About OTC



Welcome to Occupational Therapy Consultants, Technology Enabled Care. Zoe Belford (Founder & Director) graduated from Oxford Brookes University in 2002, achieving a BSc (Hons) Degree in Occupational Therapy. She became an OT as her passion was enabling people to be as independent as possible, despite the barriers they faced due to disability. With a head for business as well as OT, Zoe combined this with her desire to enable people with disabilities and those that support them, by setting up OTC in 2007.

OTC clients have included local authorities, NHS trusts, Housing Associations, Care Providers, Case Management companies, Government Departments and private clients. Zoe has clinical specialisms in physical disability, learning disability and dementia. She also has Master’s degree accreditations as a Best Interest Assessor and is trained in Sensory Integration (Theory and Neuroscience). She is also an Assistive Technologist and has started to learn Makaton. All of OTC’s team are experts in their field and specifically chosen by Zoe to meet your unique needs.

When Zoe gets time off (if she is practicing the work/life balance her profession taught her!) she is at her happiest travelling, her aim is to go somewhere new every year and eventually visit every continent, at the time of press, she’s got three more to do… If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. In the mean-time, don’t take our word for it! Please take a look at the glowing comments from our most recent clients.

‘I can confirm that OTC’s service has paid for itself as well as make much more additional savings for LDP. They have consistently exceeded our savings targets, whilst ensuring that care packages are safe, bespoke to people’s needs and the least restrictive option. I would recommend OTC to other local authorities and especially their learning disability services. There would also be scope and opportunity for any provider service to take advantage of a cost effective and enabling resource’
Keith Mead

Service Manager, Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership

“Zoe’s support in our service has helped us to restructure our supported living services and look at what support is and is not needed. This has led to a reduction in overall support and a re-model of the way in which we are paid by the Local Authority and led to a more transparent and fairer funding model. We have, with her input, successfully removed full night support at one service, removed one waking night at another and replaced two waking nights with sleeps.  

We can really see the value that an OT adds to our service, to support our staff and importantly to enhance the lives of our service users and promote their independence, we simply could not have made the changes we have without such expert input”

Lyndsey Downes

Service Director, Creative support

“Zoe has supported Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service on a case that saw numerous attendances to an address. The attendances resulted from automated fire alarms and on attendance were categorised as false alarm from cooking. Zoe supported as a consultancy role on part of Bedford Borough Council and working directly with Zoe and using a partnership approach with agencies working directly at the property.

Measures were taken to reduce the impact of false alarm calls BFRS attended. Where BFRS attended the property for a total of 15 false alarm calls in 2022, the partnership work has seen a total of 2 false alarm calls to the address in 2023”

David Lynch

Area Community Safety Officer (Engagement and Vulnerability), Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service

‘It’s been a breath of fresh air working with Zoe. Someone who just gets it!
Paul Davies

Business Development Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council

‘The LDP commissioned OTC to conduct a full review of our LD projects with a view to reducing revenue costs through the introduction of assistive technology. Assistive technology has been proved to deliver more person centred approaches, promoting independence privacy and freedom of movement. 

OTC quickly became part of the specialist multi-disciplinary teams and working proactively to the priorities of the service. A positive working relationship was also gained with our local service providers. The director has always been keen to ensure that her service was meeting the needs of the LDP.

The strength of OTC is the jointly held specialism of Occupational Therapy and assistive technology meaning that holistic clinical assessments were undertaken which looked wider than the provision of equipment including for example sensory integration techniques. The assessments were evidence and risk based. OTC also undertook a series of training sessions with LDP staff to promote the use and benefits of assistive technology and to support us in changing the culture in the service. 

During the years of the contract the LDP has seen a significant return on the investment made both in terms of actual cash savings and even more significantly in avoided spend therefore helping the service considerably in managing a demand led care budget over each of the financial years the contract has been in place.’

Tracy Gurney

Head of Service, Cambridgeshire Learning Disability Partnership

‘Bedford Borough council commissioned a project in 2020, to increase and promote independence of adults with learning disabilities, utilising OTC Occupational Therapy Consultants Ltd to provide a systematic review of community care provisions for adults with learning disabilities. 

OTC provided Occupational Therapy & Assistive Technology assessments on behalf of Adult Social Care to enable independence and assist with care planning. This has been an excellent opportunity to increase and promote the usage of enhanced care support, and enable our service users, families, and care providers to maximise and improve their outcomes towards further independence. 

The specialism of OTC in learning disabilities has been excellent and has provided insightful practice, advise and learning to the social care team. The objectivity and clinical oversight have also proved invaluable when determining not just need, but also the technology and least restrictive options available to the individual. 

OTC have consistently met their deadlines and savings targets as agreed with the council. OTC are robust in achieving best value and have paid for themselves in terms of the project and efficiencies achieved for Bedford Borough. The impact of the efficiencies has also contributed to savings for our partners in the BLMK ICB/CHC, and also cost avoidance for other partners such as housing and Bedfordshire fire and rescue services. 

The learning from OTC work and support has been significance to the Learning disability team, in terms of the increased understanding and importance of enhanced care and has continued to enable to service to promote and embed this best practice, and to continue to improve to make a difference in the lives of our service users. 

Throughout OTC have been highly professional and competent in practice, their communication and partnership work with the Learning disability team is excellent and we will miss the contribution of this valuable resource. 

We would recommend without OTC question and hopefully will have the opportunity to use their skills and expertise again in the future.  We would happily be a point of contact to other local authorities, to discuss are positive experience if considering utilising OTC in the future.

Melanie Thomas

Team Manager Adult Learning Disability Team, Bedford Borough Council

‘It has been a pleasure to work with OTC in Bedford Borough. The assessments and care planning undertaken were always strength based and person centred. OTC ensured that the needs of the individual were at the forefront of their work providing clear and achievable outcomes specific to the person.
One of OTC’s strengths was their vast knowledge around the use of Assistive Technology, they had access to a wide selection of products which enabled people to maintain their independence and remain at home.
It also meant that in some situations the service user did not require support 24/7 ensuring it was also the least restrictive option. Having this Assistive Technology in place has reduced the risks for individuals enabling them to be safe and stay at home. This in turn has enabled packages of care to be more cost effective but also ensured our service users are safe and independent. 

I would definitely recommend OTC’s service to other Local Authorities particularly their learning disability services and appreciate all the expertise and information provided by OTC to Bedford Borough over the last four years’.

Diane Rickhuss

Advanced Practitioner, Adult Learning Disability Team

‘Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was pleased to collaborate with Zoe Belford with developing and delivering an improved service user experience which not only placed them at the centre of their care, but which also effected measures which reduced personal risk of injury by fire or accident in the home.

The joint approach to managing complex cases through partnership working and improved communications has been successful and consistent with The Royal College of Occupational Therapists report “Fire and Rescue Services – The value of working in partnership with Occupational Therapists”.  We thank Zoe for her help, support, and professionalism’

Ian Howarth

Partnership and Engagement Manager, Safety and Strategic Projects, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service