Princess Anne visited West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds this week in her role as Patron of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists. She met with staff and learned about the role they play.
During her visit, Princess Anne met occupational therapy teams from the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. The teams provide therapy services to help patients improve their independence, health and ability to complete everyday tasks.
Princess Anne received a tour around the occupational therapy department and was shown the trust’s lymphoedema service where she spoke to a trust therapist and a patient. They explained the implications of lymphoedema and the support provided by the occupational therapy teams to help patients overcome the limitations the illness brings.
Princess Anne also spoke to staff about the trust’s other services, including their support to go home service, the medically optimised team and the early intervention team.
Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been able to host this very special visit. Her Royal Highness’ patronage at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists has helped raise the profile of the role of occupational therapists across the country, and we were incredibly grateful for the words of support and encouragement she shared with our staff.”
Gylda Nunn, the integrated therapies manager for WSFT, spoke of how positive and fulfilling working with occupational therapists has been. She said: “I have found that occupational therapists are problem solvers.
“They embrace change. They are natural leaders and their commitment to quality and innovation is the reason why so many new services are led by them. This is no easy task given some of the new and acute pressures felt in health and social care.”
She added how much of a delight it was to visit West Suffolk Hospital, adding: “It has been a chance to let our West Suffolk occupational therapists celebrate together – from mental health, social services, and community, to paediatrics, hospice, the hospital, and a number of other specialisms.”