The Princess Royal has voiced concerns that cuts in public services could harm multi-disciplinary working, undermining support for service users and carers.
She made her comments in a speech to mark the reopening of the headquarters of the College of Occupational Therapists in Southwark, south London.
Referring to the importance of multi-disciplinary working in supporting service users and carers, Princess Anne said: “The thing that is most worrying about the changes in terms of cuts is that it will put pressure on those individual members of teams, so instead of working together a bit more they’re a bit more fighting their own corners and that I think would be a seriously backward step.
“All their specialities and their knowledge are really important and it’s maintaining that balance of input that will create, I think, a much better healthcare at the baseline, at the access points which we have to work towards.”
The Princess, who is patron of the College, praised the work of occupational therapists as part of teams delivering support for people with both physical and mental illness before raising the issue of support for carers. She described OTs as the “link between the health and social services, hospital admittance, and going home and that is an absolutely crucial part of the evaluation from carer’s perspective”.
The COT headquarters was reopening after a major refurbishment to allow it to better support members and research into the effectiveness of interventions such as reablement programmes.
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