Vocational rehabilitation

Denise Slack, clinical lead (OT), gives an introduction to vocational rehabilitation in this short video:

Vocational rehab (VR) encompasses interventions that are focused on helping individuals with a health condition or impairment to overcome barriers to work and so remain in, access or return to employment.

Provided by our specialist occupational therapists and rehabilitation assistants using bespoke strategies, our VR service is effective in all of the following situations:

  • Increasing meaningful activities
  • Retraining
  • Education
  • Voluntary work
  • Paid employment
  • Retirement
  • Exploring alternative opportunities
  • Supported work exit
  • Monitoring current employment
  • Return to previous employment

The JSP vocational rehabilitation intervention

The JSP vocational rehabilitation intervention

For more information or to refer to a client to our VR service, please contact Denise Slack, clinical lead (occupational therapy) on 0114 229 0100 or deniseslack@jspsh.co.uk

Recent successes:

Getting started in a vocation

Peter had plenty of drive and motivation to change but life was just not offering him the opportunities that would normally be presented to a young man of working age. 10 years ago, Peter acquired a brain injury and was having trouble initiating a career pathway on his own.

Applying specialist skills and experience in neuro rehabilitation to Peter’s situation - understanding him, his functional capabilities, his cognitive impairments and his capacity to improve and focusing on his interests, needs, likes and school history - means that Peter’s occupational therapist has quickly been able to help him turn his life around. Peter has learned a trade and gained a qualification - and there are now many doors open to him. His confidence and sense of self-worth has been boosted by his success.

Maintaining employment

John sustained a brain injury early last year and had returned to work full time. He was experiencing severe fatigue, somehow managing at work, but his performance wasn’t like before. He was becoming more irritable at home and had begun a course of anti-depressants.

John was suffering from the dripping tap effect - he had sustained a mild brain injury and had thought ‘everything will be fine when I get back to work’. Specialist occupational therapy time spent with John was focused on his functional skills and analysing the impact his cognitive impairments were having on the skills he was using for work. Job analyses were carried out and the occupational therapist was able to pin point where and why John was struggling in his work.

As a result of being given the reasons why he was struggling, John has been able to adopt compensatory strategies and, working with the occupational therapist, his employer has been able to make reasonable adjustments to his role. John is now maintaining his responsibilities at work while balancing his home and work life.

Pre vocational skills and a change in career path

Getting back to work or accessing work is sometimes the easy bit. Getting ready for the journey can be the most important part of the process. This is what we call pre vocational skills.

Barry was living with his sister who was providing full time care for him. Although he was physically fine, Barry had a severe cognitive impairment. All he wanted to do was return to work as an accountant - this was his driving force. The specialist occupational therapist worked meticulously with Barry, taking him through all the necessary steps that would lead to this end goal.

But sometimes vocational rehab isn’t always about returning to your job - it can be about a supported exit.

Barry had to learn to remember to brush his teeth and change his clothes, how to shop and cook for himself, and to manage his fatigue. He could no longer drive and had to learn all the local bus routes. These kinds of tasks are what we call pre vocational skills. The occupational therapist and Barry continued to focus on work - though not as an accountant, Barry went onto successfully gain employment at his local library. Without professional support, he would never have been given this opportunity.

When an individual has worked hard to get where they are in their career, it’s not easy to change - but with the skilled and supportive help from a specialist occupational therapist, the transition can be made easier.

Read more about our vocational rehabilitation service

For more information or to refer to a client to our VR service, please contact Denise Slack, clinical lead (occupational therapy) on 0114 229 0100 or deniseslack@jspsh.co.uk