Jackie F

Diabetes Psychotherapy Lead

I will be 62 on the 6th of July so the NHS and I were born at similar times! We have both had our ups and downs and bits of us have been broken and fixed again, hopefully we have a few more years in us yet. I remember my mum saying that I can get some sweets when we go to the doctors. It was a great reason to go and sort out my ear infection! Our GP used to smoke a pipe at his desk. 

I have worked for the NHS for over 28 years, although worked in hospitals for local authorities before that, I have always been involved in health work either as a medical social worker but predominantly as a psychotherapist.

I have worked at Northwick Park Hospital, Guys and St Thomas and the Royal Sussex County. I also had a placement in Australia in 1996 where there was a health insurance scheme.   

Specialist psychotherapists such as myself are in demand from the private sector and work predominantly in the private sector, but I very much love and support the NHS. Many patients we see as part of the Diabetes Care for You service would not be able to access such high quality psychological care for their mental health and diabetes management if it were not for the way in which our service has been commissioned. This is very much down to the foresight and support of SCFT and the way in which we are supported to ‘break the mould’ in patient care.   

The team I work in is amazing! I see other members of the multi-disciplinary team (doctors, nurses, dietitians and podiatrists, and our service manager) work tirelessly and compassionately for the benefit of our patients with diabetes. It is life-saving work. There is no doubt that the NHS feels harder to work within, I remember being at St Thomas’ in a team meeting 20 years ago and saying I don’t know what’s wrong with this patient but she is very ill and the Consultant said, ok let’s admit her this afternoon. We know that this would not happen today due to bed pressures and some inflexibility in service provision where dots are not always joined up. I have also had my own surgery cancelled! But overall we still have a health service to cherish, providing equal access to physical and mental health care and that happens in no other country in the world.

The Diabetes Care for You service are celebrating 70 years of the NHS in our away day on Wednesday 11 July.