential category. The moment restrictions are lifted we will arrange to visit as a priority.