"Hopefully we can build the NHS into a stronger more resilient establishment – continuing to care for the public and staff in a fair and effective way."
Violet Pontet, Admin Coordinator, joined the NHS in 1994 and one of her roles at Sussex Partnership is to be a voice for - and champion the rights of - staff who have a disability.
She took on the role of Chair of Sussex Partnership’s Disability Network in 2010, using her own personal experiences to make people’s working life easier.
Violet, who herself has Fibromyalgia, lived experience of mental health illness and is also deaf due to Tinnitus, says: “The whole aim of the Staff Disability group is to make working for the Trust if you have a disability easier. There are obstacles people have to face but those obstacles shouldn’t be because you have a disability.”
Here’s Violet’s story:
Why did you join the NHS?
An interesting position came up working with school nurses. I had previously worked as Support Nurse at St Thomas Hospital from 1988 – 1991.
What does your current role involve?
I am admin co-ordinator for Living Well with Dementia, Memory Services and Later Life Pathway. I joined the staff disability network in 2010 when I moved to New Park House in Horsham and attended a conference in Brighton the following year. I was very impressed as previous employers didn’t seem to think about disabled staff but this Trust did. The then Chief Executive, Lisa Rodrigues, also attended and gave a stirring talk about how the Trust felt it was important for not only staff (to champion the staff disability network) but clients as well.
What do you think makes the NHS so special?
That’s really simple. We care.
What do you think the next 70 years hold for the NHS?
Hopefully we can build the NHS into a stronger more resilient establishment – continuing to care for the public and staff in a fair and effective way.