Occupational Therapy Assistant

Last updated: 31 August 2023

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Occupational Therapy Assistant



Occupational Therapy Assistants help people who struggle with day-to-day activities to live a full and independent life. Illness, injury, disability or ageing can make ordinary tasks harder for some people. Occupational therapy (OT) assistants work with occupational therapists to help these carry out these tasks. This includes daily care (washing, dressing, eating), work or education and leisure. They help people find ways to continue with activities which are important to them. This might involve learning new ways to do things. Or it might mean changes to the environment to make things easier.

A day in the life

OT assistants work with people of all ages and situations with a range of conditions. For example, helping

  • someone adapt to life after major surgery such as a hip replacement
  • children with disabilities take part in school and play activities
  • dementia sufferers develop strategies
  • stroke patients
  • people suffering from mental illness get back into everyday activities such as work or volunteering
  • elderly people stay in their own homes by providing adaptation such as level access showers or stairlifts


Your development

You will receive appropriate training in order to do the job, including an introduction to the department and its procedures and how to set up and use the equipment.

You may be offered the chance to study for qualifications such as


  • the NCFE CACHE level 2 Certificate in Healthcare Support Services
  • the NCFE CACHE level 3 Diploma in Healthcare Support

Some OT assistants join the British Association and College of Occupational Therapists (BAOT/COT) as associate members. The BAOT/COT runs courses, conferences and seminars where OT assistants can update their skills and network with others doing similar work.

With experience, you could become a team leader supervising the work of other OT assistants. You could apply to train as an assistant practitioner or as an occupational therapist.


For more information regarding joining our Occupational Therapy team, please submit a form through the ‘Contact us’ page or contact the Recruitment team, who are more than happy to help, on 02392 2860​​​​​​​00 ext. 6577 or email recruitment.enquiries@porthosp.nhs.uk 

OT assistant testimonial 1

My story

Conor Singleton

Occupational Therapy Assistant, Older Persons Therapy Team


How did you become a Occupational Therapy Assistant? – “I started a degree in biomedical science, but was uncertain if this was the right path for me. I liked the idea of working in a hospital in health and became a porter, then an OT assistant, I completed a foundation degree and am now on the apprenticeship degree course to become qualified.”

What do you do on a day to day basis? – “Day to day I support the qualified Occupational Therapists, my jobs are very varied and no two days are the same; from admin to assisting with functional assessments, completing access visits and fitting equipment.  I liaise a lot with families and carers and work jointly with the physios and the MDT on our wards.  I’m also on the staff side committee – where I represent staff alongside other members of the MDT across the hospital.”

What do you enjoy about being a Occupational Therapy Assistant? – “I enjoy the variety and the patient contact. I enjoy advocating for and supporting patients to achieve their goals and enabling safe discharge home.”

Career plans – "I’m looking forward to qualifying as an OT and seeing where my journey takes me.”