Rachael Blake

Job Title

Allied Health Professional Team Lead and Physiotherapist for Mental Health Services

Where are you based?

I mainly work from a Community Hospital Mental Health Unit where we look after people with dementia and other people experiencing mental illness. 

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


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

I always wanted to help people and was interested in biology and the human body which is why I studied to be a Physiotherapist

What qualifications did you have when you joined the NHS?

I did a Physiotherapy degree at University. 

How did you come to work in the NHS? 

Having worked in the NHS as a student, it seemed like the next logical step after qualifying. After completing my degree, I applied for a Band 5 Physiotherapy job with the NHS.   

Briefly explain your job.

I work in a clinical role and I manage a team of mixed Allied Health Professionals (Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists) as well as working as a Physiotherapist.

What do you love about your job?

I get to use my interest in the human body and movement to help people recover from injury, illness or disability and live fulfilling and independent lives. Working for the NHS allows me to do this and work with other services to provide my patients with well-rounded care that concentrates on what the individual patient wants to achieve.

No day is the same! I love the variety, there is no chance to get bored or stuck in a routine. There is some structure to regular meetings but the rest of my day can vary depending on the needs of my patients or staff.

The best part of my role is when a patient improves and reaches their goals. I see a glimmer of the real person, in even the most severely mentally ill, when I get to the bottom of problem or when a staff member comes to me for help or advice. 

What is challenging about your role?

Personally I find it really challenging when I am unable to help a patient or they begin to deteriorate to due ill health. Yet there are always many patients that you can make a real difference for.

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

Earlier this year, I became a Band 7 and one of the Allied Health Professional Team Leads. This role is largely managerial which is what I wanted from a career progression perspective and I also get to keep 1 day a week working as a Physiotherapist which keeps me connected to the team and provides balance and fulfilment.

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

Do what you enjoy and don’t be afraid to try new things and “take the leap” out of your comfort zone.  If you’re thinking about joining the NHS, do it! It is a truly rewarding career.

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