Launch of new Occupational Therapy resource guides to support families and children across Norfolk and Waveney

7th November 2023

Two new comprehensive resource guides, designed and published by the Norfolk and Waveney Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services, are being made available to local families, health and care professionals and schools.

These resources cater to children of all ages, from infants to adolescents and cover topics such as dressing, toileting, using cutlery, skills for learning and play, sensory regulation and much more.

The launch of these new resources comes during Occupational Therapy Week 2023 which began on Monday 6 November and finishes on Sunday 12 November.

The Schools Occupational Therapy Handbook is a resource for schools, early years staff and other health and social care professionals to support participation in home, community, schools, and early year settings. 

The handbookprovides a wide array of evidence-based techniques, activities, and best practices in Occupational Therapy tailored for school settings. The pages have been designed to provide quick reference for use in settings or to share with families.

The handbook is being distributed to school and early years settings across Norfolk and Waveney.

Further information, links and resources can be found on the Just One Norfolk Website.

The Occupational Therapy Digital Library is a new digital resource for parents, caregivers, educators and health and social care professionals seeking expert guidance and tools to support children’s success in everyday activities.

The digital library houses an extensive collection of articles, videos, interactive activities, and downloadable resources.

This resource is designed to empower families, caregivers and educators with knowledge and tools to best support children and young people in their journey to reach their full potential with their daily activities.

This resource is available online making it easily accessible to busy parents seeking to integrate Occupational Therapy ideas into their daily routines. So, whether you’re a parent looking for quick tips or an education, health or care professional seeking information, this new platform has you covered.

The Occupational Therapy Digital Library can be found online here.

Partners involved in developing these new resources are NHS Norfolk and Waveney integrated Care Board (ICB), Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust and our Children’s Occupational Therapy teams across Norfolk and Waveney.

The resources launch the first stage of our Children’s Occupational Therapy service transformation and the joint commissioning strategy between NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care Board (ICB) and Norfolk County Council (NCC).

Rebecca Hulme, Joint Associate Director – Children, Young People and Maternity NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB and Norfolk Children’s Service, said: “We are delighted to launch these new resources which are designed to empower families, caregivers and educators with the knowledge and tools to best support children and young people.

“These resources will provide the knowledge and tools to nurture healthy, happy, and thriving children and young people by supporting them to develop everyday skills and to promote successful participation in school, community and home life.”

Cllr Penny Carpenter – Children’s Service Lead Member, said: “We are really excited to support this launch.  The digital resource and handbook will be a vital product to all professionals who work with children, young people and their families, as well as families themselves.  Norfolk County Council are committed to supporting children and young people to Flourish and see this as an important part of enabling families to do this.”

Sian Larrington, Head of Service for the Norfolk and Waveney Children and Young people’s Health Services, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support the development and launch of these new digital resources. It has been a great example of partnership and collaboration across the children’s system which supports an ambition to equip professionals who are working with children, young people and families with the best knowledge and tools to help get the right support to regain their independence, build their confidence and reach their full potential.”

Amie Swithenbank Head of Service –  Children’s and Young Peoples Services Norfolk Community at Health & Care NHS Trust, said: “Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust has enjoyed watching these resources develop over time and have valued our key clinicians being part of the process. This is great example of collaborative working and keeping Children and Young People’s needs at the centre of the work. These inclusive resources are supporting Norfolk’s commitment to the FLOURISH ambition.”

Paul McDermott, Occupational Therapy Service Lead – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital said: “This is an exciting development and marks some great collaborative working across different organisations across the region, both in Health and Social Care. I have no doubt it will enrich the treatment and care provided for children in our area and I would hope this leads to further inter-organisational working in the future to that same end.”  

Ady Sweeny, Paediatric AHP Matron – Newberry Child Development Centre, James Paget University Hospital, said: “The development of these digital resources is an exciting example of creativity and innovation within our children’s services, that allows for empowerment of patients and their families. Additionally, not only does it connect health care professionals and social care professionals but allows for opportunities for other stakeholders to engage in patient journeys, with high quality information accessible in a place and at a time that suits them. I’m sure that this team have set a benchmark for other health professionals to explore digital solutions to connect the dots and help our children and young people develop and thrive into young adulthood.”