East Sussex Children's Integrated Therapy Service
Steph – School, college then Uni
Lewis -History and Music and core subjects at GCSE. Psychology, Sociology and English Language A Level.
Victoria – Southampton University, Brighton University
Keith – University of Brighton (twice)
Charlie – Psychology (BSc) – University of Sussex (2.1), Speech and Language Therapy (PG/Dip) – City University, London (Merit)
Jess – GCSE’s, A-levels in PE, Biology and Geography then straight to University of Brighton for BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
Helen – GCSEs, A-Levels then, after a gap year working as an au pair in Paris, Manchester Victoria University
Christie – High school in Mauritius and University in Australia
Donna – Secondary School
Beth – GCSE’s, Alevles, Physiotherapy BSc and currently completing part-timemasters in Neuromuscular diseases
Mandy – English and American Literature degree, Speech and Language Therapy Masters, Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award…
Jamie – History Degree at Nottingham Trent; MPhil Social History at Glasgow University; MSc Health Through Occupation at Brighton uni; currently studying for MRes at Brighton uni. Wish I’d worked harder at my A-Levels though…
Steph– GCSE’s, 4 A Levels, BSc Speech and Language Therapy
Lewis – BSc in Psychology and a Masters (MSc) in Speech and Language Therapy.
Victoria – BSc Podiatry
Keith – Sport and Exercise Science, Physiotherapy
Charlie – Psychology undergraduate degree, Speech and Language Therapy qualification
Jess – GCSEs C & D grade in English, Maths, Science, History, German, Food Tech, Health & Social Care, R.E
Donna – Secondary School
Helen – BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy
Lucy – GCSE’s, A levels (Psychology, Art & Design, Social Biology and Photography), BA in Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Photography, PgDip Occupational Therapy
Christie – Bachelor of Health Science and Major in Rehabilitation Counseling, Master in Speech and Language Pathology
Mandy – GCSE’s, A-Levels (English Literature, Classical Civilisations and Human Biology), English and American Literature BA, Speech and Language Therapy MSc.
Jamie – see above.
Steph– 16 years in paediatric community SLT in 2 different places
Lewis – Paper-round, cleaner, part time pub job at University. After university I worked as a recruitment consultant and a complaints team in the bank. I then started a band with my friend and played regular pub gigs to make a bit of pocket money whilst I was a student again.
Victoria – retail, admin then into my current role.
Keith – Personal training Instructor, Physiotherapist
Charlie – Cocktail waiter/bar man, Learning Support Assistant, SENCo Assistant / Administrator, Speech and Language Therapist Assistant, Short Breaks Practitioner, Speech and Language Therapist
Jess – lots of work experience in the NHS, work at a stables while at school, waitress in a hotel while at uni, Physiotherapy Assistant work within Paediatrics, work as a band 5 Physiotherapist in adults before specialising as a band 6 in paediatrics.
Donna – Various Admin roles
Lucy – I’ve working in Film and TV, run a play project on a City Farm, youth worker, video and photography roles within the Creative industries, Youth and Community arts, Specialist Education and now, the NHS!
Beth – First job is this job!
Mandy – Senior copywriter, Speech and Language Therapy Assistant, office temping, Speech and Language Therapist
Jamie – various catering roles since first degree and then admin. Qualified as an OT and did a rotation. Worked in neuro-rehab before settling into paediatrics.
Kent Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Service
Crowborough, Polegate or Ore Clinic’s.
We are a team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, therapy assistants and administrators who provide an integrated therapy service for children and young people from birth to school-leaving age (16 or 19) with physical, occupational or speech and language difficulties.
We help children with significant developmental difficulties that make everyday life difficult. This includes neurological or movement disorders, respiratory disorders such as cystic fibrosis and speech, language and communication difficulties. We also support children who require specialist equipment and housing adaptations.
