Holiday healthcare heroes: ‘A lot of people don’t really understand what we can do to help them’

ECCH occupational therapist Lucy Turner (left) and student occupational therapist Emma McVicar with

ECCH occupational therapist Lucy Turner (left) and student occupational therapist Emma McVicar with their information stand at Beccles Hospital . Photo: ECCH - Credit: ECCH

Throughout advent, we're highlighting those who work hard throughout the year - and at Christmas - to keep Norfolk and Waveney's health service ticking over.

This countdown of those we count on will focus on a different person or individual every day up until Christmas, celebrating our healthcare heroes.

Lucy Turner, occupational therapist

Lucy Turner, an occupational therapist with East Coast Community Healthcare, says she loves helping people to 'live their lives their way'.

She and her colleagues use their specialist skills to assess a patient's physical, psychological and social functions before introducing a programme of activity designed to improve their health and quality of daily life. They can provide equipment to make people's lives easier at home and they offer advice to carers and families.

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As well as working in the community, at ECCH occupational therapists work as part of many services including falls prevention, neurology, rheumatology, chronic fatigue, Beccles Hospital and the out of hospital teams in Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Only last month a new early intervention vehicle was launched in Great Yarmouth which will see ECCH's occupational therapists and physiotherapists working alongside an emergency medical technician from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust to respond to people who have suffered falls and help them recover in the comfort of their own home.

Lucy said: 'What I love about my job is that we can help people to maintain their independence. We promote recovery by focussing on the daily activities patients need to achieve to maintain their independence of mind, body and spirit so they can live their lives their way.'

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Lucy set up a stall at Beccles Hospital during national Occupational Therapy Week 2017 to raise awareness of the role and enable people to ask questions and seek advice.

She said: 'A lot of people don't really understand what we can do to help them or their loved ones. We have a very wide variety of experience, knowledge and skill within our department and we also work very closely with our physiotherapy service to combine our knowledge and expertise to benefit patients. With an aging population who often feel socially isolated and may be living with long term conditions we play an increasingly key role in promoting independent living.'

• To read about other holiday health heroes, click on a door on the advent calendar above.

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