Matthew Powell

Job Title

Designated Clinical Officer (SEND)

Where are you based?

At home

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


When you were in school, did you want to join the NHS?

No, I never considered a career in the NHS and commenced my career training as a teacher.

Tell us about your job

A typical day doesn’t exist for a DCO. We can do anything from EHCP tribunal work to meeting with parents to liaising with NHS England to working on commissioning significant projects like Paediatric Therapies across Hampshire and the IOW. The role is both varied and fascinating and allows me to liaise with children and families, utilising my clinical knowledge and expertise whilst still affecting their longer term outcomes and allowing them to reach their full potential.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

I came to work in the NHS as an HCA on an adult surgical ward, having been made redundant from a previous role in sales. I worked in differing roles in an acute hospital, gaining my Paediatric Nursing qualification and eventually finishing my acute career as a Paediatric Matron. I joined the Commissioning team on a secondment as a Complex Care Business Manager and after 3 months this role came up. I enjoyed working with the team, applied for this role as a permanent position and commenced in November 2019.

What are some challenges?

The magnitude of the role, the level of responsibility and the fact that there is so much to do!

What do you love about your job?

The variety – I can honestly say no day is boring!

Is there career progression in your role and how would you get there?

A clinical qualification is required to become a DCO, this can be a medical qualification, a nursing qualification or a therapy qualification (physio, SALT, OT or optometry)- you also need a strong level of resilience and a passion for improving the lives of Children and Young People with SEND

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

Do it – my career path has been varied and challenging since joining the NHS and isn’t over yet – there is always something different to explore if you wish to…

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