Staff you may meet
We employ more than 4700 staff in a vast range of clinical and non-clinical roles.
Here’s a quick overview of just some of the staff you may meet, whether you are a service user, carer, family member or visitor.
Allied health professionals (AHPs)
There are many different allied health professions including art, drama and music therapists, dieticians, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists. AHPs work as autonomous professionals, for example they may work directly with a patient to develop some interactive therapies to aid recovery.
Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and to enhance and promote psychological wellbeing. They work in a variety of health and social care settings including hospitals, health centres, community mental health teams, and social services.
Community psychiatric nurses (CPNs)
CPNs are registered mental health nurses who work in the community providing practical advice and ongoing support for people with mental health problems. This is most often in the person’s own home but it can also be in clinics, for example, in a GP’s surgery.
Dietitians use the science of food to help people to make good choices about food and lifestyle. Nutrition is an important part of recovery and wellbeing. All service users admitted to a Trust ward have their nutritional state assessed. If a nutritional problem is identified they are then referred to a dietitian. Dietitians work in teams with other people such as doctors, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and they contribute to a care plan.
Quite often people who have a mental health problem have more risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and obesity. These can all be helped by eating a balanced diet.
The dietitian can look at what you eat and how it could help you feel better, help with health and recovery, give advice on special diets for medical conditions and provide nutritional education to service users, carers, caterers and other health and social care professionals.
Non-clinical support staff
There are many people who work behind the scenes to keep services running and you may meet them in hospital or community settings. They include porters, cleaners, plumbers, electricians and decorators who all work to make sure healthcare settings are kept clean, tidy and safe and secretaries and receptionists who answer the phone, make appointments and deal with any administrative duties.
Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients. Increasingly, care is given in the community, with mental health nurses visiting patients and their families at home, in residential centres, in prisons or in specialist clinics or units. They may do shift work to provide 24-hour care. The Trust also employs a large number of learning disability nurses who work in partnership with people with learning disabilities to provide specialist healthcare. Their main aim is to support the wellbeing and social inclusion of people with a learning disability by improving or maintaining their physical and mental health; by reducing barriers; and supporting the person to pursue a fulfilling life.
Nursing or healthcare assistants work within hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. They help doctors, nurses and therapists give people the care and treatment they need. They are vital to the running of services across the NHS. They have varied roles which might involve helping patients to undertake activities of daily living, assist in therapeutic treatments, record keeping or simply talking to, and listening to people who use our services.
Occupational therapists (OTs)
Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life. OTs in mental health and learning disability services use activity to assess and treat patients, who due to their illness or disability, have difficulty in their daily lives. They work in hospital and various community settings. They may visit clients and their carers at home to monitor their progress.
A pharmacist is an expert in medicines and their use. They work to ensure that patients get the maximum benefit from their medicines and can practice in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy or in primary care pharmacy.
They advise medical and nursing staff on the selection and appropriate use of medicines and provide information to patients on how to manage their medicines to ensure optimal treatment.
Psychiatrists are qualified doctors who diagnose and treat patients with mental health conditions. Psychiatry relies upon high quality clinical skills, as assessment and diagnosis has had little help from modern technology! Psychiatrists will often combine a broad general caseload (they’ll see people with a range of problems) alongside an area of special expertise and research.
Physiotherapists help people to improve their range of movement in order to promote health and well being. This can help people to live more independently. In particular, physiotherapists concentrate on problems that affect muscles, bones, the heart, circulation and lungs. Physiotherapy involves a range of treatments, including manipulation, massage, exercise, electrotherapy and hydrotherapy. Physiotherapists may work in hospitals, private practices or with the social services.
Social workers help, support and protect people who are facing difficulties in their lives. They help people to take positive steps to overcome problems and improve their lives. This could involve assessing and reviewing a service user’s situation, building relationships with service users and their families and agreeing what practical support someone needs.
On a ward you will see many different members of staff, not all of them are clinical staff! Non-clinical staff include housekeepers and administrators. Ward housekeepers work with other staff to make sure everywhere is clean and tidy and that you have good food. Administrators have clerical and admin roles, like keeping patient notes filed safely, and they can often help you with general enquiries. If you’re not sure who anybody is please ask them to explain.
Have we missed someone?
If there is a group of staff you think we should be describing on this page, please let us know by email.
Tagged under: Staff
Page last updated on September 7th, 2012