Occupational Therapy in Primary Care

The Masterclass

As a collaborative team we have been developing and promoting occupational therapy roles in primary care. These roles have a defined focus on mental health, frailty, work clinics, care homes, cross-organisational leadership and research. We share our work on various platforms including films, reports, podcasts, presentations and have formed an academic research team. Please look at our projects. We welcome your feedback and are always keen to learn more about the work other people are doing in this space. We would like to hear from you if you have an interest in service improvement and evaluation, innovations with service users and any projects with partners such as voluntary sector organisations. We are also interested in sharing ideas about health inequalities, population health outcomes and measuring the impact of primary care Occupational Therapy roles.

Inspired by our efforts to promote the impacts of primary care Occupational Therapy we decided there was a gap for something different. We wanted to create something with powerful key messages about the value of Occupational Therapy for other occupational therapists, the public and busy General Practitioners (GPs).

We worked with Salt Street Video Production | Professional Video Production in Sheffield (salt-street.com) to make two films and three interviews about occupational therapy roles in primary care. These were funded by Elizabeth Casson Trust.

Project lead: Laura Di Bona, Co-applicants: Helen Blomfield; Julia Clifford; Natalie Jones; Jennifer Read. Sally Ashcroft and Claire Revitt joined the team, in time for filming. We are super proud of the results and hope you  will find  them useful to promote occupational therapy in primary care!

The videos and interviews can be found below and are also available on the Trust YouTube channel: @elizabethcassontrust378

Our Presenters


Laura Di Bona
Nat Jones
Jennifer Read
Helen Blomfield
Julia Clifford
Claire Revitt
Sally Ashcroft
Changing lives in Primary Care

Below is a short 3-minute video that offers GPs an introduction to occupational therapy in primary care.

The following video provides a 6-minute introduction for occupational therapists of the OT role in primary care.


The team explains their roles

Listen to an interview with  Laura  Di Bona, who works as a primary care mental health occupational therapist.

Listen to an interview with  Julia Clifford, who works as a primary care frailty occupational therapist.

And also an interview with Claire Revitt, an occupational therapist newly employed in primary care (maybe this is the job for you too!)

Our last resource is an interview with Julia Clifford and Tom, an individual who has experienced occupational therapy through primary care.


Additional Links

Our  presenters have kindly provided the resources below. Take a look through these papers, posters, video links to learn more about occupational therapy in primary care:


Jones, N., Clifford, J., Bloomfield, H., & DiBona, L. (2022). From tiny acorns mighty oaks grow; Natalie Jones talks about primary care, new ways of working and lessons learnt from developing occupational therapy roles. OTnews (October), 36–38.

Occupational Therapy Frailty Project Township 1 Primary Care Network Final Report October  2020-September 2021 – Julia Clifford

Poster: Working upstream: the implementation of  a preventative occupational therapy model of practice with frail older  adults in primary  care –  Julia  Clifford 2021

Case Study by IVAR about primary care team work Laura Di Bona has been leading on: A new approach to personalised care in Sheffield (SAPA 5) – Case Study – IVAR (September 2022)

Jennifer Read, Anna Cantrell, Elizabeth Croot. What is known about the provision of Occupational therapy within adult primary care services and how this provision affects service delivery, service users and carers? A systematic review with narrative synthesis. PROSPERO 2022 CRD42022374182 Available from: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?ID=CRD42022374182

Other media:

Occupational Therapy in Primary Care https://youtu.be/9kvZtY94pSg (Video: 2min19sec) Nat Jones

Scoping the role of Occupational Therapy in primary care, a student placement https://youtu.be/BgGm_04LADA  (Video: 30 mins)

Sheffield primary care frailty project https://ockham.healthcare/podcast-tom-holdsworth-julia-clifford-sheffield-frailty-project/ (podcast) Julia Clifford

Article about Laura Di Bona’s work in primary care Reflections on a new approach to personalised care in SAPA5: Institute for Voluntary Action Research’s (IVAR) Case Study – Sheffield Health and Care Partnership (sheffieldhcp.org.uk)

Helen Blomfield’s bedside reading podcast about the book Shuggie Bain and links to primary care.


Work in progress:

Literature review funded by the Elizabeth Casson trust and the University of Sheffield: What is known about the provision of Occupational therapy within adult primary care services and how this provision affects service delivery, service users and carers? A systematic review with narrative synthesis. Led by Jennifer Read.

Links to other related work for interest

Primary Care Sheffield website hosting Natalie Jones’s work on the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme and a short video of four Occupational Therapy students talking about their leadership placements in primary care  http://www.primarycaresheffield.org.uk/2022/12/21/elementor-7968/

A 20minute video of Natalie Jones and GP/ Clinical Director Ben Allen discussing additional roles in primary care some of the challenges and strategies for retention https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCLwkGZ7s30

Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme Review Natalie Jones  http://www.primarycaresheffield.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/ARRS-Report-PCS-Final-Version-September-2022-PDF.pdf