Staff you may meet
We employ more than 4400 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.
Activity co-ordinators are responsible for implementing a range of therapeutic activities. Examples of activities provided include social, recreational, leisure, communication, sensory or educational sessions.
Administrative staff provide essential support to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This can be in a variety of different settings, with administrators working as a receptionist in a clinic or a clerk on a ward. They may also be working closely with a consultant as a medical secretary.
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.
A care navigator provides advice and support to individuals their families or carers during their care. They often make home visits and support hospital discharges. Care navigators can also signpost and refer individuals to the appropriate services or help arrange care based on the individual’s needs.
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.
There are more than 60 different specialities that doctors work within. Each is unique but there are many characteristics which are common. Roles range from working in a hospital to being based in the community as a GP.
Domestic staff have a vital role in helping to care for patients. They work in one of three key areas; catering, cleaning or laundry services. All of these services play an important part in aiding an individual’s recovery.
Housekeepers help nurses run hospital wards. They are an member of a ward team and support the delivery of clinical care by ensuring the ward is a clean, safe and attractive place which is conducive to patient care.
Housekeepers co-ordinate a range of ward services including catering, cleaning and maintaining the environment and equipment. They may also co-ordinate the clerical, transport and linen services.
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.
Other clinical staff
The NHS employs a wide range of clinical staff, it wouldn’t be possible to list them all on this website! All our clinical staff are skilled, dedicated professionals who adhere to high standards of training and work-place practice.
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.
Porters work within the Trust facilities team moving and delivering post, equipment and medication to locations across the organisation.
They also help to move frail and often very ill patients between different departments and wards in safety and comfort.
Some porter roles may be combined with general maintenance.
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.
Receptionists are the first link for many patients and visitors. They often work on their own or with one or two other receptionists, greeting patients as they arrive and checking them in.
They might also collect patient notes and ensure that these vital records go to the right healthcare professional. In a clinic, they may make appointments and arrange patient transport.
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.
We have a range of specialist advisors working in our Trust – they give advice on a wide range of different things, depending on what service they work in. So it could be, for example, mental health, stopping smoking, healthy eating or diabetes.
Specialist health worker
We have a range of health workers who all have different specialities. This could be in a certain condition, a therapy or the advice they can give you. Our specialists our highly skilled and trained professionals, ready to offer you help and advice whenever you need it.
Telephonists (also known as switchboard operators) are employed throughout the health service. They may work on a busy switchboard in a hospital or the Trust headquarters. Like receptionists, they are an important first point of contact for patients and their families and are a vital link between a caller and the person who can help.
Therapy is a broad term and can range from occupational therapists to behavioural therapists. Our therapists are trained in their specialist area and type of therapy to make sure we can offer the very best care.
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.