Rachel Russel

Dr Rachel Russell

Dr Rachel Russell, Senior Regional Advisor



[email protected] 



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Pragmatic, passionate, enthusiastic.


Rachel has done many things during her 28-year career as an occupational therapist, but they have all focused on using the built aspects of the home environment to improve health and well-being. As a practitioner, she has spent most of her time in adult social care, including being the Principal Occupational Therapist at Calderdale Adult Health & Social Care before starting at Foundations.

As an academic and researcher, Rachel gained an MSc in Accessibility and Inclusive Design. She was then awarded a scholarship from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to study full-time for a PhD in the School of the Built Environment at the University of Salford. Her PhD research gained recognition in 2014 when she was awarded the Early Researcher Award from the United Kingdom Occupational Therapy Research Foundation.

Rachel was part of the team involved in the UK government-commissioned review of the Disabled Facilities Grant. Finally, Rachel is one of the authors of ‘Adaptations Without Delay’, published and launched by the Royal College of Occupational Therapists in June 2019. 

Fields of Expertise:  

  • Occupational therapy in social care & housing 
  • The role of the occupational Therapist in the DFG and adaptations process 
  • Impact of adaptations on health and well-being 

Public recognition:  

  • UK OT Research Foundation (UKOTRF) Early Researcher of the year (2014) 
  • Research and Education Lead for the Royal College of Occupational Therapist Specialist Section – Housing 2017 – 2020 

Academic Background:  

  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy 
  • MSc (with Distinction) Accessibility and Inclusive Design 
  • PhD ‘The development of a Design and Construction Protocol to support occupational therapists in delivering effective home adaptations.’ 
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education: Research and Practice; University of Salford 

Key publications: 

  • Russell, R & Walker, M & Copeman, I & Porteus, J 2019, Adaptations without delay: A guide to planning and delivering adaptations differently, Royal College of Occupational Therapists, London, United Kingdom. 
  • Russell, R & Ormerod, M & Newton, R 2018, ‘The development of a design and construction process protocol to support the home modification process delivered by occupational therapists’, Journal for Ageing Research, pp.1-14. 

Professional and community involvement: 

  • Member of the Royal College Occupational Therapists (RCOT) 
  • Member of the specialist section on Housing (RCOT)