“I have always worked in the NHS and really value working as part of a larger team and having the forum to reflect upon and explore different ways of doing the work that we do."
Kate Alexander, who works as the Lead for Psychology and Psychological Therapies in the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service, has been working in the NHS for 23 years.
Current evidence suggests untreated perinatal illness costs the NHS around 8.1 billion per year. Kate’s current role is to develop highly specialist interventions for parents in severe perinatal crisis, to help with the challenges and adjustments of having a baby.
We asked Kate what she enjoys about working in the NHS: “I have always worked in the NHS and really value working as part of a larger team and having the forum to reflect upon and explore different ways of doing the work that we do.
“I also really appreciate having the opportunity to have a working life that is based on different forms of knowledge - all of which suggest that change is possible - and that the telling and re-telling of people’s stories can help to make a life better.
“I think the meaning and value of work in the NHS depends largely on the relationships you have with your immediate colleagues. An organisation that invests in developing real relationships - as opposed to those created by social media - will be one of the keys to long term economic survival.”
We asked Kate what it is about the NHS that she thinks is so special, and why we are so lucky to have it: “As a member of the public, I am continually grateful for a service that is free at the point of access, and that is based on a philosophy of universal provision. I am also grateful that we live in a free society, where the intersections of all the interests that are relevant to the health of the nation are given value.
“But most of all, I feel lucky to be part of a national health service that assumes health is not simply a quality of the individual, but of the larger social and economic structures in which we all live.”