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Staff stories

New starter opportunities

Thinking about starting your career in the NHS, but wondering what it’s really like to work for one of the world’s largest employers? Read our interviews with staff below.

The newly qualified social worker

Louise, social worker, care coordinator assessment team

What made you choose to work with Oxford Health NHS Foundation trust over other trusts or organisation? 

I moved to Oxford to study my social work degree, I really liked it here and decided to stay. I also had such a positive experience on my final year placement that I didn’t even think to look at other trusts.

What is rewarding about working in adult mental health? 

Meeting lots of different people from many walks of life, feeling as though you are helping people and making a difference, learning something new every day, seeing people recover and live fulfilling lives.

I also had such a positive experience on my final year placement that I didn’t even think to look at other trusts.

What are the challenges? 

Working with people who pose a risk to themselves is challenging, the limited budgets and people having to wait a long time to receive treatment, the stigma can make it challenging but I think it is important to talk about the work we do to educate and reduce the stigma.

What type of person do you need to be to do the job? What skills do you need?

You need to be able to manage a busy workload, be part of a team, be able to be flexible and be aware of your limitations. It is important to be compassionate and empathetic and have good listening skills. 

An enquiring mind also helps to ask relevant questions in assessments. Have the ability to reflect and learn from your practice.

What in-work support do you get with development and in your job generally?

I feel really supported and protected in my team. I have been given a lot of opportunities to learn and develop my skills and knowledge through shadowing and training. 

I get regular reflective supervision as well as peer supervision and study time to allow me to meet my ASYE requirements. I also have a smaller case load that allows me to develop my skills and interventions.

What are the main job benefits?

A supportive working environment, protected caseloads for newly qualified staff, good pension and good wage increments.

Photo of Louise

What would be your advice to someone considering a newly qualified adult mental health nurse?

My advice would be to come in with an open mind and too accept that it will challenge you in a positive way. To ask questions, absorb the learning and use the support available to help develop your skills. I would also advise that you throw yourself into the job as you really get back what you put in.

From practice placements to employment

David, community psychiatric nurse & care coordinator

How did you join Oxford Health?

Following school I completed a marine biology degree then moved to Oxford at the age of 21, I came across a job as a support working on a inpatient mental health ward in 2010 and completed my nurse training in 2014.

What made you choose to work with Oxford Health NHS Foundation trust?

I completed my nurse training at Oxford Brookes and had all of my practice placements within Oxford Health services: I observed a good standard of care and motivated staff who possess a variety of skills and experiences.

What is rewarding about working in adult mental health?

I get to meet a variety of different people from all walks of life and support them in their recovery. I get to work in the community seeing people in their own homes and don’t have to be at a desk for long periods of time.

What are the challenges?

At times the job can be quite stressful and I do have quite a high workload.

What type of person do you need to be to do the job? What skills do you need?

To work in this job it is important to be motivated to strive for providing excellent care, it is important that you can communicate well with a variety of people and professionals.

What in-work support do you get with development and in your job generally?

I get support from my peers, management and professionals from associated services to help me carry out my job to the best of my ability.

I am given the opportunity to continue my educational development and acquire new skills and knowledge. 

David photo
"I find the role incredibly rewarding, I am able to do a job I enjoy whilst developing myself both professionally and personally. I get to work in a team of very supportive people."
David
Community psychiatric nurse & care coordinator

What are the main job benefits?

I find the role incredibly rewarding, I am able to do a job I enjoy whilst developing myself both professionally and personally. I get to work in a team of very supportive people.

What would be your advice to someone considering adult mental health as a a newly qualified adult mental health nurse?

I found it incredibly useful to have experience working as a support worker prior to completing my nurse training, I would advise someone to do the same as it gave me the motivation and direction I currently have in my career. 

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