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Occupational Therapy (HP)


Occupational Therapy Department
Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
Temple Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 8784542

An OT Administrator is available every day between 09.00-13.00. A message can be left and will be processed as soon as possible. The OT Department is open between the hours of 08.30 and 17.00. It closes for lunch between 12.55 and 13.30.

The Occupational Therapy Department currently has six posts and are attached to the following clinical areas:

  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Burns & Plastics
  • Orthopaedics & Rheumatology
  • Paediatric Liaison Service (Mental Health)
  • Early Assessment Team in St Frances’ Clinic (Developmental Assessment)

The OT Department also includes support staff of an Occupational Therapy Assistant (part time) and an Administrator (part time).  Between 2013-2014 there is also a Research Occupational Therapist within the team completing a project on service needs of children with Spina Bifida.

Occupational Therapists provide therapy to both in-patients and out-patients.  Sessions may take place on the hospital wards or in the Occupational Therapy Department which is located at the back of St Frances’ Clinic.  This is located at the end of the hospital’s ambulance lane way.  The logo of the department is a pink flamingo balancing on one leg.

The department consists of three separate therapy spaces and an OT Office.  The larger therapy space is a room with specialized play and sensory equipment and extensive toy cupboards. The smaller therapy space provides opportunities for floor play, relaxation and hosts regular competitions on a Wii Console.  The third therapy space is the Splinting Room where thermoplastic made to measure hand splints can be produced.

Occupational Therapists working on the wards wear a uniform of blue or black trousers and a GREEN Occupational Therapy polo shirt.  The Mental Health Occupational Therapists do not wear a uniform.

Staff List 

Colette Slevin: Occupational Therapy Manager

Amy Faulkner: Senior Occupational Therapist to Neurosurgery & Plastics Teams

Nicola Gaskin: Senior Occupational Therapist to Neurology Teams

Laura Parkes: Senior Occupational Therapist to Orthopaedic and Plastic Teams

Eithne Walsh: Senior Occupational Therapist to Paediatric Liaison Service (Mental Health)

Trish Wilmot: Occupational Therapist to Early Assessment Team (Mental Health)

Sarah Governey: Senior Research Occupational Therapist


Information for Families

Occupational Therapy helps children and adolescents achieve and/or maintain their maximum level of independence.  They are supported to develop practical life skills so that they can participate fully at home, in the classroom and in their social communities.

Occupational Therapists (OT) are concerned with the child or adolescent’s ability to participate in whatever activities they are expected to complete at their age.  They are supported within the context of their families, their strengths and difficulties and/ or disability.

OT’s are interested in any activities that are important to the child/ adolescent in the areas of:

Self care (Personal and Practical)

Productivity (School Work)

Leisure (Play)

Depending on the referral reason the child/ adolescent will be engaged in a comprehensive assessment.  This may include watching him or her complete:

  • Developmental play skills
  • Motor co-ordination games
  • Self care skills such as dressing, eating
  • Fine motor activities and handwriting
  • Visual perceptual skills

Intervention will include joint goal setting to address identified needs, and may include direct therapy which may take place within a group or individually.  Therapy may also include the provision of equipment to support the child to engage in daily life.  This may include wheelchairs, feeding aids or splints for hands/ arms.  When necessary the therapist will also provide support and advice to the parent/ guardian on specific issues.  The therapist will also guide staff on supports the child requires if they are an in-patient in the hospital.

Within TSCUH the Occupational Therapy Department is inputs into the following hospital teams:


The Neurosurgery OT provides assessment and treatment to children (0-6 years) who are inpatients with physical and functional difficulties following neurosurgery.

The Neurology OT provides assessment and treatment to children (0-18 years) under the care of the Neurology team as in-patients and out-patients

Intervention is provided to support the child’s independence in self care activities, schoolwork and play.

Assessment and treatment focuses on the child motor skills, hand function, seating and postural management, visual perceptual skills and sensory concerns.

Children are assessed and provided with functional and/ or mobility seating systems or wheelchairs whilst an inpatient.

When necessary hand or foot splints are prescribed and produced to prevent contractures

When suitable, in-patients will be engaged with early neuro-rehabilitation.

The OT is intrinsic in discharge planning for home or to rehab hospital.  The therapist will liaise with local services regarding access, equipment and will identify need for ongoing treatment.


The Occupational Therapist provides:

Assessment and treatment of children’s hands following accidental injury (e.g. hand injury or scar) or as a result of a congenital condition.

