Occupational therapy services

If you struggle with everyday tasks because you're ill, frail or because of a disability, our occupational therapy service may be able to provide practical support to make things easier. For example, we can identify practical support to help with cooking or equipment to increase independence in the bathroom).

You may also find what you need on our equipment and gadgets or help with mobility pages.

Woman receiving occupational therapy
Occupational therapy services - mobility

Who we can help

We may be able to help you if you're a Southwark resident and you:

  • have a physical disability
  • are an older person and you struggle with everyday tasks because you're frail
  • have a health condition that's getting worse
  • look after someone who has a disability
  • have a mental health issue or a learning disability which makes it hard for you to do everyday tasks (for example cooking)

We can provide you with occupational therapy support if you meet the criteria set out in the Care Act. We'll assess your needs to find out if you meet the criteria. If we cannot offer you support, we'll always offer you information and advice to help with your needs.

How occupational therapy services can help

We will make contact with you to understand your current needs and priorities, and work together to identify solutions.

Depending on your situation we may:

  • offer you advice on how to manage everyday tasks, such as washing
  • recommend equipment that could help (for example equipment to help you getting in and out of the bath or on and off the toilet)
  • recommend and arrange small or large adaptations to your home, such as installing ramps or a stair lift
  • provide advice and information about other services
  • help you with installing an alarm or telecare equipment
    • we can assess your needs to see what equipment you require
    • you may need to contribute towards the cost of monitored alarms (the maximum weekly charge is £5.75 and you can find more information on our paying for your care page)

How to ask for an occupational therapy assessment

To request an occupational therapy assessment call 020 7525 3324 or email OPPDContactteam@southwark.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can complete a referral form (docx, 57kb). If you're a professional making a referral on the behalf of a service user, you should complete the referral form for professionals (docx, 56kb).

We receive a lot of requests for our services. If your need isn't urgent, you may have to wait a while before we can assess you.

Equipment on loan

We can loan you equipment for as long as you need it to keep safe and independent.

If the equipment needs repairing or replacing, call 020 7231 6816.

If an emergency repair is needed outside of office hours (9am to 5pm), call 020 8573 2871. Not all electrical equipment is covered by the emergency agreement, so for some repairs you'll need to wait until the next working day to report the problem.

When you no longer need the equipment, we can collect, clean and recycle it so someone else can use it. To arrange for equipment to be collected, phone 020 7231 6816 (option 5). Thanks for your support in recycling equipment when it's no longer required (which has important environmental benefits).

Adaptations to your home

Man making home adaptations using power tool
Occupational therapy services - repairs

When we assess your needs, we may discuss helpful adaptations to your home.

Minor adaptations

These could include:

  • external handrails, grab rails or alterations to steps
  • grab rails or drop down rails near the toilet, to help with transfers

Major adaptations

These may include:

  • ramps to allow wheelchair access to your property
  • level or low-access showers if you cannot safely use the bath
  • a hoist to help your carer move you
  • stair lifts

We'll look at what support you need to stay safe and independent while you're waiting for any major adaptations to be completed.

If your property isn't suitable to meet your future needs, we can provide you with advice and guidance to help you move to a more suitable property.

Paying for adaptations to your home

Man accessing house wall for adaptations
Occupational therapy services - repairs

The cost of adaptations to your home will depend on what is required and who owns your property.

If you're a Southwark Council tenant:

  • any recommended adaptations or alterations to your home will be organised and paid for by the council

If you own or privately rent your home:

  • you may be entitled to a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) to pay towards adaptation/s
  • the grant is means tested and you may have to make a contribution (that amount will depend on your income and savings)

We'll refer you to the council's Home Improvement Agency (HIA) who will arrange for the Disabled Facilities Grant to be completed for you.

If you're a Housing Association tenant:

  • we'll contact your housing association to ask them to carry out the adaptation/s

You can find out more about the Disabled Facilities Grant at GOV.UK.

Repairs and maintenance of adaptations

Occupational therapy services - repairs

If you're a council tenant you need to contact:

  • the council’s Contact Centre on 020 7525 2600
    • if you have a stair lift or ceiling tract hoists, phone 020 7525 2600
    • for out of hours, phone 0800 952 4444
    • if the item is still under warranty (1 year), phone 0207 525 1866
  • for lifts, phone 020 7525 2600 (office hours) or 0800 952 4444 (out of hours) if an emergency repair is required

If you own you own property:

  • 0207 525 1873 if the adaptation was funded through a grant (DFG) and the item is still under warranty (1 year)

Housing association tenants should check with their individual housing association. Housing associations should service, maintain and repair the adaptation/s.

If you're an owner/occupier the adaptation is your property once it is fitted. As the owner you're responsible for any servicing, maintenance and repair.

If you're a private tenant the adaptation becomes your property once it's fitted. You should check whether your landlord will take on any responsibility for repairs and maintenance of the adaptation. 



Page last updated: 15 August 2022

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