Stuart MacDonald works as an Occupational Therapy Technical Instructor (Joinery) in one of NHS Lothian's Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs). Stuart has worked in the NHS for 26 years, coming from a background of working in high schools using his technical and engineering skills. Much of his mental health knowledge and skills has been built up working jointly with team members and through in-service training. The model of mental health service delivery has undergone dramatic changes over the past five years, and Stuart describes how his own role has changed as mental health services became more community-centred. As a result of undertaking further learning, Stuart can now work safely as a lone worker in the community with his own caseload. He describes the challenges of returning to education as an adult with dyslexia, and the job satisfaction he experiences in his new role.
As an outcome of service redesign, Stuart's role has further extended to being a supervisor to fellow healthcare support workers and forming new community partnerships with other agencies. In recognition of this change, his post was recently regraded through Agenda for Change processes from the original Band 4 / Level 4 Practitioner to a Band 5 post.
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