The Princess Royal talks to people who have benefited from the occupational therapy service
juliecuthbert February 6, 2024

The Princess Royal launches new mental health therapy group in Broxtowe

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, visited Plumptre Hall in Eastwood today to learn about ‘invaluable’ new services from mental health occupational therapists who help residents improve their mental health.

Her Royal Highness is the Patron of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and made a special visit to Nottingham to learn more about the positive impact of the new service during a special event jointly hosted by Nottingham West Primary Care Network and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

People living in Nottinghamshire can now access support from mental health professionals without a referral from a GP. Mental health occupational therapists are clinically trained and work with people of all ages to find holistic personalised, practical solutions to everyday challenges.  

In Nottinghamshire, mental health occupational therapists work from general practice surgeries and get involved with local community groups to identify and address mental health needs early on. This new service is available across Mid and South Nottinghamshire to residents registered with a GP surgery in Hucknall, Gedling, Broxtowe, Mansfield Town and South Mansfield, and North Ashfield.

Catherine Seals, Mental Health Occupational Therapist for Nottingham West Primary Care Network, invited The Princess Royal to launch a new group-therapy choice for residents that promotes conversations about mental health and offers practical, personalised steps to help keep well.

Residents of Broxtowe met with Her Royal Highness and talked about using the service to manage their daily routines and achieve personal goals. Paul Cooke, 36, a father of three from Giltbrook and engineer at Rolls Royce, described his experience of therapy with a mental health occupational therapist as “a breath of fresh air” and explained how working with Catherine “helped me align more to my old self.”

The Princess Royal heard how mental health occupational therapists focus on how mental health may be affecting a person’s daily life, help people identify their goals and break down barriers to achieving them.

Local health care staff invited Her Royal Highness to explore the different techniques used to empower patients to manage anxiety and mood, regulate emotions, develop motivation and interest levels, and renew their interest in hobbies and important roles within life.

Sir John Peace, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire was part of a group of local dignitaries, who, together with representatives from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and NHS Nottingham leaders, saw for themselves how occupational therapists design services that improve care within communities.

Nottingham West supports a collaboration of 12 GP surgeries within Broxtowe, and was one of the first Primary Care Networks in the country to employ mental health occupational therapists. Nottinghamshire leads the way in creating new services within primary care due to an effective partnership between 11 Primary Care Networks, including Nottingham West, and Primary Integrated Community Services (PICS), a local healthcare organisation run by GPs. 

Find out more about the different roles in general practice.

Find out how the mental health occupational therapy role works.