Dr Nick Lake
"Over time, my commitment to the NHS has been further strengthened through a deep appreciation of all the colleagues I work with."
Dr Nick Lake is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of Clinical Strategy for Sussex Partnership. He’s also Joint Director for Psychology and Psychological Therapy, and Chair of the Sussex Armed Forces Network.
Here’s his story:
When did you start in the NHS?
Why did you choose to work in the NHS?
I had a deep interest in and passion for using psychological knowledge and techniques (including psychological therapy) to help make people’s lives better. I also wanted to do this in an environment where I could offer this service to people who were in the greatest need, irrespective of income or background. Over time, my commitment to the NHS has been further strengthened through a deep appreciation of all the colleagues I work with. They are passionate individuals who share a common commitment to making people’s lives better, and they do so with warmth, humour and real skill. So - it’s an extremely rewarding environment to work in – and one in which I feel I can make a real difference.
Describe what you do in 100 words
As a practicing psychologist, I now primarily work with people who have experienced trauma, including many ex-servicemen. I also provide teaching, supervision and support to other psychologists and psychological therapists, as well as to staff who need my support. It is also my job to help our organisation to describe and develop the type and range of services we need moving forwards to continue to provide high quality mental health care in a challenging financial environment. In an additional role, I chair the Sussex Armed Forces network – which works tirelessly to offer better care for veterans and their families across NHS physical and mental health services, schools, charities, the police, and social services.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Seeing people recover from very difficult life events (including war and other traumas).
How would you describe the NHS in one word?
If you could give the NHS any 70th birthday present what would it be?
A very very big thank you card signed by all members of the public who appreciate the care it provides. Could we try to achieve a world record for the biggest birthday card ever?
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about working in the NHS?
Working with people’s pain can be challenging, but seeing people recover, and knowing that you have helped with this, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in a job (there is clear evidence that helping others is one of the biggest factors in predicting your own happiness). And yes – the NHS is stretched – and yes – at times this can feel overwhelming, but you are working alongside hundreds of thousands of other colleagues who share your values and commitment, so we are all in it together. Knowing you are part of such a team – a community of people who care – is just so rewarding!