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Posted on Feb 25 2022 by Fiona Bailey

A senior occupational therapist from Birmingham has spoken about the importance of taking a ‘holistic’ approach to all patients.

Bekki Novak, who has worked in mental health for three years, is based at the Birmingham site of St Andrew’s Healthcare.

Speaking in the latest Service Spotlight video, which showcases all the different services the hospital has to offer, she said: “I think one of the things that makes Andrew's great is, that we really look at patients holistically.

“We really consider the mental health and the physical health [of each patient], and we make sure that we provide treatment that looks at both of those areas. I think we are very strong on trying to promote independence and empower our patients."

Bekki predominantly works on the Older Adult wards, but she also covers the Medium Secure Unit as well, both in the Men's service.

Speaking of the main challenges her patients face in those areas, she said: “I think the typical patient presentation on the Older Adult Ward is that combination of mental health sort of difficulties, which might be around emotion regulation or risk behaviours or stress and anxiety.

“But then we also have the things that come with older age, such as mobility and cognitive issues. These are the sort of areas that we really have to work on in the intervention to  help them and improve their quality of life.”

An example of the kinds of interventions they might implement is falls management.

Bekki added: “We look at whether their environment is suitable for their needs or whether the patients need things adapted so they can continue their independence.

“Some people might need a shower chair, for example, so that they're safer in the shower or different mobility aids. Other key areas of intervention would be looking at their community skills, such as time management, problem-solving, how can they be safe in the community.

“We might also look at whether there's any sensory processing issues, which can often impact how they interact with the environment. If there's anything that we can do to help that, we try and adapt the environment so they can process it in a better way and function to their optimal level.”

 To watch Bekki’s Service Spotlight, click here.