Following Patients Home
No, I'm not talking about stalking people. Here in the NHS, it is common practice for therapists who have worked with a patient in the hospital to continue treating that person once he goes home. If you are a hospital-based therapist here, you may spend half of your day actually in the community. There are advantages and drawbacks to this way of working.
The advantages are continuity of care for the patient, exposure to working in the community for therapists, and decreased likelihood of information getting lost or distorted in the handover of care from one provider to another.
There are some disadvantages as well. If a ward is particularly busy, the patients already at home are a lower priority and may not get seen in a timely fashion. The hospital therapists are also part of "Foundation" Trusts, whereas most community services are "Primary Care" Trusts. What this means is that the hospital therapists may not know or have access to other necessary services in the community.
It is incredibly inefficient to have people leave a ward to provide services outside the hospital, particularly when there are teams in place to handle that workload. Lastly, I have seen cases where patients become dependent on the therapist. The very nature of staying with a patient for too long deprives the patient of growing more independent and autonomous.
It is a practice strongly embraced here and to question draws ire, particularly among occupational therapists. I don't think it is a tradition that works and in this time of NHS revision, should be abandoned.