Community Occupational Therapy

The Community Occupational Therapy Service supports individuals, assisting them to live as safely and independently as possible within their own home environment or within a Residential or Nursing home.

Following a functional home assessment of your individual needs the Occupational Therapist may devise an intervention which could include providing advice, issuing equipment or making recommendations for minor or major adaptations to the home environment.

The Occupational Therapist may also, with your consent, make an onward referral to one of our other services including:

  • Community Rehabilitation
  • Reablement
  • Community Stroke
  • Community Brain Injury
  • Fall Prevention Service
  • Physiotherapy
  • District Nursing

Please see below some of the areas we may be able to help you with. Please click on the relevant areas to find out more.

  • How are the Equipment and Adaptations Funded?

    Following assessment by the Occupational Therapist, many people often ask us if they have to pay, so here is a simple breakdown of how South Eastern HSC Trust is able to deliver services:

    Equipment: This includes a wide variety of items such as bathing, toileting, seating and mobility equipment. This equipment is provided by the Trust for as long you need it. The manufacturer’s instructions and a copy of the South Eastern Trust guidelines for use will be issued with every piece of equipment. You will also be provided with the contact details Tel: (028) 9536 1414 of how to return the items if it no longer meets your needs or you leave the Trust geographical area.

    Large equipment: Items including stairlifts, vertical through-floor lifts, external step-lifts or ceiling-track hoists are provided through the Estates Service for people living in owner occupied or privately rented properties. If you live in a NIHE or Housing Association property, the relevant housing body would be responsible for fitting the above items in their own properties.

    Minor adaptations: For people living in owner occupied or privately rented properties low cost items such as grab rails or handrails can be fitted via the local Estates Service, with written permission from the owner or landlord. The Trust is only responsible for the fitting of such items but it would remain the owners responsibility to remove such items if they were no longer required.

    Similarly the NIHE and Housing Associations can fit grab rails and handrails in their properties, as recommended by the Occupational Therapist. However it is also worth noting that there is a Select Adaptations list (find out more here) This allows you as a tenant to request such equipment directly from the NIHE or Housing Association without an Occupational Therapy recommendation. Please contact NIHE or your relevant Housing Association for more information.

    Major adaptations: The Trust is unable to fund larger adaptations such as door widening; ramped access; level access showers; wheelchair accessible kitchens; wash-dry toilet; or extensions for ground floor living.

    For people living in owner occupied or privately rented properties we can make a recommendation, on your behalf, to the Grants Department within the NIHE for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). This is a financially means-tested grant. More information can be found on their website.

    If you live in a NIHE or Housing Association property, the relevant housing body would be responsible for delivering the above adaptations, on receipt of our recommendation.

    Adaptations are carried out to the same specification and standard in all properties, regardless of tenure, as they all adhere to the Adaptations Design Communications Toolkit.

    VAT exemption:  Some people may wish to go ahead and privately purchase their own items of equipment or adaptations. This could be for a variety of reasons such as they would prefer to have more choice and control over the aesthetics of the item; they may not wish to wait; or they may not be eligible for funding via a Disabled Facilities Grant. Did you know that you may be eligible for VAT exemption if the item or adaptation is related to your disability by making a self-declaration.

    Please see some useful factsheets below regarding this:

    VAT Relief for Charities, Disabled and Older People

    VAT Relief on the installation of certain mobility aids if you’re 60 or over

    VAT Relief for charities building work for disabled people

    VAT Relief on certain goods if you have a disability

  • Referral

    A referral to Occupational Therapy can be made via your GP, Consultant, Nurse or Allied Health Professional or alternatively you can make a self-referral.

    If you would like to refer yourself to Community Occupational Therapy, please send us a completed referral form by post or email or you could make a telephone referral by contacting your local Occupational Therapy Office.

  • How to report a fault with equipment?

    If your equipment does not work please contact the following telephone numbers:

    Repair of Equipment, specialised seating, chairs, shower chairs bath lifts etc.

    Tel: (028) 9262 0367

    Repair of stair lifts/Vertical lifts/step lifts:

    Tel: (028) 9250 1234

    Repair of wheelchairs: 

    Tel: (028) 9267 2888

  • Returning equipment

    The equipment remains the property of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and should not be sold or otherwise disposed of.

    If you no longer require a piece of equipment it should be returned to the Trust so that another person may benefit from its use.

    Collection of equipment can be organised by contacting Tel: (028) 9536 1414.

Man in wheelchair drying his dishes

Contact Details

Community Occupational Therapy Service – Bangor Area

Community Occupational Therapy Department
Administrative Offices
Newtownards Road
BT20 4LB

Call us(028) 9151 5268
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Community Occupational Therapy Service – Ards Area

Ards Community Hospital
BT23 4AS

Call us(028) 9151 5281
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Community Occupational Therapy Service - Lisburn

Community Occupational Therapy Department
Lisburn Health Centre
Linenhall Street
BT28 1LU

Call us(028) 9250 1287
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Community Occupational Therapy Service - Down

Community Occupational Therapy Department
Disability Resource Centre
Downshire Hospital
BT30 6RA

Call us(028) 4451 3810
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