Recovery Through Activity: An Online Occupational Therapy Intervention

Nicky Thomas Professional Lead Occupational Therapist for Mental Health

Lead Organisation: Hywel Dda University Health Board

In partnership with: Cardiff University

This unique all-Wales project is run by Hywel Dda University Health Board in collaboration with every health board across Wales.



Recovery through activity (RTA) is an occupational therapy group intervention usually facilitated on a face to face basis. The intervention introduces service users to a wide variety of activities available in their local community to enhance health and wellbeing.

Occupational therapist delivering the Recovery Through Activity intervention online

The pandemic has promoted creativity in discovering virtual solutions to delivering interventions, and connecting individuals with online resources that they can access safely from home. Occupational Therapy leads across Wales, developed a standardised protocol for virtual delivery of RTA with an agreed set of evaluation tools. This would enable all health boards to compare outcomes and build a robust evidence base.

Virtual Recovery Through Activity flowchart

Project Aims

Images of different type of activities
All Virtual Recovery Through Activity timeline


Key Outcomes

Staff and service user feedback

Next Steps

We aim to roll out the virtual RTA programme across mental health and learning disability services throughout Wales.

We will work with Cardiff University to analyse the qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate RTA and improve occupational therapy interventions, sharing the evidence from RTA interventions widely. This evidence base should enable us to influence the recruitment of additional Occupational Therapists within mental health to deliver RTA interventions.

We also hope to complete the RTA website to raise the profile of RTA across the multidisciplinary teams and improve accessibility to occupational therapy for all.

Our Exemplar Experience

This experience has put occupational therapy on the map, provided excellent training opportunities and enabled us to work collaboratively across Wales.