Alex works as a Therapy Assistant for Surrey and Borders Partnership Trust. Alex works in the ‘Intensive Support Service’ with people with learning disabilities.
Tell us about your role and the impact it has on those you work with
I bring many skills to the team – I support the Occupational Therapist (OT) with assessments and formulating treatment plans. I undertake single assessments (such as Volitional Questionnaire) and am a second pair of eyes in AMPS (assessment of motor and process skills). Providing this input helps therapy process to be more efficient and the OT can get to intervention delivery more quickly. It also gives a fuller picture of the patient, especially when the OT is leading an assessment remotely and I am the staff member in person with the patient, I can see what may be missed.
I help support and understand someone’s behaviours and triggers, communication styles and how best to support that person to communicate and be understood and I train care staff to use digital communication tools with patients.
I help provide resources to support a person placement specification e.g. ‘All about me’ a collaborative presentation with video that captures the person’s life story particularly communication styles and moods – understanding how this is shown, his/her likes/dislikes, etc. This resource helps the clients transition to residential services as is a useful multimedia handover of information to care staff.
I monitor client’s progress when moving services and liaise with social services and care staff, further supporting where needed. This helps secure successful placements.
Proudest achievements in role: I am very good at making professional working relationships with the people I am supporting, building trust to help them feel safe and cared for which in turn helps carry out treatment plans.
What skills did you bring to the role, have you developed any new skills?
I worked with people with learning disabilities at a day centre. I had a keen interest in therapy and moved to a role in CTPLD (Community Team for People with Learning Disabilities (LDs)). CTPLD helped me gain skills and knowledge on LD, autism and other mental health conditions that people with LD may need support with, how to support their communication with communication aids, making social stories and easy read information about a variety of things such as health conditions or big life events.
I have completed specialist training on de-escalation techniques/positive behaviour management and attend informal talks to help understand different professional roles and clinical pathways.
I have also developed my time management skills and confidence speaking in meetings such as clinical review meetings, discharge planning and incident reviews, where I share clinical updates about the people we are supporting.
What attracted you to a role as a support worker?
I started as a self-employed painter and decorator. Work was quiet so I looked for something else and I tried a support worker role in a private residential service for LDs. I found I enjoyed working with people and particularly in area of LDs. I spent some time with an OT who was working in an inpatient LDs setting and that gave me the confidence to apply for current role.
What educational qualifications do you have? Are you working towards any new?
I have completed the Care Certificate and a Health and Social Care apprenticeship.
What are your future career plans?
I would like to undertake an OT apprenticeship and become a registered OT.
What would you say to encourage others into a role as a support worker with AHPs?
I love my job and feel very supported by managers and staff.