Occupational Therapist Neil Scoops National Award

December 13, 2023

Congratulations to Occupational Therapist Neil Withnell, who was crowned Housing Occupational Therapist of the Year at the National Healthy Housing Awards on 5 December.

Neil was nominated by Sara Crofts, Senior Commissioning Manager – Housing, Health and Care, and Louise Bevan, Operational Manager for Equipment Services.

The judges noted his double nomination and congratulated him on his work to establish Trusted Assessors for Disabled Facility Grants (DFGs) in Gloucestershire, the implementation of a fast-track DFG process for rapidly-deteriorating conditions, and the groundwork to establish an Accessible Housing Register.

Neil works as a Specialist Housing OT in a newly-commissioned role to develop and redesign housing and adaptation services, as well as provide specialist advice and expertise on housing, disability and relevant legal issues in partnership with Gloucestershire Health and Care, NHS Gloucestershire ICB, district housing partners, clients and carers.

He has worked on a number of projects over the last 18 months, including the development of a Trusted Assessor model for the Disabled Facility Grant (DFG) and adaptations processes with nine Band 4 assessors now in post, as well as the development of a new fast-track pathway for those with rapidly-deteriorating conditions.

Neil attended the awards, held at the National Football Museum, Manchester, with Louise Bevan, Programme Director Mary Morgan and Neil Penny, Senior Commissioning Manager (NHS Gloucestershire/Gloucestershire County Council).

After receiving the award Neil said:  “I have been working as a housing OT for the last 23 years and I have seen so many opportunities to improve lives.

“I want to personally thank Louise Bevan, Neil Penny and Sara Crofts for their mentoring, support, guidance and encouragement over the last 20 months and especially thank Mary Morgan and Sharon McIlwaine for having the vision to create this post.

“I am thrilled to now have those opportunities and believe there is much more we can do to remove disabling barriers in people’s homes so that they may thrive. I feel truly privileged to receive this award.”

Neil is a much valued colleague in GHC and many have been in touch to congratulate him on this prestigious award.

Coverage of the event can be seen here: National Healthy Housing Awards 2023 – YouTube

Find out more about OT Housing and Neil’s role on the Occupational Therapy section of our ICT services page: Integrated Community Teams > Glos Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust (ghc.nhs.uk) and our Housing and Accommodation information page: Housing and Accommodation Information > Glos Health & Care NHS Foundation Trust (ghc.nhs.uk)


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