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Making a difference – Rachael is our NHS Hero

From starting in her role on a two month temporary b asis back in 2009, to now having worked for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) for 10 years, Rachael Davies (38) says that after gaining a permanent position “the rest was history”.

Rachael, who lives in Willenhall, works as a medical secretary for DWMH’s home treatment team, as well as supporting the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) treatment clinic.

“I accidentally fell into this career path and have ended up staying for 10 years! I really enjoy the variety of work I get to do within my role, to ensure that patients receive clear and concise information,” said Rachael.

A typical day for Rachael always involves lots of planning and organisation, as she is usually juggling a number of tasks, as well as any queries that come through for the team.

“The home treatment environment is very busy, so it’s extremely important that I use my time efficiently and keep on top of my workload.

“The patients’ needs are the most important factor, which makes it essential for me to check that documentation being sent out is accurate and informative. I’m a fan of making lists to keep myself organised!” continued Rachael.

This year, Rachael was nominated in the Trust’s Recognising Success Awards, which highlights the work carried out by members of staff who go over and above their role to support patients and their colleagues. She was nominated in the non-clinical unsung hero category for her willingness to help with any task, as well as her happy demeanour with patients and always having a smile on her face.

“I was thrilled to have been nominated for an award. I like to think of myself as a people person, so to be recognised by my colleagues for what I do is a great feeling!”

Rachael’s next big challenge is to complete her Medical Administration Diploma.

“The next big hurdle for me is to pass the maths exam as part of the qualification, so hopefully I can celebrate that achievement soon!” said Rachael.

Outside of work, Rachael is a very big football fan and a season ticket holder for Walsall Football Club. Alongside this, she enjoys going to the gym and is also a member of Slimming World, where she has lost five stone in the last 12 months!

So who is Rachael’s hero?

“My hero is my mom. She works tirelessly to keep us all going as a family, and is always on hand to give advice and support.”

Rachael’s mental health message: “I think the biggest step to recovery is asking for help. Never be afraid to ask for it, as everyone at some point in life needs support and help.”

Our merger, your views

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust and Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust plan to merge in April 2020 to become one organisation.

The combined NHS Trust will provide all age mental health and learning disability services across Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton, and community services for children, young people and families in Dudley.

Our focus is to come together safely with minimal impact for our service users, patients and staff. If you are a service user or patient, there will be no change to the current service you receive because of this merger. Post merger, we will look to develop or transform our services where we feel improvements need to be made, and we will engage and involve people in this.

We want to start a conversation with people to hear their views so that when we come together as one organisation this feedback will help us with our plans.

Please complete our survey below and help us on our journey.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6HKCM2W

You can learn more about our merger at: www.ourmerger.org

Helping people find work – Jade is our NHS Hero

After a memorable start to her career with a phone call on her 16th birthday offering an apprenticeship place at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH), Jade Evans (25) has continued to make a difference within the Trust for the past nine years.

With an aim of getting straight into work from school whilst figuring out her career path, Jade was excited to start her apprenticeship within the HR and learning & development team at DWMH, after hearing about it from a family member.

She said: “I always knew I was a people person, but I didn’t really know where to start with finding a job. I couldn’t believe it when I was offered the role, and now I have spent my whole career so far at DWMH!”

Jade now works as a vocational specialist for the thrive into work team, who provide employment support for people who have a long-term health condition and/or a disability and are actively seeking work.

“I support people on a one-to-one basis, to help them find and sustain suitable paid employment. This can include CV writing, job searching, interview preparation, talking to employers on behalf of clients, and supporting them whilst in work.

“No day is the same in my role, but our clients are always at the centre of what we do. I’m really proud to be working in a team which delivers the world’s largest health employment trial!”

Jade feels a great sense of fulfilment when she helps her clients gain employment, but also when her support encourages them to overcome their personal barriers.

“My drive is instilling hope – seeing clients start to believe in themselves and being part of that journey is a feeling you can’t describe.

“It’s not a cliché when people say it changes their lives.”

The next big challenge for Jade will be studying alongside work, and eventually completing a degree.

“Hopefully that will be my next achievement!” she smiled.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, and going for long walks and has also recently joined the Trust’s netball team!

Jade also loves her holidays, with Wales and Cornwall being her happy places where she has lots of special memories.

“I love going abroad too – Italy is definitely up there with my favourites, purely for the Nutella pizza!” laughed Jade.

So who is Jade’s hero?

“My parents are without a doubt my heroes. I couldn’t have asked for a better childhood, and they are still my best friends now – I feel so grateful for them. But I would say that my ultimate hero was my nan. She showed me the true value of being kind, and how to laugh, always!”

Jade’s mental health message: “Your mental health is just as important as your physical health – take time for you and find your happy places. There are always people there to talk to and to listen, so reach out, you are never alone!”

Come along to our free wellbeing fair

Members of the public are invited to attend a free wellbeing fair which aims to promote help, advice and support available in the Walsall area and beyond.

Hosted by Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, the fair will include interactive stalls and displays showcasing trust services and other local wellbeing agencies.

Attendees will also be able to take part in an introduction to cognitive behavioural therapy workshop to learn techniques to better manage thoughts and feelings.

Alongside the marketplace, the event will also incorporate the trust’s Annual General Meeting – an opportunity for people to come and meet the Trust Board, ask any questions, and hear about the work of the Trust as well as our future plans.

Thursday 5 September
11am – 2pm
Forest Arts Centre, Hawbush Road, Leamore, Walsall, WS3 1AG

To book your place call 01384 325015 or email dwmh.communication@nhs.net

DWMH shortlisted for national award

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) has been shortlisted for a prestigious award for its work in developing a culture which empowers staff to speak up about any concerns they have.

The Trust has been shortlisted in the Freedom to Speak up Organisation of the Year category in the Health Service Journal Awards, which are one of the largest celebrations of healthcare excellence in the world, recognising and promoting the finest achievements in the NHS.

Over the past few years the Trust has done a lot of work in creating an environment where staff feel supported to speak up and raise issues so they can be addressed. Alongside traditional whistleblowing routes, staff can also raise concerns anonymously through an online reporting tool or directly through the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian or workplace advisors who offer confidential support and advice.

Michael Hirons, Staff Engagement Lead and Freedom to Speak Up Guardian said: “We have worked hard to embed a culture of openness across the Trust, supporting staff so they feel safe and supported in speaking up if they have any concerns. Whilst we know there is more to do, we are delighted to have made the shortlist and hope to use this accolade to share learning with others.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 6 November in London.