Allied Health Professionals are the third largest staff group and include a host of incredible roles including art therapists, drama therapists, music therapists, chiropodists and podiatrists, dietitians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers, and last but by no means least speech and language therapists.
The role of an Audiologist is about identifying and assessing hearing and balance function. Audiologists work with patients of all ages as part of a team, recommending and providing appropriate rehabilitation and management.
Occupational therapists help people transform their lives through enabling them to do the things that are important, meaningful and purposeful to them in their daily life which improves their health and well-being.
Physio’s have incredibly versatile roles in the NHS. Generally, they use their communication and clinical skills to understand the needs of patients, then work together with them to meet those needs. In my current role in MSK outpatients this means listening to understand the presenting problem such as back pain then using clinical reasoning to make a diagnosis and a goal orientated action plan to address it.
They promote, maintain, or restore health through physical examination, diagnosis, prognosis, patient education, physical intervention, rehabilitation, disease prevention and health promotion. Mental Health Physiotherapists also help identify if changes in the patients mental health or behaviour have a physical cause.
Dietitians interpret the science of nutrition to improve health and treat disease/conditions by education and giving practical, personalised advice to clients, patients, carers and colleagues. We advise and help to maintain nutritional status when individuals want to trial dietary intervention such as exclusion diets or nutritional supplementation. We use recognised methodologies to critically appraise the evidence base to inform our advice.
They specialise in children’s visual development and diagnose and conservatively manage patients of all ages with disorders of eye movements and where both eyes do not work together as a pair. The general caseload is 70% paediatric, 30% adult.
There are three main aspects of the ODP role namely anaesthetics, surgery and post-anaesthetic care. ODPS support airway management and intubation of critically ill patients, and assist with patient transfers within and outside of the hospital. ODPs work alongside anaesthetists but also among other practitioners within the hospital to provide good quality care to patients. Good communication skills are key with both staff and patients.
They are communication experts and help adults and children with difficulty pronouncing words and speaking fluently; difficulty understanding and using language, and difficulty interacting socially and paying attention. They help with eating and drinking difficulties, those with a fear of talking, and those who don’t speak at all and need devices, symbols or signing to communicate.
My NHS journey started over 30 years ago when I graduated as a physiotherapist; I always wanted to make a difference. I started with a singular focus of supporting patients to improve their health and wellbeing but I quickly realised that supporting staff to be happy and confident in their work and to help them to reach their potential was just as important as being patient centred. I became interested in leadership early on in my career and have always believed that the NHS needs high quality leaders at every level and in every profession. I definitely believe that compassionate leadership results in better patient care, positive experiences and better outcomes for the people we serve.
As a clinician I specialised in respiratory medicine, cardio-thoracic surgery and critical care, working in Leicester, Nottingham and North Yorkshire. I spent a number of years lecturing at Nottingham University on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes as well as leading the clinical practice placements. I was also a national leadership development facilitator and travelled around the Trent region supporting clinicians and managers to explore and develop their personal leadership styles when ‘leadership’ was the new kid on the block! Human factors have always fascinated me; I work hard to better understand myself and how my behaviours impact others so that I have a better chance of understanding why people sometimes behave the way they do.
I have worked in North Yorkshire for about 18 years as a specialist respiratory physiotherapist in Scarborough, as a community therapy manager, as the Head of AHP services, as the manager of Trauma & Orthopaedics and Urgent & Emergency Care, as a general manager and Deputy Director of community services, and in my current role as Chief AHP and Interim Chief Operating Officer. I have always thought it important to find different ways to influence service design and delivery so the opportunity to take a secondment providing specialist clinical advice and guidance to the clinical commissioners as part of the North Yorkshire and York Clinical Leadership Executive was an interesting and valuable experience.
I have always recognised the valuable relationship between primary care, secondary care and community services and the interdependencies with social care and the 3rd sector; I completed my Masters Degree in Primary Health Care just days before my first baby was born! Studying at this level gave me the opportunity to really focus and extend my interests in self-care, the promotion of independence and health inequalities, principles which influenced my clinical practice and ways of working as well as how I have approached my roles in clinical and operational management, and strategic and professional leadership.
It has been a privilege to work with many amazing and inspirational people over the years, many of whom have influenced me and helped me to learn and develop and to challenge myself.
York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals is looking for employees who aspire to excellence, share our values and can play a crucial role in our on-going achievements. In return we can offer you a stimulating and dynamic working environment, with a wide range of staff benefits and learning and development opportunities. Click on the vacancies tab at the top to start your career with us.