Devon County Council

In Value of Occupational Therapy by COT Editor

Occupational therapists help save over a quarter of a million pounds

Devon County Council reviews double-handed packages of care to support individuals and carers in their own homes to be as independent as possible and to self-manage their condition(s). The service is available to all adults living in Devon who meet the Care Act eligibility criteria. A review of double-handed packages of care in 2014 identified 386 double handed care packages across the county at a cost of £3.2m /year for a second carer. This has led to severe shortages in care capacity within the marketplace and delays in discharge due capacity issues. The occupational therapists work with hospital discharge teams to review new double-handed packages within 2 – 4 weeks of packages being commissioned and facilitate discharge where sourcing double handed care is difficult and intervention is required to avoid delayed discharge or a residential admission. The occupational therapists also review existing clients to review each package, working with providers to reduce the level of support required, where possible and to raise awareness of techniques to reduce the need for double-handed care.

Cost savings for 12 months

(Note: this is not based on a full year for all three posts due to staggered start dates. Northern Area started 16/03/2015, Southern Area started 01/05/2015, Eastern Area started 15/06/2015)

Salary costs: 3 x band 6 O.T.s for 12 month period = £38,610 (with on-costs) = £115,830

  • North: Net savings = £91,822 p.a.* Care hours released for use elsewhere: 123.75 hours per week
  • South: Net savings = £167,407 p.a.* Care hours released for use elsewhere:225 hours per week
  • East: Net savings – £74,818 p.a. * Care hours released for use elsewhere:120 hours per week

Total savings = £ 334,047 p.a.  *

(*Net savings assume care level for the individuals remain constant for 12 months)

Hours of care released for use elsewhere:  468.75 per week = 24,375 per year

In addition across the 12 month period the occupational therapist interventions prevented or avoided increases in care costs totalling £170,000 (assuming care level remains constant for 12 months) and avoided an additional 183 hours of care being required or provided.