Locality Manager for Children's Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Specialist Health Visiting 

The NHS has given me such a varied, interesting and rewarding career. I have worked in acute hospitals, community teams with adults and children, in a clinical role and more recently in a management role. I am now moving to work as a project manager and I'm excited to see what opportunities lay ahead for me. 

I feel so lucky to live in a country where we have free healthcare for all. The NHS provided amazing care for my Dad when he was diagnosed with cancer and again for my husband when he was diagnosed. The dedication and compassion of the NHS staff that cared for my Dad and continue to care for my husband have been wonderful. I am delighted that we can celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. 

I have had so many highlights as a clinician and as a manager. One young man I was working with who had chronic fatigue and could only manage 10 minutes of school when I met him when he was 11 years old, managed to achieve 3 A Levels and secured a place at University to study Maths. On other occasions it may be a child with cerebral palsy who learns how to dress themselves or the equipment you've provided that enables a child to play with their friends. The small daily victories you have and the partnerships and relationships you build with families and staff make the job so worthwhile. 

In a leadership conference organised by Sussex Community, the keynote speaker was Michael West from the Kings Fund. He spoke about compassionate leadership and invited us to "listen with fascination" to those around us. This has inspired me in both my interactions with families and staff, and every day I try to embody his calm and compassionate persona.