Two occupational therapy departments were amalgamated into a corporate whole and charged with the development of a workable, corporate structure. The departmental model which was developed served to enhance the concepts of quality of working life, employee autonomy, management team and quality circle theory. This paper provides a background from business and organizational literature, and outlines the development of the departmental model, in concert with the adoption of the client-centred model of occupational performance as a department basis for practice. This development was taking place concurrently with larger, institutional changes into a decentralized clinical programme management model. Discussion highlights the level of staff satisfaction with the changes, areas of concern during the development of the system and plans for the future growth.
During this period of massive and critical change in the delivery of health care services, there has been a trend in restructuring health care institutions towards decentralized models. This paper will describe the experience of one occupational therapy department in developing an innovative departmental structure involving participatory management amalgamation. It is believed that the experience of the past occupational therapy work units with one viable option for a renewed management model. Staff skill sets can be maximized and optimal potential realized while faced with inevitable resource shrinkage and service reorganization.