Thermoplastic splints may be prescribed and produced to maintain or enhance hand positioning and hand and finger function

Rehabilitation exercises will be prescribed when required, to support the child to learn or re-learn hand movements and promote functional independence

A Scar Management service is also available for children referred with burns injuries.  This may involve the prescription and supply of a silicon gel and/ or a Jobskin garment to reduce scarring.


The Occupational Therapist:

Assesses functional skill of the child or adolescent regarding Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) e.g. leisure, school, self care skills.

Will prescribe equipment and/or adaptations to the activity as needed.

May provide splints, scar management, joint protection and energy conservation techniques

The therapist shall liaise with school when necessary to support the child’s function e.g. supporting performance during exams, provision of laptop to eliminate difficulties with handwriting

Will provide wheelchairs and equipment as short term loan from the hospital if there are mobility concerns.  Referrals MUST be provided in good time for discharge.  Equipment is not stored on site but the OT shall arrange for its delivery to home; this should not delay discharge from hospital.

The Orthopaedic therapist will also arrange for the provision of information and advice booklets regarding Developmental Hip Dysplasia to families of children awaiting hip surgery PRIOR to their admission to hospital. This information relates to car-seats, buggies and other ADL’s such as bathing, dressing and toileting. There is no need for a referral to OT in this instance, unless an equipment loan is required.


The Occupational Therapist within the Paediatric Liaison Service supports children & adolescents attending the hospital with mental health difficulties. Occupational Therapy is offered where primary mental health difficulties or secondary difficulties related to physical conditions significantly impact on daily life.

Children and Adolescents are engaged in purposeful activities to help the child/ adolescent to identify their strengths and things they find difficult.  Support is provided to develop daily routines and skills where necessary

They are supported to set short and long term goals which are important to them, across all areas of life

Difficulties in different environments such as home, school and social communities are explored to support integration back into daily activities and life

Work may be completed as an In-patient or as an out-patient


An Occupational Therapist is also a member of the Early Assessment Team in St Frances’ clinic which is a Multidisciplinary Team to carry out developmental assessment of children presenting with complex difficulties.  Children being referred to this team from consultants in the hospital, may present with social, communication and learning difficulties.  Children may receive a diagnosis of Autism, Intellectual Disability or Developmental Delay and will be linked in with the appropriate community or voluntary sector service.  The Occupational Therapist carries out motor, sensory and functional developmental assessments of children attending this team.


The Hungry Hippos Programme is run by Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy, and is a group intervention to address feeding difficulties in children with Sensory Food Aversion.  The Programme has been developed for children aged between 2 years – 5 years 11 months

Information for Health Professionals

Referral process

All children referred to the OT service must be under the care of a TSCUH medical or surgical team.  Referrals are accepted from Multidisciplinary team members following discussion and agreement with the consultant the child is under the care of.  Referrals are not accepted from outside agencies or guardians.

An Occupational Therapy referral also depends on the parent or legal guardians’ voluntary and informed consent.  Their right to decline the service is respected and will not prejudice future care.

With the exception of the Mental Health Occupational Therapist, a referral to Occupational Therapy can be made via standardized referral forms:

Referral forms are GREEN in colour and are found on all the wards and OPD.

  • The Mental Health Occupational Therapist can be accessed by using the Paediatric Liaison Service Referral Form which is WHITE.  Again this is found on all wards and in OPD

CPD opportunities

The Occupational Therapy Department is committed to providing a quality service to the children and adolescents attending Temple Street Children’s University Hospital.  We support and are committed to audit and research to ensure that interventions provided are in line with international safe practices.

Between March 2013 – Dec 2014 a Research Occupational Therapist is also part of the team, carrying out research on nationwide Irish service provisions for children with Spina Bifida

Between March 2013 – December 2016 research will be carried out on the Hungry Hippos Programme, which was developed by Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy in Temple Street Children’s Hospital.  This is a joint therapeutic intervention which also involves inputs from TSCUH’s Dietetic Department and aims to treat children presenting with Sensory Food Aversions.

As a department in a university teaching hospital, Occupational Therapy also offers clinical placements to the four Irish Universities within Ireland offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy.

Useful links

Association of Occupational Therapists in Ireland (containing links to Private OTs nationwide)


Sensory Integration Network UK & Ireland


Irish Wheelchair Association


Central Remedial Clinic


Enable Ireland Services


National Rehab Hospital


British Association of Occupational Therapists


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