New purpose built occupational therapy department opened at Mayo General

A new purpose built occupational therapy department was officially opened at Mayo General Hospital on Monday last - just in time for Christmas. The occupational therapy department at Mayo General Hospital relocated to the new purpose-built area to enhance the service and care provided to patients and clients attending the OT clinic. The OT Department is now situated on the second floor of the hospital near the medical wards.

Gracia Gomez-Kelly, occupational therapy manager, Mayo General Hospital, explained: “Following completion of these works, the OT department is now in an even better position to offer an excellent standard of care and professionalism by means of quality interventions within a single space. This results in an immediate benefit for occupational therapy patients, and these interventions are improving patients’ potential during their stay in hospital and are also facilitating in discharge planning outcomes.”

Occupational therapy assesses the patient’s level of function by observing the patient’s quality of performance in self-care skills, eg, bathing, dressing, feeding and mobility, and then treating the deficits identified and their impact on function and safety in areas such as upper and lower limbs, posture, functional mobility, and cognition–perception.

Gracia Gomez-Kelly added: “The overall aim of our treatments is to maximise the patient’s functional independence and safety level so, in the hospital setting, following our interventions, we make recommendations for an optimal safe discharge plan [ie, need for rehabilitation, long term placement, home care packages] and offer education programmes to the patient’s family, hospital staff, and other caregivers to promote that optimal function and overall safety.

“Since we have relocated to this new space, we are managing our resources in a more effective manner and we would, therefore, envisage that we should be able to deal with more new patients and increase the number of interventions per patient by the end of the year. We are also now in a good position to further develop as a fieldwork education site for OT students from Ireland and abroad, and anticipate that fieldwork education will also play a big part in the spread of the quality of our work following the students’ completion of each experience within our services. We would like to sincerely thank all of those who facilitated their own spaces to temporarily accommodate us for their understanding and for their support in order to complete our nine year journey to this new purpose-built OT area.”

The newly located OT department has specific designed areas to carry out OT treatments and assessments such as: Kitchen/cooking/meal preparation assessment area; splinting and upper/lower limb treatment area; physical/postural assessment and activities daily living re-training areas; cognitive/perceptual and limb function assessment room, which is also used to meet relatives and carers, and bathroom assessment area

The MGH occupational therapy team at the core of this ongoing effort to facilitate independent living styles and quality of life for patients is made up of three OT professionals, dealing with 1,100 new patients per year. Each member of staff is directing particular effort to critical care patients and, because of this, they take care of high dependency referrals from the male and female medical, surgical, elderly/stroke and orthopaedic wards. The team also offers some outpatient services and performs pre-discharge home visits when it is considered necessary to facilitate an easier transition for the patient from hospital to home.

Minister for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring, who formally opened the purpose built department for occupational therapy in Mayo General Hospital, stated: “This event marks a number of upgrades to services and facilities in Mayo General this year, notably the development of a full MRI facility which was formally opened last week and the appointment of a new consultant. Indeed I would like to take this opportunity to thank the fundraising groups involved and the staff of Mayo General for bringing that development to fruition.

“I understand the importance of occupational therapy for rehab and early discharge and the work that is done by the staff here contributes significantly to reducing the number of people on trollies.

Following on from that I want to congratulate the hospital on reaching the top five in the league of best performing hospitals in the country. This is a superb achievement and again I acknowledge the great work being done by all staff in this hospital.”


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