Band 5 and Band 6 Occupational Therapist, What's the Difference?

Working for the NHS
April 1, 2022
Band 5 and Band 6 Occupational Therapist, What's the Difference?

Occupational therapy is a very rewarding role that aims to improve patients’ ability to do everyday tasks, if/when they are having trouble doing so. This difficulty could come from ageing, trauma, disability or long or short-term illness. It’s a role that allows you to make a huge difference to people’s lives and to help them overcome all kinds of challenges so they can live as independently as possible in the future.

But what is the career pathway for this role – what are the main(if any) differences between the Band levels, and how do you progress within the role at the NHS?

What is the difference – Band 5 and Band 6 occupational therapist?

A Band 5 occupational therapist post might be rotational across multiple sites at a hospital, including medical / care of older people, surgery and critical care, orthopaedics, oncology, and hand therapy, to name a few. Take a look at our current Band 5 roles.

Within a Band 6 occupational therapist role, you may be expected to specialise on just one of the services mentioned above, but with the potential for your work to rotate across a range of community services as well. Take a look at our current Band 6 roles.

How to progress to a Band 6 occupational therapy role

Experienced Band 5 occupational therapists may sometimes have the option to apply for band 6 occupational therapist roles – often referred to senior occupational therapist roles – within a 4–6-month period, if/when competencies are achieved. NHS experience is desirable, but applications with similar experiences may also be considered.

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