We offer assessment, training and advice and we provide therapy for some children, individually or in groups. We provide training and support for parents, carers and staff in early years settings and schools and we run a number of satellite clinics across the county. The service is provided where it is most needed, such as in pre-schools and nurseries, schools, children’s centres, patients’ homes or clinics.
About the Team Members:
Steph – I’m a Speech and Language Therapist
Lewis – Hi, I’m 27 and come from Merseyside. I am a Speech and Language Therapist working in the children’s integrated therapy and equipment service.
Victoria – Hi, I work as an Integrated Therapy Assistant.
Keith – I am a currently a band 5 physiotherapist working at our Polegate clinic
Charlie – Hello, I’m a newly qualified Band 5 Speech and Language Therapist.
Jess – Hi, I’m a band 6 Paediatric Physiotherapist.
Christie – I’m a Speech and Language Therapist
Donna – I am the Admin Team Co-Ordinator
Lara– Occupational Therapist
Sarah – Physiotherapist
Beth – I’m a Paediatrics Physiotherapist. I had known for a while that I wanted to be a physiotherapist but never thought I would want to go into paediatrics. My first student placement at a special school and it changed my view on everything.
Lucy – Hi, I’m a Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist
Helen – I’m a Speech and Language Therapist, I live in Hove with my husband and three daughters and work part time so that I can spend time enjoying the girls as well as my work.
Amy – Physiotherapist
Jamie – I am an Occupational Therapist and am also involved in clinical research. I have a particular interest in working with children with sensory integration difficulties. I work part time at the moment while I complete my studies at the University of Brighton.
Libby – Integrated Therapy Assistant
Rosie – Physiotherapy student with the service while on placement (studying at Brighton University at present)
Mandy – I’m a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, working in clinic and in nurseries and schools in East Sussex. I live in West Sussex with my husband and kiddies, and I work part-time to help with the work-life balance!
What we do:
Steph– I am a clinical specialist speech and language therapist. I spend approximately half my time on my own clinical caseload and half the time sorting out my small team of 10 staff.
Lewis– I carry out assessments with children who may have difficulties producing sounds correctly, stammering, using the correct grammar, or even communicating their basic wants and needs in life. These assessments help me to decide on aims to support that child with whatever difficulty they may be experiencing.
Victoria – I work as an assistant for Physio’s, OT’s and Speech and Language Therapists.
Keith – I have three main areas of work which includes clinic, community (usually at patients homes) and with the school environments. This includes providing a range of assessments both physically with the patient and their equipment needs. I also provide therapy sessions for the children where parents, carers and assistants are encouraged to assist with the therapy in order to give them the skills to carry on independently.
Charlie – In a nutshell, my role is to assess the speech and language needs of children on my case load, write up a detailed report and design a therapy programme for them. This is normally then delivered by the SLTAs within school or at the clinic. I also deliver therapy interventions myself. My role requires close and regular liaison with colleagues to ensure therapy programmes are running smoothly and are still appropriate to the child’s needs.
Jess – I work in the community, within clinic and within special schools providing physiotherapy assessment and treatment.
Helen – I’m a speech and language therapist and this is my 17th year in the job. I support the communication needs of children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs across East Sussex. I work in three specialist SEMH schools attended by children who have been unable to cope in mainstream settings and a Pupil Referral Unit where children are assessed in order to find the best placement if they are not in school.
Beth – I’m a Paediatrics Physiotherapist and Isee a large variety of children, mostly primary school age or younger, and treat what the child needs help with. I help a child’s development by providing their parents/carers with advice and a programme which they can implement at home.
Donna – My role is to see the referral process through from receiving it, to either allocation or discharge. I like to think I work effectively with the clinical team to get our jobs done as efficiently as possible.
Mandy – I carry out assessments and reviews of children’s communication difficulties, in clinics, nurseries and schools, and occasionally at the child’s home. I do a lot of communicating with families and teaching staff, arranging my days and discussing the children. I work with children from nursery age up to when they leave sixth form college.
