Roy Darby

Roy has an important role as a Falls Prevention Technician for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust

Tell us about your role and the impact it has on those work with

My primary responsibility as a Falls Prevention Technician, is to help keep people referred to the service independent and out of hospital where safe to do so. This then helps to reduce strain on the NHS.

I see my role as helping to instill confidence to enable our patients to go about their daily living in a safe and independent manner. Providing information and advice in the prevention of falls and assisting other team members in their roles when necessary. As a support worker we often have more time to spend with the patients, building supportive relationships, helping them to empower their own rehabilitation.

I work autonomously, holding my own case load in the knowledge that I have access to support when needed.

What attracted you to a role as a support worker?

I joined the St Johns Ambulance Service when I was 10/11 years old. When I left school I worked in engineering with British Aerospace. I moved into the London area and trained as a London Cab Driver. During this period I saw a horrific road traffic accident. I was left thinking ‘’wouldn’t it be nice to have the skills to help’’.

This inspired me to re think my career aspirations. I joined Patient Transport and a year later was frontline as an Emergency Care Support Worker (ECSW) for South East Ambulance service. I wanted to train as a Paramedic Practitioner and began training, I was unable to continue when the funding stopped.

Wanting to further my career in healthcare I joined the Neurological Therapy Team in my local acute hospital, then Wheelchair Services as a Wheelchair Technician. With the onset of the pandemic I was redeployed into the community hospital as a Therapy Assistant. I really enjoyed this opportunity as the role was a combination of Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy, so decided to remain working on the wards when redeployment came to an end.

There was an opportunity to work in the Responsive Services Community Team as a Therapy Practitioner (Band 4) which I was successful in being appointed into and then a really exciting opportunity to join the Falls Prevention Service in a yearlong secondment. I really love this role as I have the opportunity to apply my skills gained from my learning in the Ambulance Service and the skills from working in the varied Support Worker posts I have been lucky enough to secure.

As a support worker we often have more time to spend with the patients, building supportive relationships, helping them to empower their own rehabilitation.

How has training/development helped you in your role?

The global pandemic has stopped a lot of the training opportunities available, however I was lucky enough to work with my supervisor who I have been able to shadow, practice and learn from ‘hands on experience’.

I hope to go on and gain a degree, but am still undecided if that would be in therapy or nursing as I enjoy elements of all the professions.

What are you most proud of in your role?

I am proud that I am able look holistically and empathetically to support a person through their care journey with the Falls Prevention Service.

What would you say to encourage others into a role as a support worker with AHPs?

Being an AHP Support Worker benefits people’s lives. You can make such a difference often just by listening and hearing an individual.