I am an appointed governor representing South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust one of SPFTs many partner organisations. I have worked for the ambulance service since 1996 and have carried out many roles during that time having started in the patient transport service and working my way through ambulance technician, paramedic, clinical team leader, paramedic practitioner and currently clinical operations manager. I still retain my clinical qualifications and regularly attend emergency incidents while fulfilling my managerial responsibilities.
Increasingly throughout my career I have recognised the need for collaborative working and have built up many working relationships with other organisations. One of the most important of these has been with SPFT with whom I have been involved with the mental health act group, the mental health concordat and also as a member of the street triage project board.
As a front line member of the ambulance service I have seen how mental health has an impact and influence on so many of the emergencies that we attend either as the main cause in acute crisis or as a contributing factor. In recent years I am glad to say we have seen a greater acceptance of this fact and a desire to equip all front line care staff with the skills and knowledge to be effective clinicians in this complex area. As part of my practitioner training I was fortunate enough to have a placement with the crisis resolution and home treatment team in Eastbourne and was so impressed with their skills, knowledge, compassion and professionalism and this really inspired me. I still believe that we have some way to go to achieve “parity of esteem” with physical health problems but SPFT are a driving force in this area which is why I have volunteered my time to help in any small way I can and to share the experience that I have gained over the last 19 years in the NHS.
Away from work I enjoy the simple things in life shared with my partner and now that our son has left home to find his own way in the world we have more time to walk the dogs, look after the growing number of reptiles, slowly renovate our new home, (only with increasing age have I learnt that this can actually be an enjoyable pastime!) and cherish the relaxed moments together between our hectic working lives.