Our Occupational Therapy service provides a range of services focused on restoring function to promote health and wellbeing, independence and productivity.

The Occupational Therapy service aims to promote independence and/or maintain functional abilities in activities of daily living, leisure and work to facilitate safe discharge from hospital to sustain safe community living and prevention of readmission to acute care.

The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in their activities of daily living ranging from personal and domestic tasks, to community, employment, leisure and recreational activities.

Occupational Therapists at The Royal Melbourne Hospital work across the continuum of care from acute and subacute inpatients, to centre and home based services. The Occupational Therapy service also manages the two Patient Appliance Centres, one on each campus, for short term loan or purchase of aids and equipment.

Outpatient services also focus upon comprehensive assessment and interventions including health promotion, Self-management, individual and carer interventions to support community living, prevention of functional decline and readmission.

Clients are actively involved in the therapeutic process, and outcomes of occupational therapy are diverse, client-driven and measured in terms of participation or satisfaction derived from engaging in occupations (adapted from the World Federation of Occupational Therapists).

Occupational Therapists provide a range of outpatient services, including:

At the RMH, Occupational Therapists provide the following:

  • Functional retraining - ADL's and home management tasks, including training of carers where required to support discharge
  • Sensory/perceptual/cognitive retraining
  • Seating, posture and positioning
  • Stroke rehabilitation, including the use of computer based and gaming technologies
  • Hand and upper limb rehabilitation pre and post surgical intervention and/or trauma incidents
  • Comprehensive home assessments
  • Equipment provision and education
  • Patient education - provision of comprehensive home programs; precautions and strategies with ADL's post surgical interventions
  • Group Therapy - falls prevention, activity tolerance, back care, Parkinson’s disease clinic, cardiac program addressing stress management and relaxation techniques, discharge planning group sessions, breakfast and relaxation groups
  • Discharge planning - patient and family education; completion of home assessments and recommendations for community supports

Specialised services

Hand services including Splinting: Static, static progressive or dynamic oedema and scar management, strengthening and home exercise programs.

Youth Disability Clinic Community Therapy Service for complex seating and pressure care management.


To refer a patient, complete and fax your referral to Direct Access Unit on (03) 8387 2217.

The Direct Access Unit welcomes phone enquiries. To discuss referrals (potential or existing) please contact (03) 8387 2333.

You can use the following forms or a template from your own system.

Referrals should include:

  • patient details including address, date of birth and contact phone numbers

  • the reason for referral

  • relevant clinical history for the patient
  • list of current medications
  • any risks to clients or staff
  • the name of the consultant (for Medicare clinics)

  • your details and provider number (if applicable)
  • TAC or WorkCover claim details

Once a referral has been received, a HARP Clinician will phone the patient to discuss their needs and organise appropriate services. The HARP Clinician will provide the patient with their phone number and patients are encouraged to contact them if they have any concerns.