Our Typical Days:
Steph – Days are spent on planned clinical work while fielding incoming queries from staff and partner agencies such as schools and ISEND while trying to tuck in some planning for upcoming work.
Lewis – Going in to a school to do an assessment or deliver therapy to show the staff at school how to carry out activities to help them achieve aims that we have set. I then head back to the office to analyse the assessments that I have carried out. I write case notes on the computer about what happened in my session. Then I write a report for that child, comment on their progress and suggest new aims.
Victoria -I can see a new born baby to a 19 year old, my job is a real mix. I work on their speech, physio or OT targets – this could involve working on speech sounds, activities of daily living e.g. getting dressed, physio exercises or handwriting. It’s very broad but so much fun.
Keith – As we work with a range of conditions, ages and abilities a typical day is difficult to describe. Children’s abilities and strengths are constantly changing as they grow and develop. As some of you may know how quickly a child grows out of a pair of shoes or learns a new skill there is constant opportunity to observe and adapt programmes to accommodate this.
Charlie – I arrive and prepare for an assessment of a child at the clinic or their schools. I do 2-3 assessments in the morning and then input information from the sessions onto CIS. I then prepare for my therapy sessions in the afternoon, and deliver these in school or in clinic. I then input the information from these session onto CIS. If I have time, I will the start report writing for the assessments I have done.
Donna – Processing referrals, processing triage outcomes, responding to queries via email and telephone. Working closely with the broader team to achieve a high standard of work.
Beth – Appointments either in clinic, school or at homes. A lot of admin as well of reports, exercise programmes, referrals and communication between services.
Mandy – I spend my days both in clinic and out on visits. In clinic, I see children and their families for their first contact with the SLT service, and also follow-up on children who are already on our caseload. At nurseries and schools, I communicate with teaching staff as well as seeing children. I spend a lot of time information-gathering, and carrying out assessments and observations, and then writing up detailed programmes for our therapy assistants to carry out, and reports to describe children’s strengths and needs. I also help to supervise other speech and language therapists.
Quick Fire Questions
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Steph – Caring, organised, kind
Lewis – Enthusiastic, Listener, Fun
Victoria – Fun, patient, caring
Keith – Laidback, adventurous, islander
Charlie – Diligent, friendly, professional
Jess – Fun, diplomatic, friendly
Christie – ambitious, reliable, loyal
Donna – Fun, Approachable, Flexible
Helen – Calm, focused and BUSY!
Lucy – Energetic, collaborative, empathetic
Mandy – Happy, calm, (slightly) forgetful
Jamie – compassionate, innovative, friendly.
What's your favourite food?
Steph – Pizza, I would eat it every day if I could!
Lewis – Italian/Indian/Vietnamese. However, you can’t beat a good old McDonalds.
Victoria – Chips!
Keith – steak and chips!
Charlie – Pretty much everything. I love food. My favourite savoury food is curry; Indian or Thai. Sweet food: cheesecake.
Jess – Curry!
Christie – Pasta
Donna – Mum’s Beef casserole and dumplings!
Lucy – Marmite on toast
Beth – Bibimbap or sushi
Mandy – anything made of or covered in chocolate.
Jamie – Beans on toast with marmite! Also, ice cream – which is why I’ve given it up….
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Steph – Dog agility
Lewis – Mimed playing the bass guitar for a band at a wedding.
Victoria – I can do a backwards and forwards roll
Keith – I really like music festivals!! No details but Bestival 2011 was a particularly good year!!
Charlie -Quad bike safari in Cape Town!
Jess – travelling in New Zealand
Helen – Gigging with different bands
Christie – win lottery tickets to see Harry Potter the cursed child show on my birthday
Donna – Annual trips to Legoland with my husband and son
Lucy – Travelling and having children
Beth – Abseil off a bridge
Mandy – jet-skiing!
Jamie – go-karting, skiing, running marathons!
What did you want to be after you left school?
