Inspirational Story

Amanda Greenhalgh

Name: Amanda Greenhalgh

Role: Principal Occupational Therapist in Social Care at Doncaster Council

The role of the Principal Occupational Therapist

What does your role look like?

For me, working in Social Care directly aligns with the person-centred values and strength-based approach that are core to Occupational Therapy (OT).

My role is strategic so I have no operational responsibility for staff. This gives me the freedom to step outside of the daily operational pressures and look at how the OT approach can benefit the system as a whole.


What are you responsible for in your role?

I currently have 4 key themes of responsibility:

  • Clinical Support in to our Home First services which are OT and minor adaptations without delay team, adaptations and rehousing, integrated discharge team, community reablement team, bed based reablement team and home alarm service. I provide support to the OT advanced practitioners and the Team Manager and in-reach to support OTs. I work closely with the Head of Service for Home first and the leadership team to embed an OT approach across Home First.


  • Development of the OT team. As with many areas of OT, we never have enough! I am currently developing a recruitment, retention and succession plan. We want to support students and newly qualified staff to be well rounded practitioners. Gaining experience in social care will help OTs to become autonomous professionals and develop strong skills in communication, creative thinking, negotiation, positive risk, equipment, adaptations and housing and helping people move with dignity.


  • Practice change. We have a new practice framework developed with the people we work with. We are using this framework and the skills and knowledge of the people we are working with when planning service change, developing policy, smartening process and in our clinical practice.


  • OT approach across the directorate. As with most Principal OTs, we like to think that the unique skills of the Occupational Therapy approach add value across all of our Adults, Health and Wellbeing services in the Council. I am in the fortunate position to report directly to the Director of Adults Health and Wellbeing. Having oversight of services in this way enable me to promote an OT approach across all services. We are upskilling staff across the directorate in OT approaches such as single handed care and minor equipment and adaptation provision. I also meet with therapy leads across our partner organisations to improve on our OT offer across PLACE (the local area).

OTs in manager or leadership positions have the power to change the image of social care

What does a typical day look like?

A typical day for me is consists mostly of meetings and discussions with staff about cases, practice and process! I sit in meetings with the senior leadership team, team managers, I meet with our OT advanced practitioners and am on hand for staff as an OT sounding board!

I also meet regularly with our regional AHP and Principal OT leads where we develop strategies to influencing change at a local and national level.


Do you miss clinical work?

I do miss direct clinical work but equally realise that OTs in manager/ leadership positions have the power to change the image of social care. By driving the OT approach we are promoting social care as an positive enabler for people and a key partner that supports demand on our Health services.