Lewis – A Clinical psychologist
Victoria – Podiatrist
Keith – a professional Rugby player
Jess – Ballerina
Donna – A Veterinary Nurse
Charlie – Either an actor or a drama therapist.
Helen – A speech therapist! I knew for ages and even did my Y10 work experience with a speech therapist!
Lucy – A dancer, a photographer, ideally both
Mandy – A writer or a historian!
Jamie – a journalist or writer.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Steph– No, I was very quiet and so well behaved
Lewis – I would occasionally get in to trouble for being a bit too silly in class, talking when I should be listening etc. The skill of being able to be silly as strangely helped me in my job, where you are interacting with children on a daily basis!
Keith – No, never….
Charlie – Hardly ever. I was a very upstanding student. I did get in trouble once for going to McDonalds when I should have been at school :/
Jess – No, I was a teachers pet!
Helen – No, I’m a bit of a geek!
Christie – Yes of course!
Lucy – Sometimes, for daydreaming – and occasionally answering back!
Beth – Yes, I was always the outspoken one
Mandy – I was a shy geek!
Jamie – Er, yes… Class clown syndrome!
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Steph– We run dysfluency (stammering) groups and these are always super rewarding
Lewis – Helped a child make a sound that they could not make which meant that their friends could not understand them.
Victoria – Helped children to achieve their goals e.g. start walking, start talking, learn how to do their shoelaces, learn how to write.
Keith – I think it would have to be taking the plunge into paediatric physiotherapy with absolutely no experience of what this entailed.
Charlie – Qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist
Jess – The feeling after doing something that makes a big difference to a child and their family
Helen – Helped to persuade the commissioners that there was a need for specialist speech and language therapy support in the local authority SEMH schools.
Christie – Move to the UK
Lucy – Been brave enough to make career changes to hone my skills and interests – and to continue to always learn.
Mandy – Building up a rapport with teaching staff and families.
Jamie – presented at various conferences about innovations within the service. Lectured at the University of Brighton.
What or who inspired you to do your job?
Steph – My brother used to visit an SLT and I always wanted to do what she did.
Lewis – For me it was carrying out a few volunteering positions in the community supporting people with communication difficulties (they may have perhaps had a stroke/brain damage). I remember thinking wow imagine actually getting payed to do this!
Victoria – Just meeting loads of really nice therapists having an impacts on my families lives. I have always known that I wanted to work in healthcare.
Keith – My wife really supported my change of career to be a healthcare professional I would have given up at least 10 times over without her support and help.
Charlie – A colleague of mine at my previous job. She was and still is an amazing SLT who now works with young offenders. She inspired me to make a difference!
Helen – My mum – she was a teacher, supporting children with dyslexia, I was more interested in a medical career and she hooked me up with SLTs that she worked with so I could find out more about it.
Christie – The movie ‘miracle run’ and my cousin who has down syndrome
Donna – My parents were both self-employed and had to do all of their own admin, so I picked up skills along the way
Mandy – A friend of a friend working as an SLT Assistant.
Jamie – I volunteered in hospital radio and enjoyed going around the wards and collecting song requests from the patients. It made me realise I wanted to work directly with people and help them in some way.
If you weren't in healthcare, what job would you do?
Steph– Dog walker
Lewis – I enjoy supporting people to learn and develop a new skill. I think I would have gone in to something that involved coaching e.g. football coaching or worked as a teacher.
Victoria – JCB driver
Keith – probably still do my previous job as a personal trainer
Charlie – Clinical Psychologist.
Jess – stunt rider
Christie – Project manager or work in finance
Donna – I would have loved to be a vet, but unfortunately did not put enough effort in at school. Maybe one day I will be able to afford to go to college!
Lucy – Working in youth advocacy
Beth – Accountant
Mandy – Something to do with writing – maybe publishing.
Jamie – a writer or some sort of life-coach…the professional football thing looks like it has passed me by!